Trauma Recovery

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A blog about traumatic exposure, posttraumatic stress, and recovery. With a particular focus on children.

Eva Alisic
47 posts

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  • July 15, 2015
  • 05:35 PM

Why demographics – including sexual orientation – matter in PTSD research

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

There has been a lot of focus in the US media on the difficulties with access to the Veterans Affairs services. But many younger Veterans aren’t even getting close to those services.... Read more »

  • March 27, 2015
  • 01:22 AM

Is a trauma focus truly needed in PTSD treatment?

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

For treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder to be effective, is it really necessary to focus on the trauma itself? ... Read more »

Barlow DH, Bullis JR, Comer JS, & Ametaj AA. (2013) Evidence-based psychological treatments: an update and a way forward. Annual review of clinical psychology, 1-27. PMID: 23245338  

Watts BV, Schnurr PP, Mayo L, Young-Xu Y, Weeks WB, & Friedman MJ. (2013) Meta-analysis of the efficacy of treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder. The Journal of clinical psychiatry. PMID: 23842024  

Wampold BE, Imel ZE, Laska KM, Benish S, Miller SD, Flückiger C, Del Re AC, Baardseth TP, & Budge S. (2010) Determining what works in the treatment of PTSD. Clinical psychology review, 923-33. PMID: 20638168  

  • February 6, 2015
  • 08:46 AM

Do we let patients suffer needlessly?

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

PTSD treatment guidelines invariably point to trauma-focused therapies as preferred interventions. But is this trauma focus justified? ... Read more »

  • October 15, 2014
  • 10:00 AM

Trauma research needs to be more global and accessible

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

Imagine a 7-year old boy living in India. One day, his father gets drunk and kills his mother. The boy is a witness to the homicide, and develops a high fever as a response. Imagine you’re the mental health professional who is called to support the boy. Some of the things you would want to know are how children in India respond to severe trauma, what words they use, and what helps them to recover.

Unfortunately, that information is virtually nonexistent. T... Read more »

Fodor, K., Unterhitzenberger, J., Chou, C., Kartal, D., Leistner, S., Milosavljevic, M., Nocon, A., Soler, L., White, J., Yoo, S.... (2014) Is traumatic stress research global? A bibliometric analysis. European Journal of Psychotraumatology. DOI: 10.3402/ejpt.v5.23269  

  • July 24, 2014
  • 05:30 PM

Grief in Children and Adolescents

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

The plane crash in Ukraine brings up many questions related to loss and grief. How will those left behind cope with the devastating event? How can we support them? With regard to how young people cope with bereavement, Dr. Mariken Spuij’s recent articles provide new insights.... Read more »

  • May 5, 2014
  • 05:47 PM

One in six children develops PTSD after trauma, but differences exist

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

How many children develop Posttraumatic Stress Disorder after a traumatic experience such as an assault, a car crash, war or disaster? William Yule – one of the godfathers of child traumatic stress research – once pointed out that rates reported in separate studies varied from 0 to 100%. So what is the average rate to be expected? And are there differences between types of trauma? ... Read more »

  • March 30, 2014
  • 04:58 AM

Mental health consequences of childhood cancer

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

Childhood cancer is no longer the death sentence it once was and survival rates are currently around 80%. How are survivors affected by their experience and how does it impact on their family? Lifetime prevalence of cancer-related PTSD has been estimated at 20-35% in survivors.
New research challenges these estimates, drawing attention to the 'focusing illusion'... Read more »

  • November 28, 2013
  • 06:41 AM

We'd rather rely on others to do the hard work

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

It’s called the collective action problem: we’d rather rely on others to do the hard work.In a cohesive community however, it is more likely that people will volunteer to become active. The reason? The enforceable trust that comes with the cohesion. This is important for how you organise your daily working life (make sure your team is cohesive) :-) but may also explain why some communities have less trouble than others to overcome disaster experiences.... Read more »

  • September 30, 2013
  • 08:33 AM

Traumatic Events do Not Occur at Random

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

The media is filled with stories about traumatized children and adolescents, such as the school shootings at Sandy Hook and Columbine. However, a range of more common traumatic events, such as accidents and caregiver maltreatment, receive less attention. ... Read more »

McLaughlin, Koenen, Hill, Petukhova, Sampson, Zaslavsky, & Kessler. (2013) Trauma Exposure and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in a National Sample of Adolescents. Journal of the American Academy of Child , 815. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2013.05.011  

  • September 19, 2013
  • 10:21 AM

New guidelines for the treatment of ASD and PTSD in children

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

Do not use psychological debriefing when a child has been exposed to a traumatic event such as assault or a major car crash.

This is one of the recommendations of the brand new Australian Guidelines for ASD and PTSD Treatment.

What are the others, and how strong is the research backing them up? ... Read more »

Rodenburg R, Benjamin A, de Roos C, Meijer AM, & Stams GJ. (2009) Efficacy of EMDR in children: a meta-analysis. Clinical psychology review, 29(7), 599-606. PMID: 19616353  

Salloum A, & Overstreet S. (2008) Evaluation of individual and group grief and trauma interventions for children post disaster. Journal of clinical child and adolescent psychology : the official journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53, 37(3), 495-507. PMID: 18645741  

Trowell J, Kolvin I, Weeramanthri T, Sadowski H, Berelowitz M, Glaser D, & Leitch I. (2002) Psychotherapy for sexually abused girls: psychopathological outcome findings and patterns of change. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, 234-47. PMID: 11872516  

  • August 22, 2013
  • 11:00 AM

Moving from universal to selective prevention: results of a web-based early intervention for PTSD

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

Around the world, traumatic injury is one of the most common traumatic events, accounting for 9% of global mortality. Because of its high incidence, injuries cause millions of people to experience (temporary or permanent) disabilities including mental health problems. PTSD develops in 10-20% of injury patients. Therefore, prevention of PTSD has been mentioned by some as the holy grail of trauma research.... Read more »

Mouthaan J, Sijbrandij M, de Vries GJ, Reitsma JB, van de Schoot R, Goslings JC, Luitse JS, Bakker FC, Gersons BP, & Olff M. (2013) Internet-based early intervention to prevent posttraumatic stress disorder in injury patients: randomized controlled trial. Journal of medical Internet research, 15(8). PMID: 23942480  

  • July 8, 2013
  • 12:23 AM

Can we use Facebook to assess mental health needs after a disaster?

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

Imagine: you have just received a request to assess the mental health needs of the survivors of a large-scale disaster. What are your major challenges: Logistics? Resources? Communication? Getting an overview of who is in the area, who has been assessed, and who still needs to be? And if needs are identified, getting the appropriate services in place?

Probably all of the above. In addition, it may be dangerous to enter the disaster area altogether, for example due to radiation risk.

Theref........ Read more »

  • May 9, 2013
  • 10:41 AM

The role of siblings in children’s mental health

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

When you were young(er), did you also engage in personality predictions with your peers based on order in the family? For example, that the oldest of three siblings would be the bossiest and the youngest the most spoiled? Almost everyone (90% of us) have one or more siblings. And we know they play an important role in our lives. Scientists have now combined international research examining siblings’ role in children’s mental health. ... Read more »

  • February 19, 2013
  • 05:24 AM

Can very young children do cognitive-behavioral therapy?

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

Children younger than seven years of age obviously do not have the mature cognitive skills for causal reasoning, perspective taking, self-reflection, verbal expression, or autobiographical memory that would make cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) work smoothly. ... Read more »

  • February 2, 2013
  • 06:37 AM

Imagery rehearsal therapy for post-trauma nightmares

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

Sleep problems are a central component of posttraumatic stress, both in children and adults, with 72% experiencing nightmares. Imagery rehearsal (IR) therapy has a cognitive behavioral background and is used more and more to overcome sleep problems after trauma. How effective is IR? ... Read more »

  • January 14, 2013
  • 02:25 AM

Working in bushfire affected areas: Nurses’ experiences

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

Australia has been struck by numerous bushfires in the past few weeks and will be seeing many more as the peak of the bushfire season is yet to come. How do professionals experience working in bushfire situations? ... Read more »

  • December 10, 2012
  • 06:22 AM

The Physical Health Consequences of Posttraumatic Stress

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

The relationship between PTSD and co-occurring mental health conditions — such as depression, substance use, and general anxiety — has received much attention in the literature. However, it is equally important to consider the impact of PTSD on physical health functioning. Given the biological alterations associated with PTSD, individuals with this disorder may be vulnerable to the development of, or worsening of, certain physical health conditions.... Read more »

  • November 6, 2012
  • 12:26 AM

Helping children after Hurricane Sandy and other disasters

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

How do children recover from Hurricane Sandy? And how can we help them? Here are some lessons learned from a study with 277 children after Hurricane Ike. ... Read more »

  • August 31, 2012
  • 08:32 AM

The consequences of fatal domestic violence for children

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

A man kills his wife in a moment of rage and flees the house while the children are still with their mother. A mother stabs her husband to death after years of domestic violence. These stories are barely imaginable but too often they happen in reality.... Read more »

Alisic, E.,, Van Schaijk, M.,, Groot, A.,, & Strijker-Kersten, H.A. (2012) Gevolgen van partnerdoding voor kinderen. Kind en Adolescent Praktijk, 142-144. info:/

  • August 25, 2012
  • 12:53 PM

Child in the shadowlands

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

The topic of this blogpost made the headlines in a shocking way this week when US Republican Todd Akin stated that women rarely get pregnant from rape because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Akin’s medieval assertions coincided with the publication of an essay in the Lancet that went in the very opposite direction...... Read more »

Van Ee E, & Kleber RJ. (2012) Child in the shadowlands. Lancet, 380(9842), 642-3. PMID: 22908379  

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