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Usually when discussing psychotherapy we use summaries written by the therapist. In contrast, I am presenting here a video of an actual trauma treatment dyad.
The director of a documentary on trauma, whom I did not know, approached me to do a one-time double therapy session for him for his documentary. He received my name as a specialist in the area who might be a good model for showing trauma treatment in action. He also wanted to ascertain if psychotherapy would be effective for him. This man had never had therapy before, yet had experienced life-threatening trauma as well as a very difficult childhood.
Seeing how this session unfolds, with the responses of both patient and therapist, communicates my own style of trauma treatment better than any abstract description. The interview illustrates the development of rapport and joining with the patient. It shows my acting as a caring facilitator in the exploration, reliving, and articulation of his trauma history. We delve into a number of his experiences, highlighting how he was able to utilize and expand on the interpretations and insight I was able to offer. Because this is a documentary and a demonstration video, I also explain the process to him and present an overview of trauma and its dynamics.
It is my hope that this video will bring forth a good discussion of psychotherapy and trauma therapy.
The director/patient set up this video such as not to be seen on screen. At the end of the video is a list of some of my publications.
Stuart D. Perlman, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in West Los Angeles, and a training and supervising analyst at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles. Dr. Perlman received his first Ph.D. from UCLA in Clinical Psychology and his second Ph.D. from the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute, and has been a faculty member at both. He has published numerous articles in psychology and psychoanalytic journals on topics such as: trauma, sexual abuse, sexual satisfaction in couples, countertransference, and supervision. His book, The Therapist’s Emotional Survival: Dealing With The Pain Of Exploring Trauma, was a Psychotherapy Book Club Main Selection.