• The Work of Stabilization in Trauma Treatment
  • The author believes that in order to appropriately help trauma patients the therapist must take an active role. She offers a model of psychoeducation for the therapist to follow. She believes that with this psychoeducation the patient will feel empowered. The model includes helping the patient ground himself, creating contracts, and learning to stay in the present. The author provides specific suggestions of these tools and how to implement them. ...

  • The Long-Term Costs of Traumatic Stress: Intertwined Physical and Psychological Consequences
  • The gradual emergence of symptoms following exposure to traumatic events has presented a major conceptual challenge to psychiatry. The mechanism that causes the progressive escalation of symptoms with the passage of time leading to delayed onset post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) involves the process of sensitization and kindling. The development of traumatic memories at the time of stress exposure represents a major vulnerability through repeated environmental triggering of the increasing dysregulation of an individual’s neurobiology. An increasing body of evidence demonstrates how the increased allostatic load associated with PTSD is associated with a significant body of physical morbidity in the form of chronic musculoskeletal pain, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, obesity and cardiovascular disease. This increasing body of literature suggests that the effects of traumatic stress need to be considered as a major environmental challenge that places individual’s physical and psychological health equally at risk. This broader perspective has important implications for developing treatments that address the underlying dysregulation of cortical arousal and neurohormonal abnormalities following exposure to traumatic stress. ...

  • The Body Keeps the Score: Brain Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma
  • Dr. van der Kolk describes the effects of trauma in the body, brain and mind. A particular emphasis is put in the bodily manifestations of trauma and the fact the traumatic past events remain in the body as a present threat. He discusses the uselessness of traditional therapeutic techniques and introduces EMDR as a successful treatment for PTSD, explaining its technique, how it works and presenting some data that supports its effectiveness. As a conclusion, Dr. van der Kolk says that the aim of treating PTSD is to deactivate trauma and reset the limbic system, allowing for a reconnection with the body....

  • Developmental Trauma Disorder: Towards a Rational Diagnosis For Children With Complex Histories
  • Childhood trauma , including abuse and neglect, is probably our nation’s single most important public health challenge, a challenge that has the potential to be largely resolved by appropriate prevention and intervention. Each year over 3,000,000 children are reported to the authorities for abuse and/ or neglect in the United States of which about one million are substantiated. Many thousands m o re undergo traumatic medical and surgical procedures, and are victims of accidents and of comunity violence. However, most trauma begins at home: the vast majority of people (about 80 %) responsible for child maltreatment are children’s own parents. One of van der Kolk’s most important contributions has been his effort to alert the field to the frequent occurance of developmental trauma (aka complex trauma) and his (still frustrated) attempts to have it become a recognized diagnosis. In this article he describes the central role of affect regulation, the dynamics of childhood trauma, it’s prevalence in the etiology of psychiatric illness and treatment implications. ...

  • Working with the Neurobiological Legacy of Early Trauma
  • The author describes how the brain reacts to trauma. She then discusses the long-term effects of trauma on a person’s neurobiology; she uses neurobiology, in turn, to inform how therapy should be conducted for those affected by trauma. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is offered as a means to help clients overcome their trauma....

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