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Psychotherapy in Prison and the Community: Understanding the Developmental Implications of Trauma in Psychosis

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Length: 32 minutes

Martin Cosgro, PhD

It is now well established that trauma of various forms is typically at the root of psychotic experiences. Being able to make sense of the significant, as well as subtle, impressions this leaves on development and resultant behavior is a crucial process in being consistently effective in helping people who struggle with chronic psychosis. A lack of early safety leads to underdeveloped conscience and its self-regulatory mechanisms which is often seen in forensic settings. Also, affective experiences often trigger similarly feeling past unresolved experiences which tend to undermine developmental strivings of even the most motivated clients. Helping clients to understand this dynamic process is central to their being able to take control of their emotions, behavior and ultimately their lives, breaking the previous bonds of unconscious conflict.

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