Survive and Thrive

We have developed a new gentler method of therapy to help survivors suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating condition that follows exposure to adverse events. People affected often re-live the trauma, or find their lives compromised by avoiding anything that could trigger awful memories. Those with PTSD also present with other conditions such as depression, anxiety and substance misuse.

Established therapy for PTSD typically involves exposure to the traumatic memory itself – the patient confronts the events, which have caused the distress in order to deal with the problem.

survivor A team of researchers from Edinburgh Napier University and NHS Lothian developed a new, gentler method, specifically for use with survivors who find trauma-focused therapy challenging. This new therapy, called Survive & Thrive, has proved highly successful in adult survivors of childhood trauma with mental health and behavioural problems.

For some people who have survived childhood trauma – particularly sexual or physical abuse, or neglect – therapy which involves exploring memories in detail can be very challenging. That is why we have experimented with more gentle approaches to treatmentsaid Professor Thanos Karatzias.

More than 50 professionals have been trained to use the new therapy across Scotland, and the Edinburgh Napier team is now adapting the technique for use with other vulnerable groups, including people with learning disabilities and prisoners. 

Interested in this project? Contact Professor Thanos Karatzias.