Friday, February 04, 2011

Spirituality and PTSD

Most psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) involves making new meaning of the traumatic experience but very few talk about spirituality. Nearly equal numbers of trauma survivors describe their spirituality as helpful, hurtful or neutral in their recovery. Those who view their spirituality, church and God as sources of support, validation and acceptance are more able to make healthy meanings and recover while those who see these things as sources of judgment, punishment and rejection were less likely to. Researchers from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota studied the effectiveness of a programme called Building Spiritual Strength. The programme is not designed to convert people or change their religious affiliation but to help them to recognise and resolve spiritual concerns that can contribute to distress and maintain and enhance areas of spiritual functioning that are contributing to positive adjustment. The researchers compared 26 people going through the programme with 28 on a waiting list - the people taking part in the programme showed a statistically-significant reduction in PTSD symptoms.

Harris, J. Irene ... [et al] - The Effectiveness of a Trauma Focused Spiritually Integrated Intervention

for Veterans Exposed to Trauma Journal of Clinical Psychology January 2011, 67(1), 1-14

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