Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Skills training can improve responses to disclosures of trauma

30.03.2011
New research study demonstrates how confidants can learn to be more supportive

New research from the University of Oregon concludes that even brief training can help people learn how to be more supportive when friends and family members disclose traumatic events and other experiences of mistreatment.

"The Impact of Skills Training on Responses to the Disclosure of Mistreatment," by Melissa Ming Foynes and Jennifer J. Freyd was published in the inaugural issue of the new American Psychological Association journal, Psychology of Violence. The study examined the effectiveness of skills training to enhance supportive responses to disclosures of mistreatment perpetrated by someone trusted, cared for or depended upon.

"Friends and family are often the first to hear about experiences of mistreatment, yet many people have not received education or training in how to respond," said Freyd, UO psychology professor and editor for the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation.

Conventional wisdom suggests that disclosure of a traumatic event or abuse is a healthy step toward recovery. And yet, previous research has shown that the way people respond to disclosures can profoundly influence how the survivor heals from the trauma.

"Oftentimes people want to be supportive and are well-intentioned in their efforts, but without training they are not naturally able to provide support in a helpful way," said Foynes, postdoctoral fellow at the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder at the VA Boston Healthcare System. "If survivors feel invalidated or hurt by others' responses, they might choose not to share their experiences again, which may make it harder for them to receive help in their recovery."

For the UO study, which was conducted while Foynes was a doctoral student working with Freyd, 110 pairs of university students participated with a friend or family member. First, participants were asked to write about two experiences, not previously disclosed to the partner, in which they felt mistreated by someone close to them. At random, one person was designated as a "discloser" and the other a "listener."

A trained research assistant then selected, at random, one of these two experiences for the "discloser" to share with the "listener." After completing a series of questionnaires about how they felt this interaction went, participants were given a written handout regarding either supportive listening techniques or healthy lifestyle improvements. After studying the written materials and taking a short quiz on the material, the discloser was asked to share the second experience of mistreatment.

Results showed that listeners who reviewed the skills-training materials describing supportive listening techniques demonstrated significantly fewer unsupportive behaviors than listeners in the control group who studied the materials describing healthy lifestyle improvements. In addition, listeners who demonstrated high levels of unsupportive behaviors during the first disclosure benefited the most from these materials.

"These findings suggest that with only 10 minutes of training, supportive responses to disclosures of mistreatment can be enhanced significantly," said Foynes. "At the same time, we do not believe that this training in and of itself is sufficient for helping people provide the level and quality of support survivors often need."

The skills-training handout described supportive listening techniques, including verbal and nonverbal ways of conveying support. Suggestions were given regarding body language as well as verbal responses that would likely be perceived as nonjudgmental and validating and encourage the discloser to continue talking. The skills-training handout for the control group described healthy lifestyle improvements about nutrition, exercise and sleep hygiene tips.

The results were measured by the discloser's evaluation of the supportive behaviors to provide insight into the interpersonal dynamic between the discloser and the listener.

"In this study, using disclosers' perspectives to assess whether the training translated into actual behavioral changes was an important improvement upon past research," said Foynes. "This research is an important step in increasing awareness of the importance of supportive responding and providing guidance that will hopefully make the task of supportive responding more attainable."

About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities as providing "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Julie Brown, UO media relations, 541-346-3185, julbrown@uoregon.edu or Jim Barlow, director of science and research communications, 541-346-3481, jebarlow@uoregon.edu

SOURCES: Jennifer J. Freyd, 541-346-4950, jjf@uoregon.edu; http://dynamic.uoregon.edu/; Melissa Ming Foynes, 857-364-2051, melissa.foynes2@va.gov

Jim Barlow | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uoregon.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht The genes are not to blame
20.07.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Targeting headaches and tumors with nano-submarines
20.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>