The body’s story: a case report of hypnosis and physiological narration of trauma.
Adult Posttraumatic Stress Disorder secondary to childhood sexual abuse is clinically complicated by its increasingly noted deficient linguistic recording of the abuse, perhaps partially explaining consequent difficulties with verbalizing in therapy. A single case illustrates that hypnotically utilizing the body-emotion register of encrypted sexual abuse trauma may not only afford more naturalistic retrieval and purgation of the experience, but may also provide the very medium for the healing narrative required for recovery. The patient’s original and continuing therapist was also present as support and observer for all but 1 of 25 hypnosis sessions. Treatment gains were robust at 3-year follow up. This case suggests that effective treatment for sexual abuse PTSD may in some instances reside in more nonverbally sensitive interventions not aiming to prove, probe, or process linguistic reconstructions of memory. This is the first published report of such a bodily narrative in hypnosis.
- [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]