J. Müller, M. Wenigmann, H. Schulz, H. Höllmer & R.-J. Gorzka

Bundeswehrkrankenhaus Hamburg

Cognitive constructivism and covert conditioning processes in psychotraumatology

During assessment and psychotherapy sessions at the Cen­tre for Mental Health of the Hamburg Bundeswehr Hospital, conditions with symptoms equivalent to the characteristic triad of symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, namely reexperiencing, hyperarousal and avoidance, have been observed in several patients who had not been exposed to a situation that could be defined (ICD-10 and DSM-5) as potentially traumatic. These patients reported considerable psychological and physical impairment by their symptoms which, in most cases, were accompanied by typical posttraumatic stress disorder comorbidities such as harmful use of or dependence on psychotropic substances, depression and sleep disorders. As a starting point for further discussion, this article addresses psychological approaches from the cognitive-behavioural paradigm to explain these observations. This also includes references to cognitive construction concepts and a protracted development of symptoms.