Research on the treatment of trauma spectrum responses: the role of the optimal healing environment and neurobiology

Journal Article

By: E; Engel Jr. Osuch, C
Publication Name: J Altern Complement Med
Year: 2004

This paper presents a research agenda for the use of optimal healing environments (OHEs) for the treatment (and possible prevention) of the negative effects of exposure to extreme environmental stress or trauma. As background for understanding, this paper starts by briefly introducing the unique perspective of psychiatry in the field of OHEs. It then describes the nature of trauma spectrum responses including the best-known psychiatric response, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a description of the current accepted treatments for PTSD, and the status of research in alternative and complementary treatments for PTSD. These are followed by a discussion of the emerging role of clinical neurobiology in mental health, specifically the potential for the use of neuroimaging in filling a gap in methods of evaluating OHEs in trauma research. Last, it provides a list of important potential topics of research within the fields of trauma responses, neuroscience and OHEs.

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