Schematic integration of traumatic events.
Across multiple disciplines of psychology, one commonly used heuristic device, the schema, has often been called upon to illustrate the integration of an event. This paper is a critical examination of the literature on schemas and traumatic events. Three perspectives are identified: process-focused models, content-focused models, and construct-focused models. Process-focused models most clearly elucidate the change mechanisms and provide specific treatment implications in terms of exposure-based interventions. Content-focused models provide clinicians and researchers with hypothesized thematic conflicts that may need to be addressed in treatment. Construct-focused models and methodologies may provide a means by which researchers can represent and quantify the degree of conceptual integration of a traumatic event. The concepts of schema formation, activation, and modification are explored from each perspective. Implications for assessment and clinical interventions are also discussed.
Cason, DR; Resick, PA; Weaver, TL
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