Stronger Than My Ghosts: Narrative Exposure Therapy and Cognitive Recovery in Later Life

J.C.G. Lely, S.M. De la Rie, J.W. Knipscheer, R.J. Kleber

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Abstract

Background: To explore cognitive recovery during and after Narrative Exposure Therapy from the patient’s perspective, autobiographical material and interview responses were qualitatively analyzed. 

Method: Using a framework of cognitive development, patient-reported outcomes from four senior Dutch citizens (57–81 years of age) were examined. All participants reported multiple traumatic experiences, including adverse childhood experiences. 

Results: During and after treatment, the participants reported gradual changes in posttraumatic feelings, cognitions, and treatment-related perceptions toward increased self-awareness and self-esteem. 

Conclusions: A framework of cognitive development provides a comprehensive understanding of how older adults deal with childhood trauma and its consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-382
JournalJournal of Loss and Trauma
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • narrative exposure therapy
  • older adults
  • PTSD
  • qualitative research
  • trauma

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