Physiological self-regulation through biofeedback-assisted relaxation training for women with abuse-related PTSD: A biopsychosocial intervention design

Helen Eberle Daly (1999)

This study examines and critiques existing theoretical and practical models of assessment and treatment for PTSD symptoms of physiological arousal, and proposes a treatment design. Most studies of physiological arousal of individuals with PTSD have investigated male combat veterans from a behavioral perspective. From an alternative study of biofeedback-assisted relaxation training for male veterans framed in a systemic theoretical model, the author transfers this application to women with abuse-related PTSD, incorporating recent findings in the psychophysiology of traumatic stress. This study highlights issues for women with abuse-related PTSD such as age- and gender-related exposure differences, self-regulation development, interpersonal learning, and physiological self-efficacy. The proposed treatment design applies standard biofeedback-assisted relaxation training to decrease PTSD symptoms and increase self-regulation and functioning in women with abuse-related PTSD. Recommendations for evaluation of the treatment intervention are also included. The author argues a biopsychosocial perspective is a more comprehensive theoretical framework than behavioral theory for a biopsychosocial problem such as PTSD.