Format: Audio MP3 file download $16 - Compact Disc $20
Presenter: Eric Vermetten, MD
Is there a place for hypnosis in trauma? This workshop will build a framework for the utilization of hypnotic techniques in the treatment of patients with trauma-related disorders. Focus will first be on the landscape of trauma, the history, relation with war, current state of the art science, the phenomenology of trauma symptoms, and current treatments for posttraumatic stress disorders.
The role of hypnosis in traumatic recall is a caveat and at the same time a promise for patients with trauma related disorders. Traumatized individuals, with trauma related psychopathology like PTSD, or other trauma-related disorders can alternate among states of consciousness. In most cases, the patients experience their trauma over and over again as if it were happening on the spot. This is a population that has been shown to be generally highly hypnotizable. Those with PTSD can use their hypnotic capacity to block pain, alter time perception or modify their affective response in a situation of traumatic recall. Hypnotic treatment allows modifying ownership and agency of traumatic memories.
Hypnosis in treatment of PTSD is often embedded in a phase-oriented approach in which three elements need to be timed sequentially: a. symptom stabilization; relaxation based, anxiety management, w/o medication, b. exposure; ?working through? the trauma, abreaction and alternatives to abreaction, c. closure; usually with ritual, providing a perspective. Perhaps the most powerful contribution of hypnosis to the treatment of PTSD which makes it the treatment of choice for experienced clinicians is the ability of hypnosis to facilitate emotional catharsis as a form of release therapy. The challenge for a patient is to learn to control the spontaneous hypnotic disposition by means of psychotherapeutic interventions that addresses self-hypnosis, and is embedded in a stepwise/graded program of release of the unbound affect, with the elements of symptom stabilization, exposure, and closure.
We will talk about PTSD and psychotherapy and the way in which hypnosis can be used to release unbound affect and also allow to learn to control dissociative flashbacks, as well as other techniques that can be embedded in evidence based therapies for PTSDs.