Trauma has severe consequences on both psychological and somatic levels, even affecting the genetic expression and the cell’s DNA repair ability. A key mechanism in the understanding of clinical disorders deriving from trauma is identified in dissociation, as a primitive defense against the fragmentation of the self originated by overwhelming experiences. The dysregulation of the interpersonal patterns due to the traumatic experience and its detrimental effects on the body are supported by influent neuroscientific models such as Damasio’s somatic markers and Porges’ polyvagal theory. On the basis of these premises, and supported by our previous empirical observations on 40 simulated clinical sessions, we will discuss the longitudinal process of a brief psychodynamic psychotherapy (16 sessions, weekly frequency) with a patient who suffered a relational trauma. The research design consists of the collection of self-report and projective tests, pre-post therapy and after each clinical session, in order to assess personality, empathy, clinical alliance and clinical progress, along with the verbatim analysis of the transcripts trough the Psychotherapy Process Q-Set and the Collaborative Interactions Scale. Furthermore, we collected simultaneous psychophysiological measures of the therapeutic dyad: skin conductance and hearth rate. Lastly, we employed a computerized analysis of non-verbal behaviors to assess synchrony in posture and gestures. These automated measures are able to highlight moments of affective concordance and discordance, allowing for a deep understanding of the mutual regulations between the patient and the therapist. Preliminary results showed that psychophysiological changes in dyadic synchrony, observed in body movements, skin conductance and hearth rate, occurred within sessions during the discussion of traumatic experiences, with levels of attunement that changed in both therapist and the patient depending on the quality of the emotional representation of the experience. These results go in the direction of understanding the relational process in trauma therapy, using an integrative language in which both clinical and neurophysiological knowledge may take advantage of each other.

The words of the body: psychophysiological patterns in dissociative narratives

PALMIERI, ARIANNA;KLEINBUB, JOHANN ROLAND;BENELLI, ENRICO;SAMBIN, MARCO;BROGGIO, ALICE;BIANCO, SIMONE
2015

Abstract

Trauma has severe consequences on both psychological and somatic levels, even affecting the genetic expression and the cell’s DNA repair ability. A key mechanism in the understanding of clinical disorders deriving from trauma is identified in dissociation, as a primitive defense against the fragmentation of the self originated by overwhelming experiences. The dysregulation of the interpersonal patterns due to the traumatic experience and its detrimental effects on the body are supported by influent neuroscientific models such as Damasio’s somatic markers and Porges’ polyvagal theory. On the basis of these premises, and supported by our previous empirical observations on 40 simulated clinical sessions, we will discuss the longitudinal process of a brief psychodynamic psychotherapy (16 sessions, weekly frequency) with a patient who suffered a relational trauma. The research design consists of the collection of self-report and projective tests, pre-post therapy and after each clinical session, in order to assess personality, empathy, clinical alliance and clinical progress, along with the verbatim analysis of the transcripts trough the Psychotherapy Process Q-Set and the Collaborative Interactions Scale. Furthermore, we collected simultaneous psychophysiological measures of the therapeutic dyad: skin conductance and hearth rate. Lastly, we employed a computerized analysis of non-verbal behaviors to assess synchrony in posture and gestures. These automated measures are able to highlight moments of affective concordance and discordance, allowing for a deep understanding of the mutual regulations between the patient and the therapist. Preliminary results showed that psychophysiological changes in dyadic synchrony, observed in body movements, skin conductance and hearth rate, occurred within sessions during the discussion of traumatic experiences, with levels of attunement that changed in both therapist and the patient depending on the quality of the emotional representation of the experience. These results go in the direction of understanding the relational process in trauma therapy, using an integrative language in which both clinical and neurophysiological knowledge may take advantage of each other.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3215318
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