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RESEARCH POSTER PRESENTATION DESIGN © 2012 
www.PosterPresentations.com 
ABSTRACT 
Individuals in recovery from involvemen...
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The Efficacy of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Research for Former High Demand Group Members

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The Efficacy of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Research for Former High Demand Group Members

  1. 1. RESEARCH POSTER PRESENTATION DESIGN © 2012 www.PosterPresentations.com ABSTRACT Individuals in recovery from involvement in high demand groups struggle with managing a host of general and specific cult-related trauma symptoms, a profile aptly named by Dr. Margaret Singer as Post Cult Trauma Syndrome (PCTS). The rapidly expanding field of mind science and neurophysiologic imaging has significantly advanced the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Can this new information offer diagnostic and recovery options for those contending with cult-specific trauma features after they exit a high demand group? This investigation reviews potential effectiveness and/or limitations of the following diagnostic techniques and therapeutic options for those recovering from PCTS/PTSD: ! 1. Introduction to basic neurophysiology. 2. Physiologic basis of PTSD. a. Diagnostic imaging techniques (PET, f MRI, SPECT). b. PTSD-specific findings. 3. Neurofeedback. 4. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). 5. Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). 6. Somatic Techniques (including mindfulness, yoga, etc.). 4. EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION AND REPROCESSING ! Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) draws upon several different therapeutic approaches: • Facilitates accessing of traumatic memories. • Addresses maladaptive coping. • Capitalizes on the neurophysiologic benefits of sensory input. (Eye movement yields the most positive results.) • Improved self-awareness of felt sense and memory. • Reprocessing of maladaptive beliefs about self / environment. • Allows “completion” of the overwhelming, avoided trauma. • Reintegrates emotion and thought. • Cognitive-behavioral elements. • Goal-oriented process. ! Theory/speculation of mechanism: • Stimulation of midbrain; optic tectum region (Figure 5). • Nerve fiber connections from several brain systems pass through region in close proximity / overlap. • Higher brain center fibers (rational thought, memory). • Lower brain center fibers (emotional / survival response). 2. PHYSIOLOGIC BASIS OF PTSD ! PTSD does not result from lack of effort or desire to heal. Diagnostic findings show that the process is • Self-perpetuating • Largely neurophysiologic (physical) ! • Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (f MRI) assess metabolism • Single Photon Emission Computerized Tomography (SPECT) has proven a more sensitive measure for PTSD by detecting blood flow. ◦ Intravenous injection of a radiographic substance absorbed by brain tissue. ! Figure 2 compares SPECT findings of the undersurface of the healthy brain to a brain with findings typical of PTSD. ! The “diamond pattern” of hyperactivity in PTSD is very noticeable, even to the untrained eye. ! Behavioral manifestations corresponding to SPECT brain imaging patterns include: • Anxiety/panic, poor regulation of motivation, muscle tension, pain (basal ganglia). • Moodiness, depression, negativity, feelings of isolation (thalamus). • Stuck on thoughts/behaviors, obsessiveness, lack of flexibility (anterior cingulate gyrus). • Distractibility, inattention, poor impulse control, poor emotional awareness (prefrontal cortex). • Disrupted self-awareness (posterior cingulate / BR23). 1. INTRODUCTION TO BASIC NEUROPHYSIOLOGY !! Though former high demand group members experience unique challenges in their recovery, they may find encouragement in recent advances on understanding PTSD and benefit from new treatment options. Available options for assessment and treatment give former members more choices to pursue, but from a perspective that also accommodates their unique needs and concerns. ! Figure 1 depicts different brain areas that govern different brain functions. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Over time, the mind loses smooth, healthy integration of separate brain functions. • More attention (blood flow and metabolism) shifts toward brain areas responsible for survival. • Concurrent shift into chronic state of lower activity and perfusion of brain centers not directly related to survival. Elements of the process include: • Identification of maladaptive beliefs identified with trauma and emotion. • Exploration of self-awareness and suppressed memories. (emotional / physical) • Bilateral stimulation of senses at key intervals. during process (Figure 4) • Visual tracking of hand movement, tactile stimulation, or audio stimulation using a device. Diagnostic Findings Therapeutic Measures VERY Favorable Benefits: ! • SPECT data yields very positive results (Figure 6). • Surpasses antidepressants and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. • Works rapidly in non-complex trauma. • Some researchers refer to EMDR as a “cure”. 3. NEUROFEEDBACK ! Neurofeedback involves self-monitoring of the electrical activity of the brain with non-invasive electrodes that are placed on the surface of the scalp. • Self-awareness of behavior, mood, and brainwave pattern • Modulate level of consciousness to achieve an optimal and healthy brain wave pattern ! ! ! 5. EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUES ! Some trauma therapists incorporate a play on acupressure into their work with clients. • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). • Attractor Field Therapy. • Energy “entrainment” via Chinese medicine meridians. • Tapping with finger on certain points on their body while verbalizing feelings. • May include eye movements and humming. ! Benefit? • Not harmful. • No need of therapist. • Habit of emotional self-awareness. • Early research findings appear favorable. • However, commonly understood as pseudoscience. ! 6. SOMATIC TECHNIQUES ! Any activity that causes one to attend to how their body feels produces a calming balance of hyperactive brain areas associated with PTSD (particularly when combined with physical movement/ exercise). • Activation of the medial prefrontal cortex. • “Mindful walking,” martial arts, yoga, exercise. • Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute registry (Levine). ! Benefit? • Positive and encouraging research findings. • However, meditative techniques may be too triggering. Summary Former group members struggling with PCTS may benefit greatly from PTSD research findings and therapies. ! Trauma specific therapies may also open up new avenues of study. WORKS CITED Amen DG. (1998) Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: A Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness. New York. NY: Three Rivers Press/Random House Inc. Amen DG. (2008 Dec) Brain SPECT Imaging in PTSD and EMDR. Newport Beach, CA: Amen Clinic Continuing Education. Craig G. (2008) The EFT Manual. Santa Rosa. CA: Energy Psychology. Gudrun Sartory G, Cwik, Knuppertz H, Schürholt B, Lebens M, Seitz RJ, Schulze R. (March 2013) In Search of the Trauma Memory: A Meta-Analysis of Functional Neuroimaging Studies of Symptom Provocation in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. PloS ONE, 8(3): e58150. 10.1371. Hawkins DR. (1995) Power Versus Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior. Sedona: Hay House. Lanius RA, Williamson PC, Densmore M, Boksman K, Madhulika AG, Neufeld RW, Gati JS, Memon RS. (2001) Neural Correlates of Traumatic Memories in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Functional MRI Investigation. Am J Psychiatry,158:1920–1922. Larsen S. (2012) The Neurofeedback Solution. Rochester, NY: Healing Arts Press. Levine P, Frederick A. (1997) Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books. Othmer S, Othmer SF. (2009) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: The Neurofeedback Remedy. Biofeedback, 37(1): 24–31. Van der Kolk, B. (2010 October) The Long Shadow of Trauma (lecture). Pioneers in Recovery Annual Symposium, 2010. Novi, MI. Van der Kolk BA, Spinazzola J, Blaustein ME, Hopper JW, Hopper EK, Korn DL, Simpson WB. (2007 Jan) A randomized clinical trial of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), fluoxetine, and pill placebo in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder: treatment effects ! and long-term maintenance. J Clin Psychiatry, 68(1):37-46. * Expanded reference list available upon request (UnderMuchGrace@gmail.com) Features of chronic arousal in PTSD: • Perception of imminent danger. • Different brain areas. become hyper / hypoactive. • Survival systems fail to shut down despite threat no longer present. • Exaggerated emotional responses with avoidant behavior. • HYPERVIGLANCE: Heightened sensitivity to the indicators that the mind has associated with previous threat and harm. ! • Wave forms translated into music or video game format ! Benefit? ! • Effective • Favorable SPECT data (Figure 3) • However, training period to onset of results is prolonged and involved. The Efficacy of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Research for Former Members of High Demand Groups Cynthia Mullen Kunsman, RN, BSN, MMin, ND

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