Severe Early Trauma
"One of the first things you need to ask is, how did you survive this? This is amazing that you’re still here. It’s amazing that you still have the guts to go on with your life. What is allowing you to function? What are you good at? What gives you comfort?"– Bessel van der Kolk
Research undertaken for the DSM-IV revealed that survivors of repeated and severe childhood trauma generally experience a common set of problems as adults. This video series examines the wide range of symptoms for what the researchers have labeled Disorders of Extreme Stress. Four survivors of childhood trauma discuss its impact on their lives, and describe their attempts to cope with those effects, to heal, and to find meaning in life. Released 1995.
Severe Early Trauma I: The Long-Term Effects
(#243, 55 min.)
The Effects of Trauma
Range of Symptoms
View of Self
Meaning of Life
Defining Complex PTSD
Severe Early Trauma II: Therapy for Adult Survivors
(#244, 50 min.)
What Clients Bring to Therapy
Obstacles to Therapy
Purchase price: One VHS/DVD $165, both $275
Rental price: One VHS/DVD $55, both $90
TO ORDER phone or fax 800-345-5530
Also available: Counting the Cost (#245, 30 min.)
For a description of this condensed version for clients, see Videos for Survivors.
Customers who bought this video series also bought:
The ACE Study
Treating Complex PTSD
Successful Trauma Therapies
About the Presenters
Bessel van der Kolk, MD, is Director of the HRI Trauma Center, which specializes in the study and treatment of children and adults with histories of severe psychological trauma. He is Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University and past president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. His most recent book is Traumatic Stress: The Effect of Overwhelming Experiences on Mind, Body and Society.
David Calof is clinical consultant to the Adult Therapy Service and Psychological Trauma Center of the Seattle Mental Health Institute. He is a frequent presenter before such groups as the American Family Therapy Association, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, and the Eastern Regional Conference of the International Society for the Study of Dissociation.
Yvonne Dolan, MA conducts training for therapists on treatment for sexual abuse and other traumas. Her newest book, Living Well is the Best Revenge, is for survivors of severe abuse.
Diana Elliott, PhD is Director of Training and Research at Harbor-UCLA’s Sexual Abuse Crisis Center, and is on the clinical faculty at UCLA School of Medicine.
The Trainer’s Guide
The 29-page trainer’s guide includes objectives, reproducible outlines for note-taking, review and discussion questions, a resource list, and a journal article, described below.
Bessel van der Kolk’s article, "Childhood Abuse and Neglect and Loss of Self-Regulation", which appears in Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, Vol. 58, No 2, Spring 1994, is abstracted as follows:
Secure attachments with caregivers play a critical role in helping children develop a capacity to modulate physiological arousal. Loss of ability to regulate the intensity of feelings and impulses is possibly the most far-reaching effect of trauma and neglect. It has been shown that most abused and neglected children develop disorganized attachment patterns. The inability to modulate emotions gives rise to a range of behaviors that are best understood as attempts at self-regulation. These include aggression against others, self-destructive behavior, eating disorders, and substance abuse. The capacity to regulate internal states affects both self-definition and one’s attitude toward one’s surroundings. Abused children often fail to develop the capacity to express specific and differentiated emotions: their difficulty putting feelings into words interferes with flexible response strategies and promotes acting out. Usually, these behaviors coexist, which further complicates diagnosis and treatment. Affective disregulation can be mitigated by safe attachments, secure meaning schemes, and pharmacological interventions that enhance the predictability of somatic responses to stress. The ability to create symbolic representations of terrifying experiences promotes taming of terror and desomatization of traumatic memories.