Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An Integration of American Nontraditional and Mesoamerican Traditional Approaches as a Treatment Model for Traumatic Stress and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
by Mohr-Almeida, Kathy, Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2009, 211; 3452643
Abstract (Summary)

Traumatic stress and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are rampant in American culture, even within nuclear families. This may cause disorganization of attachment bonds and increase the likelihood of PTSD when exposed to future traumatic events. The objective of this study is to assess the similarities and differences among psychotherapeutic treatment modalities employed in the United States, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT); Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR); Structured Intervention for Trauma for Children, Adolescents and Parents (SITCAP); Hypnosis; and finally Curanderismo, a Mesoamerican traditional treatment modality with similar practices to those found in Transpersonal Psychology for the treatment of PTSD. This heuristic study consists of interviews with co-researchers gathered in urban settings in the United States; urban, rural, and jungle settings in Mexico; and the personal and professional experiences of the researcher with both modalities. This study includes description of the therapeutic use of the temazcal (a Mesoamerican sweat lodge); limpias (a ritualized clearing of the subtle energy field); the medicinal and spiritual applications of herbalism; shamanic ritual; and the plática (a specific and highly interpersonal counseling style employed by curanderos), and the significance of holism and equilibrium in the Mesoamerican healing paradigm. In addition to these, this discussion also presents the role of prayer and interpersonal touch related to healing traumatic stress, and PTSD. An analysis of the results produced the development of an integrated healing model to reflect the positive aspects of all researched modalities toward efficacious treatments for traumatic stress and PTSD. Finally, this research examines and discusses the implications, limitations, and future research of this model for trauma treatment and research.

Keywords: Curanderismo; Susto; Temazcal; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; Heuristic Research, Integrative Mental Health, Integrative Healing, Subtle Energy

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Suslak, Kenneth
School: Union Institute and University
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 72/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Alternative Medicine, Latin American Studies, Counseling Psychology
Keywords: Holistic healing, Posttraumatic stress disorder, Traditional medicine
Publication Number: 3452643
ISBN: 978-1-124-59968-7
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