A controlled pilot-outcome study of sensory integration (SI) in the treatment of complex adaptation to traumatic stress

  • Kaiser E
  • Gillette C
  • Spinazzola J
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This study tested whether sensory integration (SI) treatment combined with psychotherapy would improve symptom outcome over psychotherapy alone in the treatment of complex posttraumatic stress, as measured by the Disorders of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified (DESNOS) clinical construct in a group of 10 adult patients with histories of childhood abuse. DESNOS symptoms were assessed at three time periods (T1, baseline; T2, after experimental group SI treatment; and T3, after wait-list control group SI treatment) using the Structured Interview for Disorders of Extreme Stress (SIDES). The Sensory Learning Program™ (SLP), developed by the Sensory Learning Institute of Boulder, Colorado, was used as the SI treatment modality. Results indicated significant differential improvement for the group treated with SLP in SIDES Total Score (T1/T2 and T2/T3), Self Perception (T1/T2 and T2/T3), Affect Regulation (T2/T3), and Alterations in Meaning (T1/T2).

Author-supplied keywords

  • "bottom up" approach to trauma processing
  • complex adaptation to traumatic stress
  • developmental trauma
  • dysregulation of the HPA system
  • experience-dependent maturation of the brain
  • sensory integration

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  • Erika M. Kaiser

  • Craig S. Gillette

  • Joseph Spinazzola

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