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Complex trauma: voices of healing

Dr Deborah Spermon

Within the context of the recent natural disasters occurring around the world, attention has been focussed on trauma's psychological consequences. The trauma spotlighted here is on that of childhood maltreatment and the effects on subsequent adult life. Described in this paper are experiences of recovery from patient perspectives, and an examination of how these are different from, and interact with, representations of therapy derived from published expert theoristpractitioner experience. It is based on a phenomenological study of reports from seven women with histories of chronic childhood maltreatment. These women have since been through significant recovery from dissociative symptoms, and it is this part of their journey that was the focus of this research. From the data, two models are proposed.

WORLD DREAMING: WORLD CONGRESS FOR PSYCHOTHERAPY
24-28 August 2011 Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre
Darling Harbour, Australia.
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Deborah Spermon
Deborah Spermon
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Dr Deborah Spermon

Ph.D, With some 30 years working in the field of mental health, Deborah has developed a special interest in working with people who have survived experiences of severe childhood maltreatment. She first worked with those who have been hospitalized with chronic mental illnesses, then in the community as a psychotherapist working with individuals and complex families at risk. More recently, she has been involved in research at the University of Queensland, Australia investigating recovery patterns of those with histories of trauma and dissociation, and in teaching counselling skills. Other interests include exploring remote areas of the planet including the Antarctic, the Arctic and the deserts of Australia.

 
Publications include:
Spermon, D., Darlington, Y., & Gibney, P. (Submitted). Complex posttraumatic stress disorder: Patient voices of healing. Qualitative Health Research Journal.
Spermon, D., Darlington, Y., & Gibney, P. (2010). Psychodynamic psychotherapy for complex trauma: Targets, focus, applications and outcomes. Psychology Research and Behaviour Management, 3, 119-127.
Spermon, D., Gibney, P. B., & Darlington, Y. (2009). Complex trauma, dissociation, and the use of symbolism in therapy. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 10, 436-450.

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