This is the second part in a series of discussing effective treatment for adult survivors of child abuse and neglect. This three-stage approach has been shown to be very helpful when working with clients diagnosed with depression, PTSD, and DID.
Stage 2: Working Through the Trauma
This is the crux of the entire therapy. In involves a paced, methodical approach which allows the client to express his/her intense traumatic emotions in a way that is safe, manageable, and not overwhelming.
The actual trauma work is a monumental piece of work that requires a controlled and gradual approach. As my therapist always said, “One bite at a time.”
The goals are to process, desensitize, resolve, and integrate the client’s traumatic memories and reduce and/or eliminate the symptoms of his/her multiple diagnoses – thus finally allowing him/her to gain control of his/her mind.
This piece of work involves the therapist and client working together to:
- Correct the client’s cognitive distortions,
- Experience and resolve abandonment and betrayal issues caused by the disruption of his/her attachment and dependency development,
- Grieve his/her losses, and
- Develop his/her unique identity.