Current psychology literature offers several definitions for trauma as well as recommended psychotherapy approaches. As trauma presentation and impact can vary greatly across individuals, choosing a specific treatment approach can be quite challenging, especially for training therapists whose clinical judgment and experience to guide decision-making is limited. As such, little is understood about how novice clinicians reconcile definitional and treatment model conflicts when providing trauma treatment. This exploratory qualitative study analyzed the trauma treatment sessions of 5 training therapists. The process and content themes that emerged from the training therapists' responses were categorized as follows: (a) establishing a mutual understanding of the client's experience, (b) providing guidance and support, (c) encouraging alternative processing, (d) affecting session flow, (e) coping, and (f) client struggles/difficulty. These findings were discussed within the context of current trauma treatment recommendations. Patterns that emerged in the therapists' responses suggested that in their efforts to process trauma, the trainee therapists provided validation of the clients' experiences, offered guidance and support to examine the trauma in an alternative way, helped them identify coping skills and sources of support, and emphasized client resilience through strength-focused responses; however, in doing so, they inadvertently engaged in a variety of behaviors, such as relying too heavily on facts and thoughts about the trauma, shifting session focus away from the trauma, or using interfering verbalizations (e.g., multiple questions at once), all which appeared to undermine client emotional engagement with traumatic material in the coded sessions.
Thus, this study's results suggested that training therapists appear to need to be better educated academically and clinically to identify trauma and common treatment barriers that arise, so that they can better plan and implement effective trauma treatments with a clinical population. Specific supervision and training goals that are objective, skill-based, and potentially can be used to enhance training therapists' clinical treatment of trauma, are offered. Future research appears needed to identify what components of recommended trauma treatment training therapists are using, including how training therapists apply Cognitive-Behavioral treatments, and elucidate aspects of trauma treatment that may contribute to and prevent therapy drop out.
|Commitee:||Harrell, Shelly, Tangeman, Keegan|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 74/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Response, Therapist, Trainee, Trauma, Treatment|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be