Posttraumatic Stress (PTSD) (276)
Researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle examined whether an early intervention targeting negative beliefs of female assault survivors could mediate the subsequent development of chronic PTSD.
Ninety recent female assault survivors were randomized to 3 four-week early intervention programs: (1) brief cognitive behavioral therapy, (2) weekly assessment or (3) supportive counseling. Changes in negative beliefs were examined before and after the intervention.
Researchers from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA investigated whether trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) could be effective with very young children, ages 3-6, exposed to heterogeneous types of traumas.
A feasibility study with 11 children was followed by a pilot with 64 children, randomly assigned to either a 12-session manualized TF-CBT protocol or a 12-weeks wait list condition.
In the randomized design the intervention group improved significantly more on symptoms of PTSD, but not on depression, separation anxiety, oppositional defiant, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders.
Since the sense of smell plays a prominent role in traumatic memories, investigators from the mental health division of the Israeli Defense Forces conducted an open, prospective study with patients suffering from chronic combat-related PTSD, whose condition had not improved with other treatment modalities, to see if the olfactory sense could be utilized for healing the symptoms of PTS.
A technique called hypnotherapeutic olfactory conditioning (HOC)1 was tested with 36 outpatient combat veterans with chronic PTS that featured resistant olfactory-induced flashbacks. They were treated with six 1.5-hour sessions using hypnosis.
Here’s a dramatic story that came out of Fargo, ND, about Alison Kohler, a woman who was so traumatized, she’d basically shut down her life, and how her therapist, Connie Bjerk, trained in practicing integrative therapies, helped release her from being controlled by fear, and jump-start a very juicy new chapter in her life, filled with hope, romance and possibility.
Every now and then it really does happen this way. You can read more about it here.
I'm a "fan" and I've read your books and have referred clients to your CDs. My question is this: Do you use and or support EFT for trauma and combat PTSD?
[Ed note: EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique is a protocol that has people tapping on acupressure points while recalling or retelling their traumatic event(s), a process that somehow releases the trapped energy of those memories and thus reduces or eliminates PTS symptoms – sometimes with surprising speed]
Sue Hannibal, Army wife and EFT Practitioner
My startle reflex happens maybe 2-3 seconds AFTER someone walks into a room or opens a door unexpectedly. I see who it is, stare at them (usually a family member), and then I jump, scream or cover my face. It is so unsettling when this occurs. Is this a "normal" reaction to years of severe child abuse--that the startle would be so slow to start? Thank you in advance for your response.
Researchers from the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston conducted an open trial of a group psychological treatment for Veterans with posttraumatic stress and chronic posttraumatic nightmares called "Imagery Rescripting and Exposure Therapy" (IRET).
IRET is a variant of a successful imagery rescripting treatment for civilian trauma-related nightmares that was modified to address the needs of the Veteran population [Ed. Note: This technique is sometimes referred to as Imagery Rehearsal Therapy and/or Nightmare Reprocessing].
Are guided imagery techniques less effective for people who are heavily medicated on pharmaceutical drugs, eg for bipolar or depression or PTS conditions? I suffer from combat stress and some family members have serious depression.
Elias P, Just Back from Iraq
I have a patient with complex, longstanding, posttraumatic stress from years of childhood sexual abuse. She gets panicky at the idea of closing her eyes to do her guided imagery.
She also has fears of “losing” herself – getting so ungrounded and dissociated during the immersive, hypnotic experience, that she’ll float out of her body and never come back, so to speak.
Any ideas for how I can structure this experience to make it feel safer for her? She and I both feel that the imagery would do her a lot of good, if she could get through it. We just need to figure out how to make it so she can tolerate it. All suggestions welcome.
Dr. James L. McMahon
My therapist recommended your book and it really helped me take charge of my life when I understood that ptsd is in fact a very somatic disorder. I started walking daily, eating healthy and actually felt better that I had in years.
And now it's all gone, my system is more activated and distressed than ever. I just want to hurt myself compulsively, I experience a self-loathing that's never been this bad, and I can't seem to stop eating compulsively.
According to my therapist, I am now starting to feel the stress I've numbed myself to previously, but I don't understand! How come I've first experienced two months of Paradise and now this? It actually makes it a lot worse that it's now worse than ever after these two wonderful months. Please help.
R. from the Netherlands