effectiveness of integrating Imagery, Hypnosis, and Exposure Therapy in a treatment-resistant PTSD patient (a case study)

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effectiveness of integrating Imagery, Hypnosis, and Exposure Therapy in a treatment-resistant PTSD patient (a case study) 

 In PTSD patients who are resistant to conventional methods of psychotherapy, making a decision to choose an appropriate treatment is challenging for anyonho works as a mental health professional. In cases where none of traditional therapies is effective, selecting a combination of decent psychological approaches may be advantageous.

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The present study reviews the treatment of a 21-year-old woman who had been raped five years ago. A month after the trauma, the patient showed all the symptoms necessary for diagnosis of PTSD. Despite two courses of cognitive behavior therapy and exposure therapy, during the five-year period after the trauma, except in a two-month period, none of her symptoms was faded. Due to treatment failure, she was not willing anymore to undergo therapy sessions.

. To help the patient, therapists first attempted to create a safe place in her mind while under hypnosis during a six-week period; then proceeded to treating her symptoms by imagery techniques and exposure therapy. By creating the safe place in mind as mentioned, her level of irritability was notably dropped and she was willing to resume exposure therapy while under hypnosis, and for the first time within 3 months, she could recount all has happened and at the end of the process all her symptoms disappeared. A six-month follow-up revealed that except a few numbers of flashbacks in the presence of associative external stimuli, there was no recurring symptom. It seems that creating a safe place in mind and stress reduction techniques during the preliminary sessions of psychotherapy, encouraged our patient to participate in her treatment process with required motivation; moreover, applying imagery techniques during the process of psychotherapy was highly effective in easing the burden of her symptoms.

 

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