A Psychodynamic Approach to Trauma and PTSD – Mervin Smucker (2015)
February 10, 2015
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The central focus of psychodynamic therapy with trauma and PTSD is to reconcile the traumatic event(s) and to complete information processing of the trauma in a supportive environment. Horowitz (1979, 1986) developed a brief psychodynamic therapy directed at the discontinuation of traumatic symptomatology and not at achieving personality change. He theorized that when overcontrol (e.g., avoidance behaviours, denial, emotional numbness) becomes overwhelming, undercontrol (intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares) results as a failed defensive mechanism. In short, until traumatized individuals develop some insight into the conscious and unconscious meaning of their precipitating symptoms, high emotional intensity associated with their traumatic memory registry will likely continue to repeat itself.
Dr. Mervin Smucker is an international trauma consultant and author of numerous articles and books on trauma and cognitive-behavioural therapy interventions.