VIDEO: What's New in Trauma Treatment?

Best Practices and More

Mary Jo Barrett

Has anything changed in the way we classify trauma? Does anything need to change in terms of how we treat it?

According to therapist Mary Jo Barrett, yes. We're living in a constant state of possible traumatization, she says, under the threat of gun violence, terrorism, and war. In the following interview with Networker assistant editor Chris Lyford, she explains why and how our approach to treating trauma needs to change with the times.

Mary Jo Barrett, MSW, is the founder and director of the Center for Contextual Change and the coauthor of Treating Complex Trauma: A Relational Blueprint for Collaboration and Change and The Systemic Treatment of Incest.

As Barrett explains, "we need to look at [trauma] more contextually and less individually"—including how it's impacting our communities, the wider world, and our relationships at home. Our clients, she adds, desperately need us to widen our focus. "If you're going to treat trauma," she adds, "you really have to treat all the areas where a person feels devalued."


Stay tuned for more of Barrett's clinical wisdom in our upcoming video blogs!

Did you enjoy this video? Check out our articles on Trauma, or read more about how trauma treatment has evolved over the past 25 years in Janina Fisher's "Putting the Pieces Together." You might also enjoy Mary Sykes Wylie's, "The Long Shadow of Trauma," in which we confront why childhood abuse may be our number one public health issue.

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Topic: Trauma

Tags: 2018 | chris lyford | Couples & Family | family counseling | group support | group therapy | groups | Mary Jo Barrett | post-traumatic stress disorder ptsd | Trauma | trauma recovery | trauma treatment | Traumatic memory | traumatized clients | treating trauma

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1 Comment

Saturday, July 13, 2019 8:04:31 PM | posted by David Bullard, PH.D.
Brief and well expressed discussion of the importance of dealing with contextual and systemic factors in addressing trauma. Although it is a newly developed (since mid-2016) technique derived from (but also apart from) EMDR, the Flash Technique ( as written about by Phil Manfield and Lewis Engel, is the most exciting, effective, simple and rapid technique - a visualization utilizing memory reconsolidation - that I have encountered in 40 plus years of working with trauma. (I am the colleague of the originators, but have no financial involvement with their work). So far, 4,000 EMDR therapists from around the world have taken their webinar or workshop. If your clients have disturbing memories or even PTSD, I encourage you to check out the Flash Technique. David Bullard, PH.D., SEP, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry (Medical Psychology) and Medicine, UCSF.