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Dissertation

Yoga as an adjunctive treatment to <em>Saber es Poder</em> group therapy for healing trauma in Latina women: A preliminary study

26 July 2013

Abstract

Psychological traumas such as interpersonal violence and sexual assault have complex effects on the minds and bodies of those who experience them. In particular, there is growing awareness and research about how trauma affects the brain, the body, and the relationship between these entities. Yoga is one promising avenue of treatment for addressing psychological disorders, including the effects of trauma. To date, little research has been conducted on the use of yoga as a primary or adjunctive treatment for trauma-related distress. A group of particular interest and concern is Latina women, as they may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of trauma and also less likely to receive culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health care to support their healing process. To date, no studies have been published about the implementation of yoga as a treatment for trauma with this group. The current study examines outcomes and participants’ subjective experience of a particular model integrating trauma-sensitive yoga with a culturally appropriate group therapy protocol (Saber Es Poder). Due to a small sample size, statistically significant changes on the Trauma Symptom Inventory and an idiographic measure developed for this study were not found. However, qualitative interviews showed that participants largely experienced the group as helpful and self-reported a number of changes. Furthermore, reports of their experiences provide guidance for future implementation of this type of model.


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