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See detailBorderline functioning and life trauma: a structural approach
Schiltz, Jang UL; Schiltz, Lony

in Archives of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (2016), 2(2016), 12-21

Aim: The general aim of this multiannual research project was the exploration of the links between traumatizing life events and current functioning. Material and methods: The research project was based on ... [more ▼]

Aim: The general aim of this multiannual research project was the exploration of the links between traumatizing life events and current functioning. Material and methods: The research project was based on a sequential design. It included an exploratory study with 206 persons experiencing exclusion and marginalization, followed by a confirmatory study with 195 persons. We present the confirmatory study results, as well as a meta-analysis of both studies. Both studies were based on an integrated quantitative and qualitative research methodology, combining a semi-structured biographical interview, psychometric scales (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Index of Well- Being) and a projective test (Rotter Incomplete Sentences Blank). We developed original rating scales for the semi-structured interview and the answers to the Rotter test, allowing a step from qualitative analysis to inferential and multidimensional statistics. Results: With the help of appropriate multidimensional statistical procedures applied to the semi-structured interview (linear principal components analysis) and the Rotter test (multiple correspondence analysis), we were able to draw out differential types of personality functioning based on the prevalent defense mechanisms and coping strategies, linked either to a succession of traumatic events, such as neglect, maltreatment and multiple losses occurring since childhood, or to recent catastrophes. The comparative study of the answers to the Rotter test in the first and third person pointed to differences in the expression of conscious and unconscious needs. Configural frequency analysis applied to HADS identified specific types that could correspond to variants of borderline functioning. The meta-analysis of the exploratory and confirmatory findings showed convergent results at several fundamental dimensions. Our results supported the traumatogenic hypothesis of borderline functioning and pointed towards a partial overlapping of the concepts of splitting and dissociation. Conclusions: More long-term evaluation studies of appropriate psychotherapeutic measures are needed. From the methodological point of view, the most appropriate strategy might be a mixed-methods design combining data from different sources (semi-structured interviews, psychometric scales, projective tests, etc.) and respecting the person-centered approach. This approach combines objectivity with subjectivity in an optimal manner. [less ▲]

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See detailWhen the Foundations of Life have been Upset… An Integrated Clinical and Experimental Study with Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Schiltz, Lony; Schiltz, Jang UL

in Archives of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (2013), 15(2), 53-62

Aim Recent research results in clinical psychology, health psychology and neurobiology underline the relationship between dissociative states, complex posttraumatic syndromes and borderline functioning ... [more ▼]

Aim Recent research results in clinical psychology, health psychology and neurobiology underline the relationship between dissociative states, complex posttraumatic syndromes and borderline functioning [11]. Our study is meant to investigate the traumatic hypothesis of borderline functioning and to develop appropriate psychotherapeutic measures based on artistic mediations. Material and Methods.To estimate the effect of traumatic events, from the beginning of life up to recent stressors, linked to natural catastrophes, war, political persecution and migration, we undertook an integrated clinical and experimental study with a sample of 73 refugees and asylum seekers. In a second stage, those who suffered from PTSD or complex post-traumatic states were offered to attend arts psychotherapeutic sessions.. To investigate the personality functioning at the structural level, we used a mixed quantitative and qualitative methodology, combining a semi-structured biographical interview, a projective test, i.e. the Sentences Completion Test, for which we developed a new manner of interpretation , and psychometric scales, i.e. the HADS and the Index of Wellbeing . Furthermore, we analysed the artistic production (pictures, stories written under musical induction) with the help of rating scales constructed in the phenomenological and structural tradition. Results. With the help of non parametric multidimensional statistics, we extracted two profiles of personality functioning, linked either to repeated breaks, negligence and maltreatment from the beginning of life, or either to a recent external catastrophe, interrupting a continuous life course. Through the evaluation of the arts therapeutic sessions, we could note the first signs of resumption of the blocked process of subjectivation. Discussion.The results of the study support the traumatogenic hypothesis of borderline functioning, as well as current clinical considerations concerning the defensive role of dissociation in complex posttraumatic states. Conclusion. The study opens tracks for future research concerning an in depth investigation of the arts therapeutic process with traumatized people. [less ▲]

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