Processing Trauma: A Case Study

Hamilton, Jenny (2013) Processing Trauma: A Case Study. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

[img] PDF - Registered users only - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (782kB)


This dissertation is informed by a bio psychosocial model of trauma, synthesising elements of emotional processing, information processing, social cognitive, biochemical, evolutionary and psychosocial perspectives. It is an adaptive model of individuals striving to make sense of, narrate and come to terms with difficult events, as part of the organisms’ tendency towards growth. However, Person Centred theory has so far accounted for trauma through a defence model (Joseph, 2004). Warner (2005, 2009) reconsiders Roger’s theory of personality, and argues that its defence premise presents a distortion of person centred theory. She instead develops a process – oriented account of personality development, trauma and psychological distress that accounts for the social construction of meaning as part of the interplay between individual processing and wider culture.

In this model traumatic stress is not viewed as representative of alternating patterns of defence and adjustment, nor as pathology to be cured, but as organismic experiencing not yet processed or made sense of due to its overwhelming nature. This model is applied to a client case study based on a person centred therapeutic relationship that includes experiential work from person centred and gestalt approaches, elements of trauma therapy and solution focused, narrative work. This approach is demonstrated to be useful in creating the right relationship conditions for this clients processing of trauma. Emphasis is placed on the need for attention to how the wider ‘field’ or cultural context affects both opportunities for processing and the narratives available to survivors of trauma, as well as the need for client and counsellor self care in working with trauma material.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Keywords: trauma, processing trauma, case study, psychosocial,
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2014 14:52
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2017 13:52

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View