Psychodynamic psychotherapy for complex trauma: targets, focus, applications, and outcomes
Deborah Spermon1, Yvonne Darlington1, Paul Gibney2
1School of Social work and Human Services, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD, Australia; 2Private Practice, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Abstract: Complex trauma describes that category of severe, chronic interpersonal trauma usually originating in the formative years of a child. In the adult, this can result in global dissociative difficulties across areas of cognitive, affective, somatic, and behavioral functions. Targeting this field of traumatic pathology, this article reviews the contributions and developments within one broad approach: psychodynamic theory and practice. Brief descriptions of aspects of analytical, Jungian, relational, object relations, and attachment therapeutic approaches are given, along with understandings of pathology and the formulation of therapeutic goals. Major practices within client sessions are canvassed and the issues of researching treatment outcomes are discussed.
Keywords: psychodynamic, complex trauma, psychopathology, dissociation, therapy
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