Exploring the link between trauma, physical illness, and psychotherapy

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Burke, Anne Marie
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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Trauma is prevalent, potentially to a higher extent than we realise. Chronic illness and medically unexplained symptoms are also very common. Healthcare systems in many countries are bursting at the seams with chronic and pain patients. This study focuses on the link between physical ill health and a history of trauma and childhood adversity. Previously, many studies have examined the relationship between past adverse experiences and chronic illnesses, with the consensus of a clear correlation between. However, few studies have considered the benefit of using this information to positively influence health management. Knowing the link between trauma and chronic illness could be utilised in the management of chronic illness in current health systems. After all, the efficacy of such systems is regularly questioned. The current study set out to find research on this, with the outcome showing a lack of any concrete data. The paper suggests the potential benefits of integrating trauma therapy into clinical settings. Trauma therapy can be complicated for psychotherapists, so such challenges are highlighted in this study. This paper concludes the need to address the difficulties in providing trauma therapy before aiming to use it in another complicated setting such as a healthcare system.