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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Development and Proposed Evaluation of Mindfulness-Based Therapy Group for Trauma
by Gladstone, Adam J., Psy.D., Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, 2021, 214; 28264730
Abstract (Summary)

While effective in a number of contexts, exposure therapies for PTSD have significant limitations. Treatments such as Prolonged Exposure (PE) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) produce high dropout rates, struggle to treat the full sequelae of PTSD and may be inappropriate for more complex or severe manifestations of the disorder (Najavits, 2015; Talkovsky & Lang, 2017; Vujanovic et al., 2011). In response to these issues, there is considerable research interest in alternative or adjunctive mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) that are more tolerable than exposure therapy, prepare clients for more intensive trauma treatment, and treat the residual symptoms exposure often struggles to address (e.g. guilt/shame, depression, and attachment disturbances). The nascent literature on this topic does not yet include more contemporary MBIs, which more explicitly emphasize how mindfulness helps cultivate self-compassion, positive affective experiences and interpersonal connections. This is a non-trivial gap in the literature, as these features of more contemporary MBIs may be uniquely well suited for trauma survivors with more complex and severe manifestations of PTSD who most need alternatives to exposure therapy. With the needs of this population in mind, this dissertation offers a novel MBI for trauma survivors which will integrate Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), a third-wave behavior therapy, and the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program, a contemporary MBI. This is a relatively novel contribution to the literature as the vast majority of MBIs adapted for PTSD and other clinical disorders integrate first and second-wave behavioral principles to form their theoretical basis. There will be a discussion on the way the principles of CFT encourage a more holistic treatment philosophy to trauma when compared to the ‘front-line’ or ‘gold-standard’ exposure therapies that dominate the literature today. This dissertation will also suggest an alternative class of trauma treatments to be used alongside the proposed curriculum including compassionately augmented exposure therapy. Concerns regarding the dissemination and implementation of this package of treatments into an integrated care setting will be discussed as well. Lastly, this dissertation will offer quantitative and qualitative research methods for a hypothetical pilot study of the proposed curriculum.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Riggs Skean, Karen
Commitee: Connelly, Patrick
School: Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-A 82/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Therapy, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Compassion, Compassion Focused Therapy, Dropout, Group Therapy, Mindfulness, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Cognitive Processing Therapy
Publication Number: 28264730
ISBN: 9798597096377
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