The role of relationships and families in healing from trauma

July 19, 2017 – 09:11 pm
For a quarter

The effects of trauma and its treatment have a central role in health discussions in that trauma exposure is associated with an array of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Treatment approaches are varied, but most empirically based protocols are individually focused, targeting intrapersonal difficulties. Although these protocols are critical, they do not directly address the relationship difficulties that may arise for survivors. In addition, limited empirical evidence supports using systemic approaches in trauma treatment. This article addresses this issue by summarizing the most salient individual and relational evidence-based trauma protocols and by providing a description of common factors among these approaches, while also challenging the field to generate more research that emphasizes systemic interventions as a core consideration in treatment. A case study is included to illustrate the global relevance and benefit of systemic trauma approaches.

Practitioner points

  • Trauma should be treated as an event that affects everyone in the family and is nested in societal and cultural contexts.
  • Close relationships can maintain or exacerbate problems, but they can also be a powerful source of healing.
  • Systemic protocols that not only address intrapersonal difficulties, but also focus on survivors’ relationships are critical for healing in the aftermath of trauma.



创伤的影响及其治疗在健康话题中具有重要的地位, 因为创伤性暴露和一系列的精神健康问题相关, 包括抑郁、焦虑和药物滥用。治疗手段多种多样, 但是大部分基于实证的方法是关注个人、针对个体内部困难的。虽然这些手段很重要, 但它们并不直接处理经历者可能存在的关系方面的困难。此外, 一些有限的实证证据支持在创伤治疗中应用系统性方法。这篇文章通过总结最主要的个人性、关系性的实证创伤治疗方法并描述它们的相同点来讨论这一话题。本综述还介绍了一个临床案例, 用来阐释系统创伤治疗方法的国际适用性和益处。

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