Monday, August 27, 2012

Couples and PTSD

excerpted from an article on by Deborah Kotz

Couples therapy helps relive pain of post-traumatic stress disorder

"About 1 in 12 Americans experience post-traumatic stress disorder at some point in their lives after experiencing a violent crime, war zone, or other traumatic event; all too often, the flashbacks, anxiety, insomnia, and withdrawal from everyday life leads to marriage conflicts and divorce. Now, though, new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that a specific form of couple therapy can both improve symptoms of PTSD and lead to stronger romantic relationships.

In the trial, 40 heterosexual and homosexual couples -- with one partner having PTSD -- were given either weekly therapy sessions in the VA Boston Healthcare System or in a Toronto research center or were assigned to be in a control group; those with PTSD who had the couple therapy experienced a greater improvement after 15 weekly sessions of therapy compared to those who didn’t have the therapy."

Thanks to Ms. Kotz for writing this piece.  Those of us living with physical or emotional illness know how much our partner is affected and how much our partner affects us.  It makes perfect sense that treatment that involves both partners will have a stronger outcome.

Have you used couples therapy as part of your toolkit for dealing with illness?

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