Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2018

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Counseling

Department

Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Kenneth Messina

Keywords

adolescents, residential treatment, mind-body, group therapy, trauma, development

Abstract

Among the most traumatized youth are those placed in residential treatment centers. This population reports exposure to abuse and neglect at an alarming rate in comparison with the general population. These youth are often described as irritable and angry and characterized by antisocial, delinquent and problematic behaviors. As such, they are assigned diagnostic labels based on checklists of surface level symptoms while trauma histories and chronic stress are ignored or minimized. As a result, treatment focuses on management of disruptive behaviors as opposed to addressing the root cause of the dysfunction, the trauma. Developmental trauma impacts an individual in a multitude of ways. One of the most critical and overlooked consequences of traumatic experiences is the effects on the body. Developmental trauma has significant neurophysiological effects that must be addressed in order for treatment to be truly effective. This can be achieved through the use of an integrated mind-body approach. The manual presented here does just that by incorporating components of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) techniques to be used in a group setting with adolescence in a residential treatment facility.

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