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Psychological and Physiological Responses to Traumatic Memories in STARTTS’ clients

Gordana Hol-Radicic

Integration of traumatic experiences into existing memory scheme is greater under the strong and intense emotional reaction. The intense emotion cause memory of the particular event to be dissociated from consciousness and to be stored as: a) visceral (intuitive) sensations (anxiety, panic) or/and b) visual images (nightmares/flashbacks). It 1889 Pierre Janet determined that a fundament of mental activities is a storage and categorisation of incoming sensations that are stored into the memory; today known as semantic- declarative memories. Once the traumatic experience was integrated into the existing mental schemata it will no longer be accessible as a separate entity, it will however be distorted by the experiences prior and by the emotional state of the time of the recall. Traumatic memories are state dependent. Increased arousal provokes traumatic memories, sensory information and behaviour associated with prior traumatic experiences. Thus the arousal is increased in clients who were previously exposed to high stress, fears, avoidance and whose experiences were incorporated into their mental schemata in a form of somatic and symbolic memory.

Recorded at the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS)
October 2007, New South Wales, Australia.
Visit STARTTS at : www.STARTTS.org.au

Gordana Hol-Radicic
Gordana Hol-Radicic
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VideoPsychological and Physiological Responses to Traumatic Memories in STARTTS’ clientsGordana Hol-Radicic33'55"


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Gordana Hol-Radicic

Gordana Hol-Radicic is a Clinical Psychologist with over 30 years experience as a clinican, including more than 20 years working clinically with the complex presentations of torture and trauma survivors. Gordana is able to utilise various therapeutic approaches in the group and individual treatment of STARTTS’ clients from diverse age groups: children, adolescents, adults and the elderly.

Currently Gordana is the Direct Services Coordinator at STARTTS. She is responsible for ensuring the delivery of counselling services to refugee and asylum seeker clients, and manages five direct services teams of approximately 50 counsellors and the intake sub-team. She also provides clinical trainings, support and consultation to STARTTS’ counsellors and other service providers. Gordana has presented at international conferences and for the online psychological journal, ‘Psychevisual’, addressing topics on the psychological assessment of torture and trauma survivors, the psychological and physiological base of traumatic memories, and the utilisation of Neurofeedback with clients suffering from complex PTSD.

 

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