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Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 1999 Jun;33(3):392-8.

Trauma-induced dissociative amnesia in World War I combat soldiers. II. Treatment dimensions.

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The Pierre Janet Centre, Kew, Victoria, Australia.



This is the second part of a study of posttraumatic amnesia in World War I (WW I) soldiers. It moves beyond diagnostic validation of posttraumatic amnesia (PTA), to examine treatment findings, and relates these to contemporary treatment of dissociative amnesia, including treatment of victims of civilian trauma (e.g. childhood sexual abuse).


Key WW I studies are surveyed which focus on the treatment of PTA and traumatic memories. The dissociation-integration and repression-abreaction models are contrasted.


Descriptive evidence is cited in support of preferring Myers' and McDougalls' dissociation-integration treatment approach over Brown's repression-abreaction model.


Therapeutic findings in this paper complement diagnostic data from the first report. Although effective treatment includes elements of both the dissociative-integrative and abreactive treatment approaches, cognitive integration of dissociated traumatic memories and personality functions is primary, while emotional release is secondary.

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