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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    • "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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