People suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other consequences of trauma face daunting challenges. Although many clinical treatments target symptoms of PTSD, an optimal treatment strategy would also address the many health problems that co-occur, such as chronic pain, substance misuse, and depression.
To address this need, this book offers mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs). These therapeutic treatments aim to change the patient's relationship to thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, and associated behaviors through an attitude of non-judgment, curiosity, openness, acceptance, and kindness. MBIs can help clients at any stage of recovery and be used in tandem with standard PTSD therapies. David Kearney and Tracy L. Simpson show practitioners how to guide the patient through meditation practices such as breathing meditation, body scan meditation, or mindful movement to address symptoms including rumination, guilt and shame, avoidance, and hypervigilance, as well as comorbid conditions such as depression, chronic pain, and substance misuse. The authors discuss the research supporting this approach, and offer practical suggestions to help therapists implement MBIs with their clients.
About the Authors:
David J. Kearney, MD is a staff physician at VA Puget Sound Health Care System and a Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He is also the founder and Director of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program at VA Puget Sound. He studies the influence of mindfulness-based interventions on a broad range of outcomes, including symptoms of PTSD and depression, quality of life, pain, gastrointestinal symptoms, fatigue and attention/memory lapses. He also works on clinical trials comparing Mindfulness-Based Interventions to approaches based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in a population with a high prevalence of trauma.
Tracy L. Simpson, PhD is a clinical psychologist at VA Puget Sound Health Care System and a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She is a senior faculty member of the VA Puget Sound Center of Excellence in Substance Addiction Treatment and Education Center. Dr. Simpson has over 20 years of clinical and research experience with trauma and post-trauma sequelae, and has worked on various trials evaluating mindfulness based interventions for PTSD. She has also carried out trials evaluating pharmacologic and behavioral interventions for alcohol use disorders with and without concurrent PTSD.