‘It gives me hope for myself’ An interpretative phenomenological analysis of six clients’ experiences of identity- oriented psychotrauma therapy (IoPT): a psychotherapy method specifically designed to work with processes of developmental trauma

DCPsych thesis


Herrmann, A. 2021. ‘It gives me hope for myself’ An interpretative phenomenological analysis of six clients’ experiences of identity- oriented psychotrauma therapy (IoPT): a psychotherapy method specifically designed to work with processes of developmental trauma. DCPsych thesis Middlesex University / Metanoia Institute Psychology
TypeDCPsych thesis
Title‘It gives me hope for myself’ An interpretative phenomenological analysis of six clients’ experiences of identity- oriented psychotrauma therapy (IoPT): a psychotherapy method specifically designed to work with processes of developmental trauma
AuthorsHerrmann, A.
Abstract

As the subject of psychological trauma has become a strongly emerging field of theoretical development and research over the past 50 years, a sub-section has emerged which focuses specifically on trauma that children experience in their relationships to close attachment figures. This has been termed developmental trauma (DT) or complex PTSD. It is particularly important because it can affect the developing psyche on a structural level, and it is now recognised that this can substantially contribute to adult mental and physical health problems. Research into DT and its treatment is rapidly expanding, with many specialist therapeutic approaches being developed. However, while case studies of clients in treatment for DT abound in existing literature, systematic research into clients’ experiences of DT and its treatment is still scarce. Qualitative research into the lived experience of DT and its treatment can provide important insight into the complexity of this phenomenon and develop an understanding of what is clinically effective for clients. This study therefore provides an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) of six clients’ lived experiences of DT and its treatment through a specialist therapeutic method: Identity-oriented Psychotrauma Therapy (IoPT). Seven superordinate themes were identified in this study: (1) positive experiences with IoPT, (2) therapeutic mechanisms specific to IoPT, (3) emotional components of the process of integration, (4) somatic process, (5) the importance of understanding, (6) change in outside relationships and (7) the therapeutic relationship. The findings indicate that DT requires specialist treatment that facilitates structural change and an integration of traumatised processes and that IoPT can be an effective therapy method for this. Recommendations include many detailed aspects of specialist therapy to be developed, measures to ensure that diagnosis of DT is more sensitive to dissociative process (for example not needing to rely on conscious awareness and recollection of DT) and measures to ensure that specialist therapy methods for DT are made available on a broader scale and on a long-term basis.

KeywordsIdentity-oriented Psychotrauma Therapy; developmental trauma; complex PTSD; dissociation; integration; therapy
Sustainable Development Goals3 Good health and well-being
Middlesex University ThemeHealth & Wellbeing
LanguageEnglish
Department namePsychology
Science and Technology
Institution nameMiddlesex University / Metanoia Institute
Collaborating institutionMetanoia Institute
PublisherMiddlesex University Research Repository
Publication dates
Online20 Mar 2024
Publication process dates
Accepted29 Aug 2023
Deposited20 Mar 2024
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Open
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