Martin Dorahy blog: “Evidence into practice 1”

By February 22, 2018 No Comments

Evidence into practice 1

Mark Tedeschi

Pam Stavropoulos

Barbara Disley

Janet Peters

Blue knot foundation announces it has changed its name to the National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma (NCECT), to differentiate complex PTSD from PTSD. These are certainly different sets of problems and do require quite often different treatments. Great initiative and direction forward!

Mark Tedeschi notes the lack of research on recovered memory and the fact people often deny the existence with very little evidence. He reports a number of studies that have supported the existence of recovered memory. Good to see a focus on the evidence rather than hearsay and opinion about this complex issue. He introduced the launch of the Blue Knot Foundation’s (now the NCECT) paper ‘the truth of memory and the memory of truth: Different types of memory and the significance of trauma’. Pam Stavropoulos provides an outline of the document, based on the distinction between explicit and implicit memory. This topic needs discussion to take us away for simplified conclusions that do not represent the complexity of trauma memory.  

Pam speaks about importance of keeping dissociation in mind, as it is ever-present in those with complex trauma presentations. She introduces a document on how to talk about trauma in services. This will come out officially next month. This looks a great resource for service managers and practitioners, examining how to ask questions about trauma and what questions might help, including knowing how to raise the issue of trauma. This will be invaluable for students, trainees, and early career professionals, as well as more seasoned clinicians. Clinician discomfort is often an obstacle. 

Barbara talked about New Zealand’s responds to trauma, noting early cases of denial, including that evident in the Louise Nicholas case, before she got an enquiry, and even after. Great to have a commission of inquiry into New Zealand’s responses to abuse in various settings. The world is facing for the first time in human history that children are hurt by adults in systems designed to protect them. Barbara noted the centrality and importance of the consumer voice.

Janet speaks of her own history and the combination of past choices, the aging process, genetics and ACEs to determine her current health.  The importance of multiple determinants in outcome is really made clear, from cultural and colonisation, to individual factors. Very rich presentation drawing on the personal and the professional to communicate the impact of trauma and how services can think about engagement and resilience. Multiple systems and integrated services that communicate are needed. She aptly finishes: ‘Let’s build resilient communities’.