The Limits of Talk: Bessel Van der Kolk Wants to Transform the Treatment of Trauma
By Mary Sykes Wylie
The Politics of PTSD: How a Diagnosis Battled Its Way into the DSM
By Mary Sykes Wylie
Bringing the War Home: The Challenge of Helping Iraqi War Vets
By Cecilia Capuzzi Simon
Creating a Culture of Healing: Recovering from Trauma in War-Ravaged Gaza
By James Gordon
Applying the Brakes: In Trauma Treatment, Safety Is Essential
By Babette Rothschild
The End of Innocence: Reconsidering Our Concepts of Victimhood
By Dusty Miller
Content Search Overview: Therapists, social workers, counselors and others found these articles helpful in learning more about the effects of trauma. People searching for information on the following terms and concepts found these articles helpful:
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Sample from: The Limits of Talk, by Mary Sykes Wylie
And what was the treatment that he felt was not really helping his patients to move on? It was standard talk therapy 101--helping them explore their thoughts and feelings--supplemented with group therapy and medications. During individual sessions with clients, he often focused intensely on patients' past traumas, in the interest of getting them to process and integrate their memories. "I very quickly went to people's trauma, and many of my patients actually got worse rather than better," he says. "There was an increase in suicide attempts. Some of my colleagues even told me that they didn't trust me as a therapist."
The fundamental conundrum of how trauma affects the mind and body that still plays out in treating trauma survivors was already crystallizing in van der Kolk's mind 20 years ago. "When people get close to reexperiencing their trauma, they get so upset that they can no longer speak," he says. "It seemed to me then that we needed to find some way to access their trauma, but help them stay physiologically quiet enough to tolerate it, so they didn't freak out or shut down in treatment. It was pretty obvious that as long as people just sat and moved their tongues around, there wasn't enough real change."
From Psychotherapy Networker, January/February 2004
Sample from: Creating a Culture of Healing, by James Gordon
Afterward, we share our drawings. Ali, a surgeon, quick-moving and humorous, begins. In his first drawing, he's alone and looks confused. In the second, his four children stand in front of an Israeli soldier, who's pointing his gun at them. "I live near an Israeli settlement," he says, "and, every day, when I leave the house, I worry that something will happen to my children before I come home. Two years ago," he adds matter-of-factly, "my house was bombed." In the final picture, the one that shows the "problem solved," he's joyfully playing with his children. The occupation is over and the Israeli soldiers have gone home. "I'm thankful to God," he concludes.
Several others hold up their own pictures of endangered children, assuring me that they didn't have to copy from each other. "This is our biggest concern," Mahmoud says. "Everyone worries about their children, every single morning when we leave for the hospital or clinic." They share memories of homes vacated on Israeli orders and destroyed, of bombs shaking their houses, of children bleeding in hospital emergency rooms. Later I think of the recent training we led in Israel, where health professionals drew their own pictures of vulnerable children traveling on buses or sitting in malls that might be attacked.
From Psychotherapy Networker, January/February 2007