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Trauma And Recovery Essay

913 words - 4 pages

Herman explains that the core experiences of psychological trauma are the disempowerment and disconnection from others. Recovery is then based on empowering and the creating of new connections with others (Herman, 1997). Herman states “recovery can take place only within the context of relationships; it cannot occur in isolation” (pg.133). This is all talked about in regards to Herman’s healing relationship. A condition that Herman speaks about is developing a therapy contract. This contract speaks to the alliance between the therapist and client. This gives responsibility to both parties. This can be where the therapist sets their ground rules for therapy such as truth telling, boundaries, ...view middle of the document...

Herman’s second stage is remembrance and mourning. During this stage, the survivor tells the story of the trauma. Reconstructing the story beings with having the patient review their life before the trauma, this can help the client restore continuity in their life. The next step is having the survivor reconstruct the traumatic event. This may take many times, as it is hard for the survivor to recount each detail. The importance of the survivor being able to tell their narrative of the story is that it becomes the survivor’s testimony and it can give them dignity and virtue. It no longer will hold humiliation and shame. Transforming traumatic memory is the next step of remembrance and mourning. This involves using techniques such as direct exposure or flooding. This is when the patient is exposed to a controlled reliving experience. The survivor writes their own script and chooses their own sequence of exposure. During the exposure, they are taught how to manage anxiety. The outcome has been shown to reduce nightmares, flashbacks, depression, and psychosomatic symptoms. The last step is mourning the traumatic loss. This step is most difficult because of pride. The survivor must come to terms with not being back to “get even” with the perpetrator. This can mean for survivors of childhood abuse that they may mourn the childhood that they were never able to have (Herman, 1997).
Herman’s last stage of trauma treatment is reconnection. The first step in this stage is learning to fight. This stands for taking power in real life situations or taking self-defense training. The second step is reconciling with oneself. This stands for being able to revisit old hopes and dreams. The survivor can now attempt to revisit...

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