A New Treatment for PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is still a topic psychologists are trying to fully understand. Many methods have arose in hopes of remedying PTSD, but no full-proof idea excepted by the entire psychology community has come about yet.

According to the New York Times, a method created by Albert Pesso – a dancer who worked with Martha Graham – is a go to exercise for psychiatrist, Bessel van der Kolk.

The method, which van der Kolk named “structure” entails the patient gaining acceptance or closure from people role playing those involved in the traumatizing situation. He believes that the key to curing trauma is through the body instead of the mind. This ideology stems from the fact that trauma is created by the outside world, as opposed to internally.

Van der Kolk lost a lot of credibility as a medical professional when he publicly defended repressed-memory therapy. This type of therapy is based off of the idea that victims repress traumatic experiences and have no recollection of them happening. The therapy’s purpose is to uncover these “lost” memories. A once fairly respected theory soon became a joke o the psychology community when people started claiming that through repressed-memory therapy they “remembered” getting abducted by aliens and other radical situations. Van der Kolk’s support for the theory caused him to lose his affiliation with Harvard Medical School.

However, the structure method he practices gave him a new place to feel at home amongst body-oriented therapists. He currently runs his own non-profit trauma clinic.

In a medical field where not only a diagnosis but also the disease itself can be easily disputed, it is very common for professionals to misdiagnose or incorrectly prescribe. The website of Jeff Sampson says that when the standard of care is not respected a followed, it can lead to severe consequences.