Mental health: Trauma treatment | The Seattle Times

Re: “Are you having trouble finding a therapist in the Seattle area? Here are some tips” [Dec. 14, Local News]:

In my 40 years of practice as a clinical social worker, three-quarters of the people who came to me for treatment experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many of these people experience dissociation, when their nervous systems shut down the fear and/or pain caused by the trauma. Trauma generally comes from a history of emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse, within or outside the family. PTSD can arise from any trauma: being robbed, being shot, having a horrific boss, being bullied, losing a job or a place to live. The longer and more severe the trauma, the more severe the PTSD and dissociation. People with these histories are most likely to be treated, or from abuse, or when it results from the isolation and losses that come from this pandemic.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), ego and psychosomatic therapies are well-researched therapies for trauma and dissociation. CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy), which focus on cognitive therapy, do not touch the physical problems that underpin all trauma diagnoses. I hope that readers who suffer from PTSD and schizophrenia know to look for a treatment that can effectively treat their mental health problems.

Robin Shapiro, LICSW, Seattle

Leave a Comment