Emotion Regulation in Complex Traumatized Inpatients: A Follow-Up EEG-Study on Treatment Effectiveness
R. Dieterle1, Y. Schlumpf1, E. R. S. Nijenhuis2, L. Jäncke1, S. Bachmann2 (1Zürich ; 2Littenheid)
Emotion regulation (ER) has become a widely studied topic as it plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis and persistence of many psychiatric disorders. In posttraumatic and dissociative disorders, these impairments include hypo- and/or hyperaroused states, where patients either overregulate emotions and therefore become emotionally numb or they underregulate and experience overwhelming emotions. The goal of this study was to examine if the acquisition of effective regulation strategies is a fundamental process in trauma therapy. Inpatients of Clienia Littenheid AG/Switzerland with complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorders (cPTSD), Dissociative Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (DDNOS), or Dissociative Identity Disorders (DID) were assessed at the beginning of treatment (pre-assessment) and at discharge (post-assessment). During their stay they received trauma-adapted psychotherapy including stabilization-oriented sessions in individual and group settings. The aim of this stabilization was to improve patients’ regulatory capacities. Emotion regulation was analyzed using an electroencephalography (EEG) experiment where negative and neutral pictures were presented and patients were asked to regulate their emotions using reappraisal strategies. A neural marker of emotion regulation (i.e., Late positive potential (LPP)), heart rate, behavioral and clinical measures were analyzed and compared between pre- and post-assessment. Preliminary results will be presented.