Solution: Narrative Exposure Therapy
Available with English captions and subtitles in Spanish.
Presented by Benjamin Iffland, PhD, Bielefeld University.
Narrative exposure therapy (NET) is an evidence-based method of treatment that has been shown to be helpful in reducing symptoms related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It has been particularly successful in supporting people who have experienced multiple traumatic events.
In this talk, Iffland discusses why narrative exposure works and how therapists can use it to help people who have experienced traumatic events.
Watch now to learn more about:
- How trauma affects memory
- Why NET works
- How NET is implemented
In understanding how NET works, it is important to consider that PTSD is a memory disorder.
Iffland explains how traumatic memories are characterized by sensory perceptual representations that are stored in fear networks.
Internal and external cues can activate a person’s fear networks. In addition, a person’s traumatic memories lack context. Iffland shares, “Within the memory of a traumatic event, time stands still, and spaces and places are restricted.”
Continuing education credits are available. Sign up now!
According to Iffland, this leads to difficulties in recalling traumatic memories. On the one hand, people with PTSD experience avoidance—they do not wish to have a frightening recollection and relive the traumatic event. On the other hand, they struggle to place memories in the context of the event and in the chronological order of their life histories.
In NET, therapists work with patients to activate the fear network to enable habituation. They also help patients complete their autobiographical memory, which had been disrupted by significant trauma.
In NET, traumatic events are never regarded as isolated events in a person’s life history. All significant life events, both positive and negative, are reviewed in therapy.