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Alternative Title

Somatic awareness use by psychodynamic clinicians in the treatment of trauma-related disorders

Publication Date


Document Type


Study Type

Mixed methods


School for Social Work


Post-traumatic stress disorder-Treatment, Mind and body therapies, Psychodynamic psychotherapy, Mental depression-Somatization, Neurobiology, Affective neuroscience, Trauma, Somatic, Integration, Assimilitive integration


This exploratory study examined clinical experiences and perspectives of psychodynamic clinicians on assimilative integration of neurobiologically informed somatic awareness and somatic interventions for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other trauma related disorders. Using an online mixed-methods study survey, quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed. The primary study cohort respondents (N=156) met all study inclusion criteria and an excluded study sub-cohort respondents (N=56) met partial criteria. Psychodynamic relational practice and neurobiological concepts are formulated from the perspective of assimilative integration. The results, derived from integrating both data sets, reveal clinically relevant elements of the decision-making processes of psychodynamically informed clinicians who use somatic awareness and somatic interventions in their treatment approach with individuals who have been traumatized. They suggest that a trauma-specific neurobiologically informed psychodynamic treatment is an emerging clinical approach for individuals with PTSD and other trauma-related conditions.




v, 203 pages : color illustration. Ph.D. Dissertation-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Ma., 2016. Includes bibliographical references (pages 163-172)