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Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02535

Brain and mind integration: Childhood sexual abuse survivors experiencing hyperbaric oxygen treatment and psychotherapy concurrently

  • 1University of Haifa, Israel
  • 2Emili Sagol Creative Arts Therapies Research Center (CATRC), Israel
  • 3The Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research, Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, Israel

Due to evidence that traumatic experience impacts the brain, the body (concerning sensory sensitivity), and the mind, a recent study that attempted to answer the question of whether the effects of CSA can be reversed by using a multidisciplinary approach consisting of dual treatments: hyperbaric & psychotherapy, was conducted. Its results showed that in addition to improvement of brain functionality, symptoms of distress were significantly reduced. The current paper aims to present the process as experienced by the 40 female childhood sexual abuse survivor participants. Data included participants’ daily journals and drawings, and participants’ summaries presented verbally and written, 6-months after the study ended. A phenomenological analysis was used. Results showed three phases, the initial phase – remembering the trauma from both physical and cognitive aspects, the second phase - physiological relaxation as well as positive memories emerge; and, the third phase – bouncing back to life. The results are discussed in light of the study theoretical model and Lev-Wiesel (2014) childhood sexual abuse conceptualization.

Keywords: child sexual abuse, Hyperbaric oxygen treatment, Psychotherapy, Phenomenology, Dual treatment

Received: 16 Aug 2018; Accepted: 27 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

Francesco Pagnini, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Italy

Reviewed by:

Daniel Rossignol, Rossignol Medical Center, United States
Francesco Carlo Paolo V. Riboni, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Italy  

Copyright: © 2018 Lev-Wiesel, Bechor, Daphna-Tekoah, Hadanny and Efrati. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Rachel Lev-Wiesel, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel, rlev@univ.haifa.ac.il