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trauma treatment models.




Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) is a form of psychotherapy with roots in existing evidence-based therapies but shown to achieve benefits much more rapidly (usually within 1-5 sessions). Clients with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, sexual abuse and many other mental and physical conditions can experience remarkable benefits starting in the first session. ART is not hypnosis. - ART Website

AEDP (Accelerated Experiential-Dynamic Psychotherapy) is a transformation-based, healing-oriented model of psychotherapy developed by Dr. Diana Fosha. Our aim is to foster the emergence of new and healing emotional experiences for and with our patients. Intense emotional experience and suffering are part and parcel of being alive; they are also—if properly regulated—the pathways to resources and resilience. But when these experiences, bad or good, threaten to overwhelm us, we need others to help us regulate them. Being alone with unbearable emotions is at the root of psychopathology. When relationships fail to help regulate what is too much to bear alone, people resort to defensive strategies. Long-term reliance on these defenses disrupts growth and development, blocks access to adaptive resources, and contributes to the pain and difficulties that lead people to seek treatment. In Accelerated Experiential-Dynamic Psychotherapy, our goal is to be together with our patients as they process intense emotional experiences which were previously feared, be they painful or joyful. Furthermore, we are not just bundles of pathology: Lodged deeply in our brains and bodies lie innate, wired-in dispositions for healing and self-righting. Accelerated Experiential-Dynamic Psychotherapy also aims to activate these naturally occurring, adaptive change processes. When the self has reason to hope that a relationship has such potential, defenses can be put aside and individuals can risk leading with their genuine, spontaneous responses. It is what Accelerated Experiential-Dynamic Psychotherapy seeks to facilitate through its affirming, emotionally engaged therapeutic stance and its relational, experiential, and integrative techniques.

~Excerpt from Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy

Developed within a coherent theoretical and philosophical framework, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a unique empirically based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behavior change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility means contacting the present moment fully as a conscious human being, and based on what the situation affords, changing or persisting in behavior in the service of chosen values. Based on Relational Frame Theory, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy illuminates the ways that language entangles clients into futile attempts to wage war against their own inner lives. Through metaphor, paradox, and experiential exercises clients learn how to make healthy contact with thoughts, feelings, memories, and physical sensations that have been feared and avoided. Clients gain the skills to recontextualize and accept these private events, develop greater clarity about personal values, and commit to needed behavior change"

~Excerpt from Acceptance & Commitment Therapy

Adaptive Internal Relational (AIR) Network therapy is a neuro-developmental, competency-based model of therapy developed over the past 20 years by Dawn McClelland Phd, LP, Patti Miller MA LP and Phyllis Solon PsyD, LP.   The Adaptive Internal Relational (AIR) Network model is primarily oriented towards giving people the freedom to engage fully with themselves and in relationships with others.  Clients who live with complex neuro-dissociative states, a developmental-neurological organization of experience, have very different relational and therapeutic needs than those who have trauma histories without more complex types of dissociation.  When working with these more complexly organized clients, Adaptive Internal Relational Networks, mandatory for safety and multi-directional attention to be mastered, need to be built and solidified over time. Interactive Adult Awareness/Most Resourced Self  is a critical piece of the Adaptive Internal Relational Network that must be developed for healing to occur. Most of the AIR Resourcing Strategies initially focus on building clients’ abilities to develop an internal stance where there is at least a neutral noticing and awareness.  Overtime these internal relationships move towards more cooperation and caring, which allow them to also connect externally without violating themselves or others.

Brainspotting is a powerful, focused treatment method that works by identifying, processing and releasing core neurophysiological sources of emotional/body pain, trauma, dissociation and a variety of other challenging symptoms. Brainspotting is a simultaneous form of diagnosis and treatment, enhanced with Biolateral sound, which is deep, direct, and powerful yet focused and containing. - From Brainspotting Website

Hypnotherapy for PTSD is an evidence-based treatment and can effectively treat the symptoms as well as the underlying causes. The people who have the most severe PTSD symptoms and who will likely benefit greatly from hypnotherapy are people who have had previous trauma or stressful experiences during childhood. Here are some of the unique ways that hypnotherapy is effectively used in the treatment of PTSD:

  • Immediate installation of powerful stress reduction exercises that can be recorded so the PTSD client can replay recordings of these exercises daily or as often as needed after leaving the treatment facility

    Titration of symptoms so that the PTSD client can slowly reduce his or her reactions to the common triggers

    Identifying each trigger so that the client experiences more control of situations in their life

    Hypnotherapy to go even deeper into individual memories to see if other, previous stressful events are adding fuel to the PTSD wildfire

CPT involves a structured, sequenced approach to address the unique needs of each patient suffering from PTSD and/or depression. Specifically, CPT is a short-term treatment that may work in as few as 12 treatment sessions. Of course, treatment may be prov ided for longer periods depending on each individual's needs. Sessions address the following issues:   Educating patients about PTSD and explaining the nature of their symptoms; Helping patients explore how traumatic events have affected their lives; Learning about connections between trauma-related thoughts, feelings, and behaviors; Remembering the traumatic event and experiencing the emotions associated with it; Increasing patients' ability to challenge maladaptive thoughts about the trauma; Helping patients increase their understanding of unhelpful thinking patterns and learn new, healthier ways of thinking; and; Facilitating patients' exploration of how each of 5 core themes have been affected by their traumatic experiences

The Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM) is a neuro-biologically based trauma treatment model which facilitates targeting of traumatic experiences by bridging the most primitive aspects of the person and their brain, to their purest, healthiest part of the self.  This bridge catalyzes the mind and body to access all forms of emotional trauma and stress by utilizing layers of internal resources such as attachment neurobiology, breathwork skills, somatic resources, our connection to the natural world, toning and sacred geometry, and one’s relationship with self, our intuition, and higher consciousness.  The sequencing and combination of these resources, and the eye positions that anchor them, provide the opportunity for fear responses to be cleared thoroughly while the client is fully aware and present moment to moment. CRM allows individuals to effectively orient fully towards the most frightening material, uniquely accessing and clearing the origin of the split second moments of intolerable affect that result in defense responses which lead to life-interfering symptoms, addictions, and disconnection from self and others. The potential for clearing neurobiological debris from the nervous system clears the way for positive neuro-plasticity and personal expansion whether that is seen as spiritual or otherwise, and which is separate from one’s history of pain and woundedness.

The Developmental Needs Meeting Strategy (DNMS) is an ego state therapy designed to treat a wide range of clients, symptoms, and issues. This includes adults with complex trauma wounds, such as those inflicted by physical, sexual, and verbal abuse; and with attachment wounds, such as those inflicted by parental rejection, neglect, and enmeshment. The DNMS is based on the assumption that the degree to which developmental needs were not adequately met is the degree to which a client is stuck in childhood. It starts by guiding clients to establish three internal Resources: a Nurturing Adult Self, a Protective Adult Self, and a Spiritual Core Self. Together these Resources gently help wounded child ego states get unstuck from the past by meeting their unmet developmental needs, helping them process through painful emotions, and by establishing an emotional bond. Alternating bilateral stimulation (made popular by EMDR therapy) is applied at key points in the process. The DNMS focuses special attention on healing maladaptive introjects (ego states that mimic abusive, neglectful, or dysfunctional caregivers). Since these wounded ego states cause the most trouble for clients, their healing results in a significant benefit. As introjects heal, clients report unwanted behaviors, beliefs, and emotions diminish.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a specific type of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy developed in the late 1980s by psychologist Marsha M. Linehan to help better treat borderline personality disorder. Since its development, it has also been used for the treatment of other kinds of mental health disorders.

DBT is not a model for processing and treating trauma, but can be very helpful in developing coping and self-soothing strategies, that enable more effective treatment of trauma.

Energy Psychology provides simple methods for shifting brain patterns that lead to unwanted thoughts, feelings, and actions. Drawing from ancient healing traditions, it has been called "psychological acupuncture without the needles." The approach combines psychological techniques with tapping on acupuncture points that send signals to the brain that change dysfunctional responses. While still controversial, recent research has been establishing it as one of the most promising clinical innovations on the horizon. Variations include EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), TFT (Thought Field Therapy), and TAT (Tapas Acupuncture Technique), among numerous other formats.

Experiential Play Therapy® is a model of play therapy with a strong belief in the child’s quest for health. Only the child knows their particular perceptions of their life’s dilemmas. Therefore, in Experiential Play Therapy, the child is allowed to be the director of the play. In that process, they will utilize toys and their own creativity to recreate their experience in an environment that enables them to approach their struggles so that they are able to regain the power that has been lost in the actual event or environment. The therapist becomes a partner in the child’s quest, assuming whatever role the child requests. This play is active, as the child and therapist use body movements to expel the stress of the experience and empower the child to move forward.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a late-stage, trauma resolution method. Developed in the late 1980's, EMDR currently has more scientific research as a treatment for trauma than any other non-pharmaceutical intervention. Based on empirical evidence as well as thousands of client and clinician testimonials, EMDR has proven an efficacious and rapid method of reprocessing traumatic material.

Focusing is a mode of inward bodily attention that most people don’t know about yet. It is more than being in touch with your feelings and different from bodywork. Focusing occurs exactly at the interface of body-mind. It consists of specific steps for getting a body sense of how you are in a particular life situation. The body sense is unclear and vague at first, but if you pay attention it will open up into words or images and you experience a felt shift in your body. In the process of Focusing, one experiences a physical change in the way that the issue is being lived in the body. We learn to live in a deeper place than just thoughts or feelings. The whole issue looks different and new solutions arise. What are the benefits of focusing? Focusing helps to change where our lives are stuck. The felt shift that occurs during Focusing is good for the body, and is correlated with better immune functioning. More than 100 research studies have shown that Focusing is teachable and effective in many settings. Focusing decreases depression and anxiety and improves the relation to the body.

Gestalt therapy focuses on here-and-now experience and personal responsibility. The objective, in addition to overcoming symptoms, is to become more alive, creative, and free from the blocks of unfinished issues that may diminish optimum satisfaction, fulfillment, and growth. The theory of Gestalt therapy takes as its centerpiece two ideas. The first is that the proper focus of psychology is the experiential present moment. In contrast to approaches which look at the unknown and even unknowable, our perspective is the here and now of living. The second idea is that we are inextricably caught in a web of relationship with all things. It is only possible to truly know ourselves as we exist in relation to other things. These twin lenses, here-and-now awareness and the interactive field, define the subject matter of Gestalt therapy. Its theory provides a system of concepts describing the structure and organization of living in terms of aware relations. Its methodology, techniques, and applications . . . link this outlook to the practice of Gestalt therapy. The result is a psychology and method with a rich and unique view of everyday life, the depths and difficulties which life encompasses, and “the high side of normal,” the ennobling and most creative heights of which we are capable. Gestalt therapists believe their approach is uniquely capable of responding to the difficulties and challenges of living, both in its ability to relieve us of some measure of our misery and by showing the way to some of the best we can achieve.

~Excerpt from: Assoc. for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy

Internal Family Systems Therapy is a comprehensive approach to healing trauma and other related symptoms that includes guidelines for working with individuals, couples and families. The Internal Family Systems Therapy Model represents a new synthesis of two already existing paradigms: systems thinking and the multiplicity of the mind. It brings concepts and methods from the structural, strategic, narrative, and Bowenian schools of family therapy to the world of subpersonalities. Internal Family Systems Therapy provides practical methods to recognize and access the “higher” or “deeper” Self, so that the process of growth happens according to an “inner wisdom.” In accessing the Self and healing parts, a person is not pushed, rushed, or imposed upon. The process is allowed to unfold at its own speed, and according to its own pattern.

~Excerpt from The Center for Self Leadership

Mind-body medicine is based on the scientific understanding of the inextricable connection among our thoughts, sensations and feelings, and our mind, body, and spirit – between ourselves and the social and natural world in which we live. CMBM’s approach to wellness is grounded in practical, evidence-based skills for self-care, nutrition, self-awareness, and group support.

Mind-body skills (such as meditation, biofeedback, guided imagery, and self-expression in drawings, words, and pictures) are scientifically validated to reduce stress and restore physical and psychological health. The mind-body approach heals individual trauma and builds community-wide resilience.

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy is based on the Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) eight week program, developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Research shows that MBSR is enormously empowering for patients with chronic pain, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and gastrointestinal disorders, as well as for psychological problems such as anxiety and panic. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy grew from this work. Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale adapted the MBSR program so it could be used especially for people who had suffered repeated bouts of depression in their lives.
~Excerpt from Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy

"Narrative therapy seeks to be a respectful, non-blaming approach to counselling and community work, which centres people as the experts in their own lives. It views problems as separate from people and assumes people have many skills, competencies, beliefs, values, commitments and abilities that will assist them to reduce the influence of problems in their lives." - Alice Morgan

In recent years the role of self-regulation has become an important part of psychological thinking.The NeuroAffective Relational Model ™ brings the current understanding of self-regulation into clinical practice. This resource-oriented, non-regressive model emphasizes helping clients establish connection to the parts of self that are organized, coherent and functional. It helps bring into awareness and organization the parts of self that are disorganized and dysfunctional without making the regressed, dysfunctional elements the primary theme of the therapy. - Taken from NARM Website

Neurofeedback, also called EEG biofeedback or neurotherapy, is a research proven way to help you improve your brain function through intensive brain training exercises. Although the technology is quite sophisticated, the process is simple, painless, and non-invasive. It is just learning. You learn to alter your brain activity the same way you learn every other skill – through feedback and practice.


What is new in neurofeedback is that you are guided by a form of feedback that was previously not available to you – instantaneous information about changes in your brain’s electrical activity. Every half second, your brain activity is compared to your targets for change. You get a signal and “reward” when you meet the goal. No signal or reward when you do not.


In 20 neurofeedback sessions, with feedback every half second, you get 72,000 chances to learn. That’s a lot of repetition and practice. Brain science has shown that repetitive exercise of brain networks reshapes the brain. Neurofeedback allows you to reshape our brain. 

The Neurosequential Model is a developmentally-informed, biologically-respectful approach to working with at-risk children.

The Neurosequential Model is not a specific therapeutic technique or intervention; it is a way to organize a child’s history and current functioning. The goal of this approach is to structure assessment of a child, the articulation of the primary problems, identification of key strengths and the application of interventions (educational, enrichment and therapeutic) in a way that will help family, educators, therapists and related professionals best meet the needs of the child. - Excerpt from Child-Trauma website

Organic Intelligence® (OI) is a unique theory and clinical practice of human empowerment, resiliency, and compassion to resolve the devastating effects of stress, trauma, and PTSD.

The Organic Intelligence (OI) clinical protocol suggests that, from a systems perspective, what’s wrong with therapy is the focus on what’s wrong — including the focus on trauma.

Organic Intelligence brings a necessary shift in perspective from pathology and trauma to the proven methods drawn from the wisdom of mindfulness and the science of self-organization.   OI teaches how healing happens from the nervous system up and makes it possible to imagine freedom from suffering.  Freedom from suffering becomes freedom for living an authentic, vibrant life in the here-and-now.

Created in 1961 by Albert Pesso and Diane Boyden-Pesso, Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor (PBSP) is the most advanced therapeutic system available for emotional re-education or reprogramming. PBSP heals past emotional deficits using unique processes called ‘Structures’ and ‘Microtracking™’ that help clients to identify emotional deficits and create ‘new memories’. These ‘new memories’ provide symbolic fulfillment of the basic developmental needs of place, nurture, support, protection and limits. With the inclusion of ‘Holes and Roles,’ the latest innovation in PBSP theory and technique, therapists learn how to provide a highly effective and streamlined approach to reducing resistance, negative transference, and somatic overload.  Many aspects of PBSP theories and techniques have close parallels in recent neuroscience findings about mirror neurons, empathy, morality, and the impact of language on the theory of mind.  

Prolonged exposure therapy (PE) is a form of behavior therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy designed to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, characterized by re-experiencing the traumatic event through remembering it and engaging with, rather than avoiding, reminders of the trauma (triggers).

Psychodrama is an experiential method of exploring the world in which we live, both internal and external. It allows for safe expression of strong feelings, the development of insight and a wider perspective on individual and community problems and an opportunity to try out new, desired behaviors. Psychodrama is used the world over in clinics, substance abuse programs, rehabs, hospitals, schools, community agencies, police departments, and industry.

Psycho-Physical Therapy is a method of therapy that integrates approaches of both psychotherapy and body therapy in one simultaneous process. The therapeutic work is continually integrating the physical with the psychological and vice versa. The normal cultural distinctions about the separation of body, mind and spirit are viewed as occasionally useful dichotomies, but are not seen as a true picture of reality. We are a complex interacting system where all parts are inseparable from the whole. This therapeutic method requires a fundamental attitude shift away from the standard cultural paradigm of seeing and working with the separation of body, mind and spirit. It is important to address and work with these many parts. 

Rapid Resolution Therapy® (RRT) is an immediately effective, revolutionary and holistic psychotherapeutic approach to healing and positive behavioral change.

RRT eliminates emotional pain and destructive behavioral patterns and completely resolves the psychological and physiological effects of trauma.

RRT works under the understanding that the subconscious controls emotions, desires, memory, habits, thoughts, dreams and automatic responses. One may consciously understand the value of eliminating problematic emotions, thoughts or behaviors but unless the subconscious mind is reached, enduring change is unlikely. By engaging the subconscious mind and eliminating the ongoing influence from troubling past events, blocked energy is released, healing takes place, and change is automatic. Negative habits and painful emotions are replaced by positive actions and feelings of well-being. Blocked energy is released. Healing takes place. With Rapid Resolution Therapy techniques, desired change can be automatic and lasting.

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is a method for facilitating the processing of unassimilated sensorimotor reactions to trauma and for resolving the destructive effects of these reactions on cognitive and emotional experience. These sensorimotor reactions consist of sequential physical and sensory patterns involving autonomic nervous system arousal and orienting/ defensive responses that seek to resolve to a point of rest and satisfaction in the body. During a traumatic event such a satisfactory resolution of responses might be accomplished by successfully fighting or fleeing. However, for the majority of traumatized clients, this does not occur. Traumatized individuals are plagued by the return of dissociated, incomplete or ineffective sensorimotor reactions in such forms as intrusive images, sounds, smells, body sensations, physical pain, constriction, numbing, and the inability to modulate arousal.
~Excerpt from Traumatology

The SMART manual presents a new model of psychotherapy for traumatized children and adolescents designed to be useful for mental health clinicians in clinics, residential treatment sites, and schools. The model draws on knowledge from sensory integration occupational therapy, body-oriented therapies, especially Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, and the collective wisdom of the authors, participating clinicians, and the families who joined us in its development.

Somatic Experiencing® (SE) is a short-term naturalistic approach to the resolution and healing of trauma developed by Dr. Peter Levine. It is based upon the observation that wild prey animals, though threatened routinely, are rarely traumatized. Animals in the wild utilize innate mechanisms to regulate and discharge the high levels of energy arousal associated with defensive survival behaviors. These mechanisms provide animals with a built-in “immunity’’ to trauma that enables them to return to normal in the aftermath of highly “charged’’ life-threatening experiences. The theory postulates that the symptoms of trauma are the effect of a dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). It further postulates that the ANS has an inherent capacity to self-regulate that is undermined by trauma, and that the inherent capacity to self-regulate can be restored by the procedures of  Somatic Experiencing. The procedure involves a client tracking his or her own felt-sense experience.

~Excerpt from Foundation for Human Enrichment

Somatic Trauma Therapy is an integrated treatment model that draws from the most relevant theory and the most suitable techniques for the understanding and treatment of trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In development since 1992, Somatic Trauma Therapy is not a single method, but an integrated system of psychotherapy and body-psychotherapy that continues to evolve as new theory and techniques emerge in the field. Somatic Trauma Therapy addresses all aspects of trauma's impact -- on thinking, emotions and bodily sensations -- bringing them into sync, and relegating trauma to it's rightful place in the past.

TRE® (Tension, Stress & Trauma Release Exercise) is an innovative series of exercises that assist the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of stress, tension and trauma. Created by Dr. David Berceli, PhD, TRE® safely activates a natural reflex mechanism of shaking or vibrating that releases muscular tension, calming down the nervous system. When this muscular shaking/vibrating mechanism is activated in a safe and controlled environment, the body is encouraged to return back to a state of balance. - From TRE Website

TF-CBT is a conjoint child and parent psychotherapy approach for children and adolescents who are experiencing significant emotional and behavioral difficulties related to traumatic life events.  It is a components-based treatment model that incorporates trauma-sensitive interventions with cognitive behavioral, family, and humanistic principles and techniques.  Children and parents learn new skills to help process thoughts and feelings related to traumatic life events; manage and resolve distressing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related traumatic life events; and enhance safety, growth, parenting skills, and family communication.

"Although the origins of psychodynamic therapy are attributed to Freud’s psychoanalytic theory with its emphasis on unconscious conflict and meaning, it has evolved into multistranded approaches exploring various elements of intrapersonal, developmental, and relational processes. A common thread through these, however, is the idea that conflicts are more toxic and less available for integration when they remain unconscious. Therapies addressing trauma use various modalities within the context of the vital therapeutic relationship and the client’s developmental history, and attempt to develop client awareness around relationships between defensive dynamics, wishes, and fears, named by Frederickson in 1999 as the ‘triangle of conflict (p. 22) " - Excerpt from Psychodynamic psychotherapy for complex trauma: targets, focus, applications, and outcomes by Spermon, Darlington, and Gibney. (2010). 

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