What Is Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) For PTSD?

0 25

Different methods are used in exposure therapy such as virtual reality, in vivo exposure, imaginal exposure, prolonged exposure, and narrative exposure. In today’s blog, we are going to talk about narrative exposure therapy.

Narrative exposure therapy is a specialized therapy technique for trauma disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This therapy technique is effective for treating multiple or complex traumas. 

Narrative exposure therapy (NET) helps establish a rational narrative that helps contextualize traumatic experiences. Mainly, it is used for refugees but it can also be used for torture, war, rape, childhood abuse, or violence.

This therapy can help overcome trauma forced by cultural, political, or social forces. This therapy is generally conducted in a small group revolving around 4 to 10 sessions. NET can also be conducted individually. 

To put it in a nutshell, the main component of NET is to narrate a story about the client’s life which influences or perceives trauma and associated feelings. Narrating the client’s life story around traumatic experiences leads to the reframing of negative experiences. 

Quick Fact-Check: 

The concept of narrative exposure therapy (NET) was introduced by Maggie Schauer, Thomas Elbert, and Frank Neuner in the early 2000s. 
The therapy basically works on the fact that “trauma creates an alarm response.” Therefore, when clients talk about their traumatic experiences in chronological order, they slowly repair negative responses and associations.

What Happens During NET Sessions? 

Under the guidance of a trained and certified psychotherapist, clients establish a chronological narrative of their lives. The narratives are mainly focused on traumatic experiences combined with some positive experiences.

Psychologically, narrative exposure helps in contextualizing cognitive memories. In this way, the patient develops an autobiographical story. It also helps in developing more understood and refined memories of traumatic episodes. Throughout the sessions, the therapist works on compassionate understanding, therapeutic alliance, positive regard, and active listening. 

The therapist’s aim is to help clients describe their emotions, sensory information, physiological responses, and thoughts. After this, the clients are asked to narrate their traumatic experiences and relive the emotions while staying mindful.

Mindfulness is achieved by passing reminders. During the sessions, the memories are associated with episodic facts. At the end of sessions, an autobiography is created by the therapist and presented to the client.

This helps in mindful engagement which provides the patient the freedom to reflect on their experiences and cultivate a personal identity. NET is a different therapy program that actively focuses on traumas and experiences. This helps in restoring self-respect as well. 

How NET Helps Overcome PTSD or Multiple Traumas? 

When a client attends sessions of NET unreservedly, they gain a new perspective towards traumatic experiences and gain a better understanding of their life in a contextualized manner.

Through the session, the therapist works on establishing a chronological narrative of the client’s life focused on trauma. From a psychological perspective, when a trauma is turned into a narrative, it provides a better understanding of cognitive, sensory, and affective memories related to the trauma.

During sessions, a therapist mostly talks about the client’s senses, thoughts, physiological responses, and emotions. The therapist makes the client feel grounded so that they don’t feel overwhelmed by the memories.

During the end of sessions, when a client is able to safely reconnect from the trauma, the therapist works on developing a sense of personal identity. This helps in letting go of negative emotions and behavioral problems. 

Benefits of Using Narrative Exposure Therapy 

Below listed are some of the benefits of narrative exposure therapy: 

Transforms the trauma into a new perspective
Provides a new positive outlook
Develops more empathy and compassion
Effective therapy method for addressing multiple traumas 
Develops mindfulness and grounding
Fewer dropout rates 
Short-term therapy with long-term benefits 
Requires no homework  
Receives autobiography 

Effectiveness of Narrative Exposure Therapy 

The main purpose of NET is to make meaning out of traumas, organize memories, and gain a new perspective. According to studies, NET can also be effectively used for a range of symptoms such as anxiety, grief, and relationship conflicts.

Narrative therapy when used for treating PTSD is known as narrative exposure therapy (NET). It basically helps survivors and refugees. Additionally, it can also address complex trauma (C-PTSD).

A study shows that NET is more effective as compared to non-trauma-focused interventions. Additionally, research also shows that NET is more effective for treating C-PTSD meanwhile, prolonged exposure therapy (PET) can be effective for treating PTSD. 

I hope this blog helps you understand narrative exposure therapy (NET) for PTSD. Comment down your queries below or you can also write to us at Calm Sage. 

For more such content, connect with us through all social media platforms. 

Thanks for reading! 

The post What Is Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) For PTSD? appeared first on Calm Sage – Your Guide to Mental and Emotional Well-being.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.