Int J Emerg Ment Health. 1999 Winter;1(1):9-18.
Directly and indirectly, sudden life transitions can profoundly influence people’s social, family, physical, and psychological lives. One traditional goal within psychology has been to understand and develop ways by which to reduce the adverse impact of individual and collective traumas. Four major issues surrounding coping with emotional upheavals are discussed in the current paper. The first concerns the natural sequence of coping that occurs in most disasters. The second focuses on the advantages of talking about upsetting experiences and, conversely, the dangers of not talking about emotional upheavals. The third section, which has been central to our lab’s approach, deals with evidence that writing about upsetting experiences is beneficial to health and well-being. The final part of the paper discusses these findings within the context of Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) debriefing strategies.
BMC Psychiatry. 2014 Oct 3;14:262. doi: 10.1186/s12888-014-0262-3.
Zang Y1,2, Hunt N3, Cox T4,5.
Narrative exposure therapy (NET) is a brief, manualised treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It has been shown to have therapeutic benefits for a wide range of individuals and settings. This study, following our previous work applying the original NET in earthquake survivors, aimed to revise NET to be adaptable for treating PTSD after a natural disaster.
A randomised waiting-list controlled study was conducted with 30 adult participants with PTSD who were randomly allocated to NET (n = 10), revised NET (NET-R; n = 10) or a waiting list condition (WL; n = 10). Participants in NET and NET-R received treatment immediately; those in the WL condition received NET-R treatment after a waiting period. All groups were assessed on PTSD, general distress, anxiety, depression, social support, coping and posttraumatic change before and after treatment and three-month follow-up.
Compared with WL, both NET and NET-R groups showed significant reductions in PTSD and related symptoms. Significant increases were found in posttraumatic growth, active coping and perceived social support. The WL group showed similar improvements after treatment. Further reductions on PTSD symptoms were found at three months, showing that NET-R is as effective as the original NET in treating post-earthquake traumatic symptoms in adult Chinese earthquake survivors.
NET-R is a feasible and cost-effective intervention for Chinese earthquake survivors. Further studies are needed to replicate these findings in other survivor populations, and with larger samples and over longer periods. This study highlighted the value of oral narrative approach, which is well-accepted and useful in the context of single natural disaster and lower- income area.