Psychotherapy for Psychological Injury: A Biopsychosocial and Forensic Perspective

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Abstract

This article reviews the predominant psychological approaches to therapy and other treatments in the field of psychological injury. Mostly, they concern cognitive behavior therapy and its variants. However, because of the simultaneous physical injuries or physiological effects that accompany these types of injury, practitioners should adopt an integrated biopsychosocial approach in treatment (Sperry, L., Treatment of chronic medical conditions: Cognitive-behavioral therapy strategies and integrative treatment protocols. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2006; Treatment of chronic medical conditions: Cognitive-behavioral therapy strategies and integrative treatment protocols. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2009). The paper presents a componential model of therapy that integrates the cognitive-behavioral, biopsychosocial, and forensic approaches. More research needs to be undertaken that takes into account the difficulties of conducting therapy with individuals who are expressing psychological injury. This will help in the quest to formulate evidence-based but flexible practice guidelines. The paper concludes with a model that may serve to scaffold the numerous psychotherapies that are available into a more coherent framework.

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