Dissociation reduction in body therapy during sexual abuse recovery.

University of Washington, Box 357263, Seattle, WA 98105, USA.
Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 05/2007; 13(2):116-28. DOI: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2006.08.004
Source: PubMed


The study purpose was to examine dissociation in body therapy for women receiving psychotherapy for childhood sexual abuse. An initial intervention study provided an opportunity to examine dissociation; the sample of 24 women received eight, 1-h body therapy sessions. The Dissociative Experiences Scale served as the predictor variable, and the outcome measures reflected psychological and physical health, and body connection. Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to examine dissociation reduction across time. Pearson correlations were used to describe associations between the relative change in dissociation and outcomes. The results demonstrated that the greatest change was the reduction of dissociation; there was an incremental effect across time and a strong association between change in dissociation and health outcomes. High dissociation at baseline (moderate levels) predicted positive outcomes. The results demonstrated the importance of moderate dissociation as an indicator of distress, and the central role of dissociation reduction in health and healing.

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Available from: Cynthia Price, Oct 04, 2015
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    • "ARTICLE IN PRESS mechanism for coping with the pain of the abuse. This may explain the high rate of psychosomatic complaints and reliance on medical services, sexual problems and emotional dysregulation often apparent in individuals with histories of severe trauma [8]. Therefore, trauma-oriented psychotherapy aims not only at the relief of trauma-related PTSD symptoms but also at the psychosomatic reintegration. "
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    ABSTRACT: A coherent body image is constituted in an interpersonal process during early development. Violations of body self-boundaries (e.g., sexual traumatizations during childhood) could alter the development of a coherent body image and promote symptoms of dissociation and somatization. A total of 240 psychosomatic outpatients underwent a clinical diagnostic interview and a psychometric evaluation including the Posttraumatic Stress Scale (PDS), the Body Image Questionnaire (FKB-20), an inventory of somatoform symptoms (SOMS-7), the Brief Symptom Questionnaire (BSI) and the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES). Subjects were assigned to one of the following subgroups according to their self-reported trauma status: "nontraumatized," "nonsexually traumatized" and "sexually traumatized". Nonsexual traumatizations were more often reported by men (53.4% vs. 35.9%), whereas women more often reported sexual traumatization (9.6% vs. 33.5%). Women reporting sexual traumatizations showed a significantly higher negative validation of their own body and significantly more psychological symptoms (BSI-GSI), whereas both men and women with sexual traumatizations reported significantly more somatoform complaints and more dissociative symptoms when compared with nonsexual or nontraumatized patients. Victims of sexual trauma suffer from a more complex symptom pattern including a more negative perception of their own body compared with patients with nonsexual trauma or no trauma.
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    ABSTRACT: Preliminary studies of body therapy for women in trauma recovery suggest positive results but are not specific to women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain. To examine the feasibility and acceptability of body-oriented therapy for female veterans with PTSD and chronic pain taking prescription analgesics. A 2-group, randomized, repeated-measures design was employed. Female veterans (N=14) were recruited from a Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system in the Northwest United States (VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, Washington). Participants were assigned to either treatment as usual (TAU) or treatment as usual and 8 weekly individual body-oriented therapy sessions (mindful awareness in body-oriented therapy group). Written questionnaires and interviews were used to assess intervention acceptability; reliable and valid measures were administered at 3 time points to evaluate measurement acceptability and performance; and within-treatment process measures and a participant post-intervention questionnaire assessed treatment fidelity. A body-oriented therapy protocol, "Mindful Awareness in Body-oriented Therapy" (MABT) was used. This is a mind-body approach that incorporates massage, mindfulness, and the emotional processing of psychotherapy. Over 10 weeks of recruitment, 31 women expressed interest in study participation. The primary reason for exclusion was the lack of prescription analgesic use for chronic pain. Study participants adhered to study procedures, and 100% attended at least 7 of 8 sessions; all completed in-person post-treatment assessment. Written questionnaires about intervention experience suggest increased tools for pain relief/relaxation, increased body/mind connection, and increased trust/safety. Ten of 14 responded to mailed 3-month follow-up. The response-to-process measures indicated the feasibility of implementing the manualized protocol and point to the need for longer sessions and a longer intervention period with this population.
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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to extreme stress in a traumatic event such as sexual abuse, crime, war and disasters may lead to a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Symptoms of PTSD are hyperarousal, intrusions, and avoidance of reminders of the memories related to the traumatic event. PTSD clients can experience disturbances in body experience, which can be improved by body-oriented interventions. So far there was only limited evidence for the effectiveness of body-oriented interventions. Therefore, this study examined the effects of body-oriented interventions on body experience and PTSD symptoms with a quasi-experimental design with pre- and post-test measurement and a control group. The experimental group (n=15) received 12 sessions of body-oriented interventions in addition to the treatment as usual. The control group (n=17) was treated as usual. At follow up, the experimental group showed a healthier body image and enjoyed better physical contact than the control group. No significant differences were found between the groups regarding body esteem, hyperarousal, avoidance and intrusion. Although general PTSD problems were not reduced, bodyoriented interventions seem to be a useful addition to the treatment of PTSD because the improved body image and enjoyment of physical contact may lead to an improved quality of life.
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