Form of Stress: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

The chapter 15 deals with stress. This can be very pervasive when an adolescent is the victim. There are many forms of stress and in the vignette the young lady is obviously experiencing Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)r. The first thing that comes to mind as a clinician when we are confronted with a client with symptoms of stress is to first attempt to get them calm. However, this is not as easy as it is with some other conditions as we know that those that suffer from (PTSD).

When a person is diagnoses with PTSD they don’t always display symptoms and just when you think everything is fine they get triggered and then there is an explosion of panic, fear, trembling and the incoherent thought patterns that do seem to fit the situation. Bessel Van Der Kolb wrote the book, “The Body Keeps the Score.” In it he talks about how client experience PTSD differently and in severe cases the client may experience severe or extreme dissociations.

This makes a lot of sense due to the severe uncomfortable feelings that reexperiencing the traumatic events bring. Rather than go through that high level of terror the body blocks it out as a natural form of protection.

Must often therapist rely on Cognitive approaches to attempt to help the client make sense of the memories that haunt them. However, in severe cases the task of getting the client calm enough to revisit can prove counter productive as revisiting something like a rape or some close other being killed can retraumatize the client rendering them unable to subdue to talk-therapy.

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Francine Shapiro developed a ground-breaking approach that is designed to do just that. It is called Eye Movement Desensitization and reprocessing Therapy (EMDR). EMDR is a therapeutic approach that was originally designed to make revisiting the terrorizing memories a breeze, (. The process utilizes bilateral stimulation to gain access to the client’s memory. Once there the therapist aids the client in reprocessing those horrid memories into more tolerable ones that may in fact be helpful. EMDR does not distinguish like systematic desensitization does; it reprocesses the memory.

The sciences behind this approach is that memory is located on both temporal lobes of the brain. By using bilateral stimulation (Finger waving that the client follows) activates the neuro pathway such as the Thalamus and both hippocampi on both sides of the brain (Short term memory is processed into long term memory there). Once the client is relaxed the therapist helps the client to see positive things such as. It was not my fault, I escaped, or I am a survivor.


  1. Shapiro, F. (1995). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing; Basic principles, protocols, and procedures. New York: The Guilford Press.
  2. Shapiro, Jeremy P., et al. Child and Adolescent Therapy: Science and Art, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2015. ProQuest Ebook Central,

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Form of Stress: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. (2022, Feb 17). Retrieved from

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