GPHD8452: PTSD, Psychology and Healing Methods

Credits 3
Cross Listed

Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and experience. Psychological trauma can lead to a constellation of persistent disorders including anxiety, depression, and recurring nightmares. This constellation, labeled Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), is a condition that follows experiencing or witnessing life- threatening events that exceed one’s coping capacity, emotional resources, and/or existential worldviews. Western mental health workers apply this socially constructed label to noticeable changes in someone’s behavior, attitudes, and/or values after an accident, natural disaster, armed combat, rape, torture, abuse, or a variety of other assaults. When the person who suffered the trauma has not been able to recover, gain equilibrium, and “get on with life,” this dysfunction is typically attributed to the traumatic experience. The problem of PTSD has increased, as an increasing number of combat veterans return to the United States in need of healing and re-integration with society. However, PTSD survivors extend well beyond combat veterans. The phenomena of cultural PTSD and intergenerational PTSD persist around the globe accompanied by a great need for transpersonal healing. There are many effective treatments for PTSD survivors, ranging from conventional to transpersonal and various combinations. This course will emphasize both the current scientific “evidence based” treatments for PTSD, and other healing methods for PTSD including alternative, holistic, cross-cultural, creative, arts-based, humanistic, existential, and transpersonal approaches.