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

10-13 June 2015 Vilnius, Lithuania

Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET): An Evidence Based Treatment for Multiple and Complex Trauma

10 June | 10:00 – 17:00
Room 209

Workshop description:

Dr. Ruud Jongedijk1, Dr. Gerdie Eiting2, Dr. Tobias Hecker3, Dr. Katharin Hermenau4

1 Foundation Centrum ’45; Arq Psychotrauma Expert Group; vivo international, Oegstgeest / Diemen, Netherlands
2 Foundation Centrum ’45; Arq Psychotrauma Expert Group, Oegstgeest / Diemen, Netherlands
3 University of Zürich; vivo international, Zürich, Switzerland
4 University of Konstanz; vivo international, Konstanz, Germany

Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) is an evidence-based approach for the treatment of trauma-related mental disorders. Given its focus on the autobiographical elaboration of traumatic experiences, NET is particularly suited for populations affected by multiple traumatic experiences like sexual, familial or organized violence. To date, there is good evidence that NET is an effective treatment approach with support from 18 RCT’s (N=950) with proven efficacy both, in resource poor contexts and in Western clinical settings. NET is well-tolerated and straightforward. It can be taught to non-expert practitioners, which makes NET an asset in low-income countries.

Working through the person’s biography in NET facilitates the recognition of interrelated emotional networks of events in cases of multiple and complex trauma. This helps to build episodic memory, fosters a sense of identity and gives deep personal understanding of schemas and social emotions that have evolved across the lifespan. Narrative Exposure allows meaning making, testifying to human rights violations and regaining dignity.

NET is a very well tolerated trauma focussed therapy and is a very welcome alterative for eg. Imaginary Exposure or EMDR.

In this workshop the principles of NET and its practical application will be explained and demonstrated by four scholarly NET expert trainers. There will be special attention to dissociation and to the recently developed NET for Forensic Offerders, FORNET, which addresses both fearful traumatic experiences and perpetrated violence and aggression. The theory and treatment of the lust for hatred, agression and destruction („agressive appitite“) will be explained.

The workshop is suited for clinicians, who want to extend there treatment options for traumatized patients. There will be some theory, but above all a lot of demonstration, explanation and excersise.


Ruud Jongedijk_Photo

Dr. Ruud Jongedijk

Ruud Jongedijk, MD, is a psychiatrist / psychotherapist and the medical director of Foundation Centrum ’45, the Netherlands.
Centrum ’45 is the Netherlands’ national specialist centre for the diagnostics and treatment of patients with complex trauma. Centrum ’45’s expertise in trauma related issues is disseminated through training, educational programs and scientific publications.
Ruud Jongedijk is affiliated with the Arq Psychotrauma Expert Group (the Netherlands) and is a member of vivo International (Germany). His main teaching and research interests are in the diagnostics and treatment approaches for the psychological consequences of complex trauma and complex PTSD. From 2007 on, he has implemented and developed Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) in the Netherlands, in collaboration with vivo and the University of Konstanz. He has developed certified NET-trainings and gives training and supervision to trauma therapists all over the Netherlands. He also gives lectures and workshops on NET and has authored a number of publications about NET. In 2014 he published the first Dutch book on the topic: Life stories and Psychotrauma. Narrative Exposure Therapy in Theory and Practice (Levensverhalen en psychotrauma. Narratieve Exposure Therapie in theorie en praktijk), Amsterdam: Boom Editors. An English version of the book will be published in 2015 / 2016.


Dr. Gerdie Eiting

Gerdie Eiting is a medical doctor, psychotrauma-therapist and trainer at Foundation Centrum ’45, the Netherlands. She is affiliated with the Arq Psychotrauma Expert Group (the Netherlands).
She is an experienced psychotrauma therapist for NET (Narrative Exposure Therapy), BEPP (Brief Eclectic Psychotherapy for PTSD) and EMDR. Together with Ruud Jongedijk, she since 2011 gives NET-training all over the Netherlands.
Gerdie Eiting works for several ngo’s like MSF and Antares in post-conflict areas in the world, especially specialised in psychosocial staff care.
Her fields of interest are refugees, psychotrauma, sexual violence, domestic violence, work-related trauma and trauma and culture.


Dr. Tobias Hecker

Tobias Hecker, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute of Psychology, University of Zurich, Switzerland. From 2011 till 2014 he worked at the Center of Excellency for Psychotraumatology and on the research ward for psychiatric inpatients at the University of Konstanz as researcher and trauma-therapist. His research focuses on consequences and prevention of organized, community and family violence, posttraumatic stress and child maltreatment as well as evidenced-based trauma treatment. Since 2012 he has taught workshops on Narrative Exposure Therapy in different European countries. He studied Psychology at Philipp’s-University of Marburg, Germany and at the University of Aarhus, Denmark. His Ph.D. he attained at the University of Konstanz. As an active member of vivo international Hecker facilitates the implementation of evidence-based intervention in countries with limited access to mental health care and coordinates projects in Tanzania and the DR Congo.