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Abstract

Extended connected breathing (Rebirthing-Breathwork) has been popular as a self- development tool for more than 4 decades, but has been subjected to minimal scientific research. Similarities between connected breathing and two therapeutic modalities used to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and Somatic Experiencing – suggest connected breathing to be efficacious in treating PTSD. The underlying theoretical model in these three approaches suggests that trauma is a result of the blocking or repressing of spontaneous somatic and cognitive processing. This study investigated the efficacy of connected breathing to treat PTSD in a firefighter. Pre- and posttreatment measures consisted of instruments to measure PTSD symptom-severity, anxiety, depression and heart rate variability (HRV). After 8 connected breathing sessions the participant’s PTSD and comorbid symptoms were in complete remission. Subjective reports and HRV data-analysis support the blocking/repression theory and suggest a role of the parasympathetic nervous system in the blocking of spontaneous trauma processing. In this case the original trauma appears have been a traumatic birth.

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This study presents the first known randomized controlled study evaluating the effectiveness of somatic experiencing (SE), an integrative body-focused therapy for treating people with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There were 63 participants meeting DSM-IV-TR full criteria for PTSD included. Baseline clinical interviews and self-report measures were completed by all participants, who were then randomly assigned to study (n = 33) or waitlist (n = 30) groups. Study participants began 15 weekly SE sessions, whereas waitlist participants waited the same period, after which the second evaluation was conducted. All participants were evaluated a third time after an additional 15 weeks, during which time the waitlist group received SE therapy. Pretreatment evaluation showed no significant differences between groups. Mixed model linear regression analysis showed significant intervention effects for posttraumatic symptoms severity (Cohen's d = 0.94 to 1.26) and depression (Cohen's d = 0.7 to 1.08) both pre-post and pre-follow-up. This randomized controlled study of SE shows positive results indicating SE may be an effective therapy method for PTSD. Further research is needed to understand who shall benefit most from this treatment modality.
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Background: Traumatic events are common globally; however, comprehensive population-based cross-national data on the epidemiology of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the paradigmatic trauma-related mental disorder, are lacking. Methods: Data were analyzed from 26 population surveys in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys. A total of 71 083 respondents ages 18+ participated. The Composite International Diagnostic Interview assessed exposure to traumatic events as well as 30-day, 12-month, and lifetime PTSD. Respondents were also assessed for treatment in the 12 months preceding the survey. Age of onset distributions were examined by country income level. Associations of PTSD were examined with country income, world region, and respondent demographics. Results: The cross-national lifetime prevalence of PTSD was 3.9% in the total sample and 5.6% among the trauma exposed. Half of respondents with PTSD reported persistent symptoms. Treatment seeking in high-income countries (53.5%) was roughly double that in low-lower middle income (22.8%) and upper-middle income (28.7%) countries. Social disadvantage, including younger age, female sex, being unmarried, being less educated, having lower household income, and being unemployed, was associated with increased risk of lifetime PTSD among the trauma exposed. Conclusions: PTSD is prevalent cross-nationally, with half of all global cases being persistent. Only half of those with severe PTSD report receiving any treatment and only a minority receive specialty mental health care. Striking disparities in PTSD treatment exist by country income level. Increasing access to effective treatment, especially in low- and middle-income countries, remains critical for reducing the population burden of PTSD.
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Objective: To describe the process of cross-cultural adaptation of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist 5 (PCL-5) and the Life Events Checklist 5 (LEC-5) for the Brazilian sociolinguistic context. Method: The adaptation process sought to establish conceptual, semantic, and operational equivalence between the original items of the questionnaire and their translated versions, following standardized protocols. Initially, two researchers translated the original version of the scale into Brazilian Portuguese. Next, a native English speaker performed the back-translation. Quantitative and qualitative criteria were used to evaluate the intelligibility of items. Five specialists compared the original and translated versions and assessed the degree of equivalence between them in terms of semantic, idiomatic, cultural and conceptual aspects. The degree of agreement between the specialists was measured using the content validity coefficient (CVC). Finally, 28 volunteers from the target population were interviewed in order to assess their level of comprehension of the items. Results: CVCs for items from both scales were satisfactory for all criteria. The mean comprehension scores were above the cutoff point established. Overall, the results showed that the adapted versions' items had adequate rates of equivalence in terms of concepts and semantics. Conclusions: The translation and adaptation processes were successful for both scales, resulting in versions that are not only equivalent to the originals, but are also intelligible for the population at large.
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Taken together, these papers offer evidence supporting continued research into SE. The papers on disaster response in particular, although not definitive, are strongly suggestive of the efficacy of SE as an early, low-dose, culturally flexible intervention for victims and providers in the context of natural disasters. Conflict of interest statement Peter Payne is an SE practitioner (SEP) who derives income from his practice. Peter A. Levine declares that teaching, royalties and consulting related to SE are a source of income. Mardi A. Crane-Godreau is an SEP and non-paid member of the Board of Directors of the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute™.
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Citation: Spates, C.R., Koch, E., Pagoto, S., Cusack K. & Waller, S. (2008) Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing for adults, children, and adolescents. In Foa, E., Keane, T., Friedman, M., and Cohen, J. Effective Treatments for PTSD, Guilford Press, p. 279 ff. ISBN 1606230018, 9781606230015.
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Here we present a theory of human trauma and chronic stress, based on the practice of Somatic Experiencing(®) (SE), a form of trauma therapy that emphasizes guiding the client's attention to interoceptive, kinesthetic, and proprioceptive experience. SE™ claims that this style of inner attention, in addition to the use of kinesthetic and interoceptive imagery, can lead to the resolution of symptoms resulting from chronic and traumatic stress. This is accomplished through the completion of thwarted, biologically based, self-protective and defensive responses, and the discharge and regulation of excess autonomic arousal. We present this theory through a composite case study of SE treatment; based on this example, we offer a possible neurophysiological rationale for the mechanisms involved, including a theory of trauma and chronic stress as a functional dysregulation of the complex dynamical system formed by the subcortical autonomic, limbic, motor and arousal systems, which we term the core response network (CRN). We demonstrate how the methods of SE help restore functionality to the CRN, and we emphasize the importance of taking into account the instinctive, bodily based protective reactions when dealing with stress and trauma, as well as the effectiveness of using attention to interoceptive, proprioceptive and kinesthetic sensation as a therapeutic tool. Finally, we point out that SE and similar somatic approaches offer a supplement to cognitive and exposure therapies, and that mechanisms similar to those discussed in the paper may also be involved in the benefits of meditation and other somatic practices.
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This paper clarifies the conditions under which prenatal experiences produce lifelong effects and describes the perspectives necessary to understand the effects of prenatal traumatization.
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A new non-linear method of assessing cardiac autonomic function was examined in a pharmacological experiment in ten healthy volunteers. The R-R interval data obtained under a control condition and in autonomic blockade by atropine and by propranolol were analyzed by each of the new methods employing Lorenz plot, spectral analysis and the coefficient of variation. With our method we derived two measures, the cardiac vagal index and the cardiac sympathetic index, which indicate vagal and sympathetic function separately. These two indices were found to be more reliable than those obtained by the other two methods. We anticipate that the non-invasive assessment of short-term cardiac autonomic function will come to be performed more reliably and conveniently by this method.
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