Artigo » Psychological dynamics affecting traumatic memories: Implications in psychotherapy

The search to understand response to trauma has turned to the contribution of
personality factors. The way people process the stressor event is critical in determining
whether a trauma will be configured or not. Neuroscience shows that the brain does
not store memories, but traces of information that are later used to create memories,
which do not always express a completely factual picture of the past experience.
Whenever an event is retrieved, it may undergo a cognitive and emotional change.
Psychological dynamics – emotional interpretative tendency that affects the internal
dialogue related to a meaningful event – may influence the development of positive or
negative outcomes after stressor events.We postulate that therapists must see beyond
the traumatic event itself and work with the internal dialogues that maintain the
pathological relationship with the past episode. Thus, they may better treat traumatized
patients by therapeutically rebuilding the memory. A brief clinical case is presented to
show how exposure-based and cognitive restructuring therapy may help trauma victims
experience psychological growth from their negative experiences, by fostering healthy
psychological dynamics.
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