Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) is a very hopeful development in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is not new but less known than other trauma therapies. The major evidence base for the treatment of PTSD is under the CBT umbrella or EMDR (Eye Movement Sensitisation and Reprocessing). Under the CBT umbrella, we have cognitive therapy (CT), prolonged exposure therapy (PE) and cognitive processing therapy (CPT). Narrative exposure therapy also falls under the CBT group of therapies.
How is NET different? All other therapies focus mainly on the processing of trauma memories. NET also has this focus but in the context of the person’s autobiography and life timeline. This makes it easier to have a more holistic view of the person’s life. For more description of NET see here.
Almost all trauma focussed therapies will address the circumstances of the person’s life, and certainly, in CBT, there would be a formulation of the PTSD involving the entire history of the person. However, the narrative approach of NET provides salience to the person’s life story (rather than just history). It is also useful when multiple trauma events are present. NET has been applied extensively to immigrant populations and in conflict zones.
Therapies must not be only about interesting ideas that make sense. Therefore, the references below are added to provide emerging evidence for NET.
Our course in NET is perhaps the first in Canada. We have a few places left. We are fortunate to have Dr Anselm Crombach from Germany and Dr Patrick McGrath from Nova Scotia, both psychology professors with excellent academic track records, deliver the workshop in Ottawa from the 21-23 of September 2018.
Book soon! There are only a few places left.