Trauma stabilization as an effective treatment for children with post-traumatic stress problems in [International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 2020]

4 April 2020

High numbers of children and adolescents in South-East Asia are traumatized by either natural disasters or human-made violence. Addressing traumatic sequelae in local populations with empirically based trauma treatments is challenged by the insufficiency inappropriately trained mental health provision. To meet this need for qualified therapists, the humanitarian/trauma capacity-building organization, Trauma Aid Germany, trained 37 therapists in psychotraumatology, including trauma stabilization. This study analyses the impact of trauma stabilization as a sole treatment intervention for post-traumatic stress (PTS) problems in children and adolescents. Each client was screened for PTS problems pre- and post-treatment using the Child Behaviour Checklist. Trauma stabilization (including psychoeducation) was the focus for subsequent data analysis. Those excluded were clients in receipt of trauma confrontation interventions. Trauma stabilization, as a sole treatment intervention, appeared to be sufficiently effective in reducing the PTS problems. The data set suggests that trauma stabilization has the potential to be effective, efficient, and sufficient treatment intervention for PTS problems in children and adolescents. Trauma stabilization techniques have the advantage of being relatively straightforward to teach and easy to integrate into practice. They are clinically safe, flexible, adaptable to the development stage and age of the client, and culturally and spiritually sensitive. A further advantage of trauma stabilization interventions is that they are bespoke – adjusted and adapted to the specific needs of the client. The discussion considers the implications for the potential utilization of mental health nurses and paraprofessionals in low- and middle-income countries in trauma stabilization interventions.

Cordula Mattheß (1), Derek Farrell (1,2), Marcel Mattheß (1), Peter Bumke (2) Ute Sodemann (2), and Helga Mattheß (1,2,3)

1) University of Worcester, Worcester, UK,
2) Humanitarian Organisation Trauma-Aid Germany, Berlin, and
3) Psychotraumatology Institute Europe, Duisburg, Germany

© 2020 Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc.


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