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Trauma Workbook: the psychotherapeutic relationship is crucial

Manual for practical psychotherapeutic work with clients from or in war and conflict areas: Prof. Dr. Jan Ilhan Kizilhan and colleagues focus in "Trauma Workbook" on the change of dysfunctional behavior and its sustaining factors. There are two goals: One is the reduction of symptoms, the other is to improve the quality of life or functioning.

The therapeutic relationship is most important: The interaction of the trained professional and the client forms a therapeutic relationship. This bond is both a condition and a tool for any kind of psychological therapy. This relationship or alliance is of voluntary, contractual nature and of limited time. It is confidential. This allows the client to trust the therapist with his or her personal problems.


The therapist must not exploit the trust and the confidence of the client in any way. It is a professional relationship - and must remain so. The therapist helps by being accepting, empathic, genuine and warm to the client. She/he expresses unconditional positive regard to the client. There is not judgment, even if the client is rude or reveals nasty things. The therapist has empathy for the client. This means she/he feels the way her/his client feels and understands her/him. She/he can put herself/himself in the client´s shoes ...


A very helpful intervention is to create an imagination of a so called safe place. A safe place should be a place that only the client and the people she/he loves can access. Its purpose is to give the client a sense of security and protection. The most important thing is that the safe safe place keeps all the danger away. When the client starts thinking the safe place, "it might help you think about places where you have been before in your life and where you felt safe. If nothing comes to your mind, you can easily think about an imaginary safe place. Once you have thought of something, try to think of its characteristics in a very detailed manner and step by step add any items that you would like to bring to your safe place ..."


Jan Ilhan Kizilhan, Nadine Friedl, Florian Steger, Nina Rüegg, Pascal Zaugg, Christian Thomas Moser, Martin Hautzinger: Trauma Workbook for Psychotherapy
Pabst, 282 pages, ISBN Paperback 978-3-95853-498-8, ISBN e-book 978-3-95853-499-5

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Jan Ilhan Kizilhan: Psychoedukation bei Traumastörungen. Manual für die Gruppenarbeit mit MigrantInnen und Geflüchteten.
Pabst, 180 Seiten. ISBN Paperback ISBN 978-3-95853-407-0, e-book ISBN 978-3-95853-408-7

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Peter Fiedler (Hrsg.) Varianten psychotherapeutischer Beziehung.
Pabst, 240 Seiten. ISBN Hardcover 978-3-95853-442-1, ISBN e-book 978-3-95853-441-4

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