For several years, Dr. Van der Kolk and his colleagues (certified yoga instructors with degrees in psychology) have been developing “trauma-informed” yoga program.
The overwhelming traumatic stress often left survivors with emotion regulation issues and the phobia of inner experiences. Therefore, yoga (or other types of body-awareness exercise) without such understanding, could trigger the individuals to experience more symptoms. However, a “trauma-informed” yoga program can be effective supportive treatment during trauma recovery. Here are excerpt from the three clinical points posted in this new study published in Journal of Clinical Psychiatry:
1. This study showed that a 10-week, weekly yoga program can significantly reduce posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in women with chronic treatment-resistant PTSD.
2. Current mainstream treatments of PTSD are informed by cognitive and pharmacologic models, as opposed to somatic regulation and interoceptive awareness. However, loss of body awareness, including alexithymia and loss of affect regulation is thought to play a significant role in the pathology of PTSD, which involves changes in physical self-awareness and alterations in the neural structures that register bodily states.
3. Body awareness is a necessary aspect of effective emotion regulation. Learning to notice, tolerate, and manage somatic experience may substantially promote emotion regulation.
Authors: Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD; Laura Stone, MA; Jennifer West, PhD; Alison Rhodes, MSW Med; David Emerson, MA; Michael Suvak, PhD; and Joseph Spinazzola, PhD
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