XIV Conference of European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Trauma in Changing Societies:
Social Contexts and Clinical Practice

10-13 June 2015 Vilnius, Lithuania

Integration Makes Sense: Getting to Know Brief Eclectic Psychotherapy for PTSD (BEPP)

10 June | 10:00 – 17:00
Room 403

Workshop description:

BEPP is a comprehensive treatment for PTSD that integrates effective interventions from various psychotherapy schools in a logical sequence. Several randomized controlled trials have proven its efficacy. The difference between BEPP and other evidence-based PTSD treatments is that BEPP focuses on healthy expression of avoided emotions like sorrow and anger and that its aim is to learn from the trauma. The losses of trauma bring forth a lasting change, and the message in BEPP is that one becomes ‘sadder and wiser’ and finds a new equilibrium with the world.

BEPP consists of 16 weekly sessions. Psychoeducation helps patients understand the relationship between the traumatic event(s) and their PTSD symptoms. The following five sessions are aimed at expressing emotions to process the trauma using imaginal exposure, mementos of the trauma and letter writing. Traumatic events also challenge trust in oneself, others, institutions, or society. Therefore, the following sessions are meant to give meaning to the traumatic experiences by looking at the consequences and by integrating a changed view of oneself and the world. BEPP ends with a farewell ritual.

This workshop presents an overview of BEPP alternated with Lithuanian and Dutch case examples and includes practising elements of the protocol.

Authors:

nijdam

Dr. Mirjam Nijdam

Mirjam J. Nijdam is a licensed psychologist and head of research on Evidence Based Treatments for PTSD at Arq Psychotrauma Expert Group and the Academic Medical Center at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Since 2003, she has combined a clinical position and research in her work. From 2004 to 2011 she has been working on her PhD study, a randomized controlled trial comparing Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and Brief Eclectic Psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder. From 2006 to 2008 she has conducted a study on the psychosocial effects of terrorist threats and close protection on Dutch politicians, commissioned by the National Coordinator of Counterterrorism and Safety. From 2012 to 2014 she worked as a postdoc investigating the effects of sleep on emotional and declarative memory in posttraumatic stress disorder in cooperation with the Brain and Cognition group at the University of Amsterdam. Currently, she is working on innovative applications of evidence based treatments for specific populations of trauma survivors and works as a therapist for veterans and police officers with PTSD. Since 2008, she is an international and national trainer and supervisor in Brief Eclectic Psychotherapy for PTSD.

Gersons

Prof. dr. Berthold Gersons

Berthold Gersons is emeritus distinguished AMC-professor of psychiatry at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands and senior scientific advisor of Arq Psychotrauma Expert Group. In 1980 he started research on trauma and PTSD in the police force and he established the first self-help-team in Dutch police. He developed the ‘Brief Eclectic Psychotherapy for PTSD’ (BEPP) protocol consisting of 16-sessions for police officers and other trauma victims and showed the effectiveness in randomized trials. BEPP has been recognized in the NICE Guidelines. He has been advisor for the Dutch Government after major disasters in the Netherlands, like the El Al air crash in 1992 and the Enschede fireworks disaster in 2000. He was member of the Board of the Dutch Veterans Institute and  advisor for the Ministry of Defense to develop a blueprint for military mental health in 2005. In 2012 he developed a blueprint for police mental health for the Dutch National Police. He is adviser to the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism to help politicians under threat cope with protection. His research group, now headed by prof.dr. Miranda Olff, is active in research on treatment and biological factors. He was a board member of the Journal of Traumatic Stress and ISTSS, as well as president of the European Society of Traumatic Stress Studies. He published over 200 papers in scientific journals and books and has lectured around 500 times in his home country and in various countries all over the world.

Miglė Dovydaitienė_Photo

Dr. Miglė Dovydaitienė

Associate professor at the General Psychology Department at the Faculty of Philosophy of Vilnius University. Graduated from the family and child psychotherapy and body psychotherapy studies, works in private practice as well. Most recent interests include interaction between the body and the mental and the expression of individual resources, counselling theory and practice, capacity of psychological help in overcoming the development challenges and traumas.