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J Psychother Pract Res. 1997 Winter;7(1):35-46.

Psychodynamic assessment and treatment of traumatized patients.


This article describes how psychodynamic assessment and treatment of traumatized patients can improve clinical acuity. The author describes an ego psychological, psychodynamic approach that involves 1) assessing the impact of trauma on the patient's ego defensive functioning and 2) elucidating the dynamic meaning of both the patient's presenting symptoms and the traumatic events that precipitated them. Clinical descriptions illustrate the ways in which psychodynamic psychotherapy may be particularly useful with patients whose acute symptoms develop following specific events. The author points out the advantages of an ego psychological, psychodynamic approach for her patients and the limitations of more symptom-based diagnostic assessments and treatments.

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