Some people who have undergone traumatic situations later suffer from psychological and physiological disorders as a direct result of the distressing events, so-called Post Traumatic Stress Disorders. These disorders include sleep disorders, feelings of guilt and shame, fear, involuntary associations with the traumatic event, loss of interest, pain, and difficulties concentrating.

Sometimes, a strong sense of recall and an increased mental occupation with the events, occurs in old age.Many people who have been traumatized as a result of war-related experiences have never or only partially ever spoken about their experiences.

The available treatment
The available treatment focusses on seniors over 65 years of age, who are currently suffering from psychological (longterm effects) as a result of the experience of traumatic situations during and shortly after the end of World War II.

The therapy combines components which have proven to be highly effective in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorders. A primary focus of the therapy is the working up of the personal biography, within which the traumatic experiences from the past are included and processed.

Communication between participants and therapists occurs exclusively over the internet, only in exceptions, by post or fax.Therapists follow a scientifically tested treatment protocol, which consists of structured treatment elements that are adapted to the specific situation of the client. The clients can write at home, in their familiar environment which makes it easier to process their biography and trauma accompanied by the therapist.

The treatment lasts six weeks.

Free of charge
This treatment is offered especially for elderly people who have undergone traumatic experiences during World War II or during the postwar period. The treatment lasts approximately six weeks. Since the treatment offer is within the framework of a research study, only a limited number of applicants can be included. The treatment is free of charge.

By means of psychodiagnostic questionnaires, the effects of the study will be evaluated. All data will remain strictly confidential, maintaining anonymity, so that retroactive conclusions concerning the participants are not possible.

The study was conducted by the Center ÜBERLEBEN (former Berlin Center for Torture Victims, bzfo) under the direction of Dr. Christine Knaevelsrud and Dipl. Psych. Maria Böttche as well as Dr. med Philipp Kuwert from the Clinic of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy from the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University in Greifswald at the HANSE-Klinikum Stralsund.