Biopsychosocial Trauma Case Study

For several complex historical, philosophical and scientific reasons, Western Culture has often tried to unravel the mystery of human being within the dualistic conception of body and mind, by privileging the higher rational processes - such as language and cognition - over somatic experiences. In psychotherapy, this manifest preference influences the understanding and treatment of trauma. Since trauma is an “event inside a person’s head” (Henry, 2006, p. 383), traditional interventions target mainly cognitive processes, while the body and its advices are set aside. However, in the ‘biopsychosocial trap’ of PTSD, we can refute to see the intimate interconnectivity between body and mind. Beside psychological states, it is in the body that a …show more content…
Yzermans, Donker, & Vasterman (2004) revealed that 30 months after the explosion of a European factory in 2000, “victims showed high levels of medically unexplained physical symptoms, including gastrointestinal problems” (as cited in Martin, 2006, p. 3). Moreover, after hurricane Sandy, the Mental Health Association of Nebraska (2012) discovered that a full year after the storm, doctors continued to see many people with storm-related medical symptoms. “Common health complaints were headaches, dizziness, upper respiratory infections, eating or sleeping disorders” (as cited in Martin, 2006, p. 4).
Nevertheless, researchers found direct correlation between sexual abuse in childhood and somatic preoccupation in adulthood. In his study on abused women, Sansone (2001) reported that sexual childhood abuse is a influential factor to somatic preoccupation in the chest and throat areas. In his additional explanation, Sansone emphasized that somatic symptoms are thus seen as “visceral flashbacks”, with the same sensations “that were initially felt at the time of the trauma and are recurrent and reminiscent of the trauma” (Sansone, 2010, p.

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