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Traumatic Stress, Dissociative Symptoms and Consciousness

Description: Dissociative symptoms refer to alterations in consciousness that include alterations in memory, derealization, depersonalization and a fragmented sense of self. These symptoms are common in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and traumatic stress syndromes in general. There are no established pharmacological interventions, though opioid antagonists have been used as an off-label treatment. Recent research suggests that low dose naltrexone (LDN) may be preferable to the higher doses in many instances. A rationale for the use of opioid antagonists and LDN in particular is provided. It is suggested that LDN has beneficial effects on specific traumatic stress symptoms, as well as on body awareness, attentional functioning, memory, emotional regulation, mood symptoms and consciousness. Additional benefits on co-occurring somatic and immune system disorders are noted, suggesting that LDN may decrease or potentially halt compromised immune system function that frequently co-occurs with traumatic stress syndromes. Dosing strategies and effects on absorption and effectiveness of other co-administered medications and associated cautions are discussed. Finally, the relationship of dosing and the role of relational and psychotherapeutic factors with a view how underlying psychiatric symptoms may also result in an increased likelihood of adverse effects when LDN is utilized with a focus on immune system stabilization.




Ph.D. University of Saskatchewan, 1991 in Clinical Psychology (APA/CPA accredited).

M.A. University of Saskatchewan, 1986 in Clinical Psychology.

B.A. University of British Columbia, 1984 in Psychology.

Other Qualifications

Expert Witness, Supreme Court of BC 

Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress, Diplomate, American Academy of Traumatic Stress

Oral Examiner, College of Psychologists

EMDR Institute Facilitator

EMDRIA Approved Consultant/EMDRIA Certified in EMDR