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Restoring the Shattered Self: The Treatment of Complex Trauma AACC National Conference, 2014 Heather Davediuk Gingrich, Ph.D. Denver Seminary

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Presentation on theme: "Restoring the Shattered Self: The Treatment of Complex Trauma AACC National Conference, 2014 Heather Davediuk Gingrich, Ph.D. Denver Seminary"— Presentation transcript:

1 Restoring the Shattered Self: The Treatment of Complex Trauma AACC National Conference, 2014 Heather Davediuk Gingrich, Ph.D. Denver Seminary

2 My Background in this Specialization  Sexual abuse survivors  Dissociative disorders  Other trauma survivors (see Gingrich, 2002)  Research on dissociation and trauma in the Philippines  Recognition of overlap in treatment techniques

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4 Trauma Field  Posttraumatic Stress Disorder - even single exposure - natural disasters - rape incident - witnessing violence - combat veterans - primarily cognitive- behavioral treatments - International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS)  Complex Traumatic Stress Disorder (Disorders of Extreme Stress) - multiple exposures - incest survivors - child abuse and rape - multi-faceted treatment approaches - International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD) Trauma Psychology, Division 56, APA

5 Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: DSM-V Criteria  Exposure to traumatic event  Intrusive Symptoms (at least 1)  Avoidance Symptoms (at least 1)  Negative Alterations in Cognitions and Mood (2 or more)  Alterations in arousal and reactivity (2 or more)  Symptom duration of more than 1 month  Clinically significant distress/impairment in functioning  Specifiers – With dissociative symptoms (depersonalization or derealization – With delayed expression American Psychiatric Association, 2013

6 DSM-5 – Change in Criteria A  Sexual assault listed as a possible traumatic event  Response of fear, helplessness, or horror no longer included

7 DSM-5 – Additional Symptom Cluster  Negative thoughts and mood or feelings – a persistent and distorted sense of blame of self or others – estrangement from others or markedly diminished interest in activities – an inability to remember key aspects of the event.

8 DSM-5 PTSD Dissociative Subtype  chosen when PTSD is seen with prominent dissociative symptoms – depersonalization experiences of feeling detached from one’s own mind or body – derealization experiences in which the world seems unreal, dreamlike or distorted.

9 DSM-5-Definition of Dissociation Disruption of and/or discontinuity in the normal integration of consciousness, memory, identity, emotion, perception, body representation, motor control, and behavior. Simply put: Dissociation is compartmentalization, or disconnection among aspects of self and experience Normal versus Pathological Dissociation

10 Why Talk About Dissociation?  Used by victims of all kinds of trauma  There is a link between both peritraumatic dissociation and PTSD, in addition to a well-documented association between trauma and posttraumatic dissociation (see Gingrich, 2005)  Dissociative subtype of PTSD in DSM-5  Explanation for why treatment techniques for dissociative disorders can also be helpful for other trauma survivorsDSM-5 now lists a dissociative subtype

11 CONTINUUM OF DISSOCIATION NORMAL DISSOCIA- TIVE EPISODE ACUTE STRESS DISORDER (up to 4 wks.) POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (4 weeks +) DISSOCIA- TIVE DISORDER NOT OTHERWISE SPECIFIED DISSOCIA- TIVE IDENTITY DISORDER hypnosis ego states automatisms childhood imaginary play fear/terror repression highway hypnosis sleepwalking ! mystical/ religious experiences (e.g., meditation, ecstatic experiences) flashbacks numbness, detachment, absence of emotional response reduced awareness of surroundings (dazed) derealization depersonalization amnesia for aspects of the trauma Dissociative amnesia Dissociative fugue Depersonali -zation disorder DDNOS with features of DID Polyfrag- mented DDNOS Dissociative trance disorder Possession trance disorder DID Polyfrag- mented DID Adapted from Braun, B. G. (1988)

12 Developing the Capacity to Dissociate  We are born unintegrated (i.e., dissociated)  Healthy attachment leads to integration of behavioral states  Impact of child abuse  Dissociation as a defense  Mental disorder - dissociative disorder/other disorder with dissociative symptoms Putnam, 1997

13 Attachment Style and Dissociation  Attuned, “good enough” parenting Secure attachment style Integration of self-states  Inattentive/neglectful/abusive parenting Insecure (Ambivalent/Disorganized) attachment style Dissociated self-states (Gingrich, 2013)

14 Dissociative Symptoms  Amnesia: A specific and significant block of time that has passed but that cannot be accounted for by memory  Depersonalization: Sense of detachment from one’s self, e.g., a sense of looking at one’s self as if one is an outsider  Derealization: A feeling that one’s surroundings are strange or unreal.  Identity confusion: Subjective feelings of uncertainty, puzzlement, or conflict about one’s identity  Identity alteration: Objective behavior indicating the assumption of different identities or ego states, much more distinct than different roles Steinberg (1994).

15 DSM-V Diagnoses Related to Dissociation  Dissociative disorders – Dissociative amnesia – Depersonalization/derealization disorder – Dissociative identity disorder (DID) – Dissociative disorder not otherwise specified  Selected other disorders with significant dissociative symptoms – Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – Somatic symptom and related disorders – Schizophrenia – Borderline personality disorder (BPD) – Others (e.g., eating and feeding, anxiety)

16 BASK MODEL OF DISSOCIATION  B ehavior  A ffect (emotions)  S ensation (physical)  K nowledge Full, integrated memory includes all four re-associated components. Braun, 1988

17 BASK - K NOWLEDGE  Trauma survivor has full or partial cognitive knowledge of traumatic event  Cognitive knowledge of the trauma is dissociated from behavior, affect and sensation  Generally what people mean when they say “I remember”

18 BASK - B EHAVIOR  Behavior is dissociated from other aspects of memory  Individual acts in a certain manner without knowing why  Examples: -avoiding intimate relationships -vomiting after sexual intercourse -dislike of particular foods

19 BASK - A FFECT  Affect is dissociated from other aspects of memory  Example: feeling of fear for no apparent reason

20 BASK – A FFECT (continued)  There are no feelings attached to the cognitive knowledge of the memory -flat affect -matter-of-fact tone of voice e.g., can talk about being raped as though discussing the heat of the coming summer

21 BASK - S ENSATION  Physical sensation is dissociated from other aspects of memory  Individual may have cognitive knowledge of the traumatic event, be aware of related affect, and understand some behavior, but not remember the pain or pleasure associated with the trauma  Examples: -body memories – physical symptoms such as bleeding or severe pain occur in the present but are unexplained -sexual excitement

22 Behavior Affect Sensation Knowledge Behavior Affect Sensation Knowledge Behavior Affect Sensation Knowledge BASK Model Gingrich, H. D., 2013, p. 107

23 Three-Phase Treatment Process

24  Premature trauma processing can lead to destabilization – Hospitalization – Inability to function in job – Difficulty parenting – Basic coping capacities can be overwhelmed Rationale for Phase-Oriented Model

25  Phase I – Safety and Stabilization  Phase II – Processing of Traumatic Memories  Phase III – Consolidation and Restoration Three Phases

26  Safety within the Therapeutic Relationship – Developing rapport Facilitative conditions – Becoming a safe person Remember that every client is unique Know your limitations Give advance warning – Remaining a safe person Keep appropriate therapeutic boundaries Consult Protect confidentiality Phase I – Safety and Stabilization

27  Safety from Others Identifying healthy vs. unhealthy relationships Helping clients find physical safety Phase I – Safety and Stabilization …2

28  Making sense of symptoms – Symptoms as attempts at coping – Warning signals  Therapeutic use of dissociation – Potentially assess use of dissociation Somataform Dissociation Questionnaire (SDQ-5 or SDQ-20) (Nijenhuis, 1999) Dissociative Experiences Scale-II (DES-II) (Putnam, 1997) Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Dissociative Disorders-Revised (SCID-D-R) (Steinberg, 1993) – Use of parts of self language – Contracting symptom management day to day activities suicide – Ideomotor signaling Safety from Self and Symptoms

29  Readiness for Phase II Work  Memory Work – Nature of memory – Accessing dissociated memories Deciding where to start When specific memories do not surface – Is memory recovery the goal? – Facilitating the integration of experience The importance of details Titrating the process Extent to which reexperiencing is necessary Grounding techniques Checking in Memory containment Structuring the session and counseling relationship Phase II - Processing of Traumatic Memories

30 Behavior Affect Sensation Knowledge Behavior Affect Sensation Knowledge Behavior Affect Sensation Knowledge BASK Model Gingrich, H. D., 2013, p. 107

31  Facilitating Integration of Self and Identity  Working through Intense Emotions – General principles – Understanding and dealing with specific emotions Mourning: Denial, anger, and depression Guilt, shame, and self-hatred Fear of abandonment Anxiety, terror, and fear  Roadblocks for counselors  Keeping Perspective Phase II - Processing of Traumatic Memories (cont’d)

32 Levels of Integration of Self No Integration Partial IntegrationFull Integration Gingrich, H. D., 2013, p. 121

33 Integration of Self and Experience Gingrich, H. D., 2013, p. 122

34 Is the Goal Full Integration?  Immediate goal is better functioning  Some highly dissociative clients never fully integrate – May be afraid to (i.e., fear of death of parts of self) – Too much work and time  The process of integration can begin to happen from the beginning of therapy

35 Dealing with Spiritual Issues (1)  All phases, but particularly Phases II and III  Gradual, often difficult process  Allow client to set pace  Often are questions re: why God did not protect from the trauma  In time clients can often see that God was there, and is currently involved in their healing process  In highly dissociative clients, some parts of self may have a relationship with Christ, while others may not – E.g., internal Bible study

36 Dealing with Spiritual Issues (2)  Distinguish between parts of self and demonic – Ultimately gift of discernment necessary – Potentially VERY destructive to attempt deliverance ministry  If any kind of deliverance/exorcism ritual is decided upon make sure that the following factors are incorporated (Bull, Ellason, & Ross, 1998) : – Permission of the individual – Noncoercion – Active participation by the individual – Understanding of DID dynamics by those in charge – Implementation of the procedure within the context of psychotherapy  See my article “Not all voices are demonic” (Gingrich, 2005b)

37  Consolidating changes  Development of new coping strategies  Learning to live as an integrated whole  Navigating changing relationships – Marriage and parenting – Friendships – Relationship to God and church congregations – Community – Family of origin  Employment  Confronting the perpetrator  Forgiveness Phase III – Consolidation and Resolution

38 How the Church Can Help  Educating about CTSD  Providing emotional and spiritual support – Formal care – Groups – Lay counseling – Mentoring, spiritual direction and life coaching – Assigned helpers – Informal care  Churches and Christian mental health professionals in partnership

39 References  American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (text revision). Washington, DC: Author.  American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, (5 th ed). Washington, DC: Author.  Braun (1988). The BASK model of dissociation: Clinical applications. Dissociation, 1(2),  Bull, D., Ellason, J., & Ross, C. (1998). Exorcism revisited: Some positive outcomes with dissociative identity disorder. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 26,  Carlson, E. (1997). Trauma assessments: A clinician’s guide. New York, NY: Guilford Press.  Gingrich, H. D. (2002). Stalked by Death: Cross-cultural Trauma Work with a Tribal Missionary. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 21(3),

40  Gingrich, H. D. (2005a). Trauma and dissociation in the Philippines. In G. F. Rhoades, Jr. and V. Sar (2005), Trauma and dissociation in a cross-cultural perspective: Not just a North American phenomenon. New York, NY: Haworth Press.  Gingrich, H. (2005b). Not all voices are demonic. Phronesis, (Asian Theological Seminary/Alliance Graduate School, Philippines)12,  Gingrich, H. D. (2013). Restoring the shattered self: A Christian counselor’s guide to complex trauma. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press  McFarlane, A. & Girolamo, G. (1996). The nature of traumatic stressors and the epidemiology of posttraumatic reactions. In B. A. van der Kolk, A. C. McFarlane, & L. Weisaeth (Eds.), Traumatic stress: The effects of overwhelming experience on mind, body, and society. New York, NY: Guilford Press.  Nijenhuis, E. R. S. (1999). Somatoform dissociation: Phenomena, measurement, and theoretical issues. Assen, The Netherlands: Van Gorcum.

41  Putnam, F. W. (1997). Dissociation in children and adolescents: A developmental perspective. New York, NY: Guilford Press.  Steinberg, M. (1993). Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Dissociative Disorders (SCID-D). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.  van der Kolk, B. A., Weisaeth, L., & van der Hart, O. (1996). History of trauma in psychiatry. In B. A. vander Kolk, A. C. McFarlane, & L. Weisaeth (Eds.), Traumatic stress: The effects of overwhelming experience on mind, body, and society. New York: Guilford Press.


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