The Ef­fects of Sys­te­mic Ad­ven­ture and Na­tu­re The­ra­py on Mi­li­ta­ry Per­son­nel With PTSD


Author: Louis Hedwig


Post­trau­ma­tic stress dis­or­der (PTSD) in mi­li­ta­ry per­son­nel is a com­plex di­se­a­se with far rea­ching in­di­vi­du­al, so­cie­tal and eco­no­mic con­se­quen­ces. Alt­hough first line tre­at­ments, such as eye mo­ve­ment de­sen­si­tiza­ti­on and repro­ces­sing the­ra­py (EMDR), imagery re­scrip­ting and repro­ces­sing the­ra­py (IRRT), pro­lon­ged ex­po­sure (PE), and co­gni­ti­ve-be­ha­vi­oral the­ra­py (CBT) con­sider the sug­ges­ti­ons of re­cent PTSD theo­ries (emo­tio­nal pro­ces­sing theo­ry, dual re­pre­sen­ta­ti­on theo­ry, co­gni­ti­ve mo­del) some pa­ti­ents re­main with si­gni­fi­cant re­si­du­al sym­pto­ma­to­lo­gy. The re­ason may be tre­at­ment bar­riers and chal­lenges that are as­so­cia­ted with mi­li­ta­ry per­son­nel PTSD. The­r­e­fo­re, ad­di­tio­nal tre­at­ment ap­proa­ches are re­qui­red to im­pro­ve mi­li­ta­ry per­son­nel PTSD re­co­very. Sys­te­mic ad­ven­ture and na­tu­re the­ra­py (SANT) was in­ves­ti­ga­ted in this stu­dy as such a com­ple­men­ta­ry tre­at­ment ap­proach. Par­ti­ci­pan­ts (N = 2) were mi­li­ta­ry per­son­nel with PTSD who re­cei­ved an on­line SANT in­ter­ven­ti­on. Their PTSD sym­ptoms be­fo­re and af­ter the in­ter­ven­ti­on were com­pared. Mo­reo­ver, this ex­pe­ri­men­tal group was com­pared to the tre­at­ment as usu­al (TAU) con­trol group of Beetz, Schöf­mann, Gir­gen­sohn, Bra­as and Ernst (2019), con­sis­ting of mi­li­ta­ry per­son­nel with PTSD (N =31). It was hy­po­the­si­zed that par­ti­ci­pan­ts in the ex­pe­ri­men­tal group would have less PTSD sym­ptoms af­ter tre­at­ment com­pared to par­ti­ci­pan­ts in the con­trol con­di­ti­on (H1) and a PTSD sym­ptom pre-test (H2). Re­sults show­ed that par­ti­ci­pan­ts‘ PTSD sym­ptoms did not im­pro­ve af­ter the ad­di­tio­nal SANT in­ter­ven­ti­on. Ho­we­ver, the SANT ex­pe­ri­men­tal group had de­creased PTSD sym­ptoms com­pared to the TAU con­trol group, in­di­ca­ting that SANT may be an ef­fec­ti­ve ad­di­ti­on to TAU. Re­sults have to be in­ter­pre­ted un­der con­side­ra­ti­on of four li­mi­ta­ti­ons that oc­cur­red due to the COVID-19 pan­de­mic.

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