Writing an SE case study
M. Laurie Leitch, PhD, Director, FHE Research Program 1-08
The FHE is interested in encouraging faculty, students, and SEPs to conduct both quantitative outcome studies as well as case studies. Both can contribute to our need for an evidence-based practice. This set of guidelines is intended to help orient practitioners to the clinical case study. The guidelines will first provide some information about case studies in general. Second, a suggested format or protocol that is specific to SE is presented that can be used to write up a case study for publication. In section 3 human subjects protections are ...view middle of the document...
Another benefit of clinical case studies is that they can be carried out and written up by clinicians who are not researchers. Quantitative studies are often daunting to clinicians who do not have extensive knowledge of research instruments and statistical analysis. A case study, focused as it is on creating a holistic narrative, requires neither and, yet, can contribute to building the evidence base of the intervention being used.
The purpose of the case study shapes the way the analysis or inquiry is conducted. The Research Program is interested in case studies which help illuminate the ways in which particular clients/patients respond to SE and the treatment benefits of SE with a client. The next section discusses the SE case study.
II. SE Case Studies
An SE case study can focus on one session and the SE interventions used and outcomes of the interventions (less likely to be published) or it can follow a client receiving SE over time (e.g., 3 sessions, 8 sessions, etc.), referred to as a longitudinal case study. In either case the focus is on the clinician’s choicepoints during the sessions, the rationale for the choices made, and the client’s responses.
For example, in describing the use of SE interventions over a 6 session treatment process it would be important to discuss such choices as:
• How is the client initially introduced to somatic awareness?
• How does the clinician determine the client’s readiness for somatic interventions?
• At what point does the clinician shift from tracking sensations in general to resourcing and why?
• At what point is the decision made to begin incorporating traumatic material and sensations? And, why?
• How are cognitions and emotions addressed/utilized in the case being presented?
Because somatic interventions are new to most clinicians in the broader clinical community it is important to fully explain such skills as titration and pendulation in terms non-somatic clinicians can understand. It is also important to give some information about the neuroscience underlying SE (biological basis of trauma, role of the ANS, etc).
In a longitudinal case study (LCS), the emphasis is on the progression of the SE work over time. For example, in a longer term LCS there would most likely be a discussion of coupling dynamics and restoration of defensive responses, whereas, in a single session or briefer work the basic SE skills would be discussed.
Because SE is relatively new to clinicians outside the somatic “world,” published case studies are an important way for the broader clinical community to learn what SE is and the way it is used in clinical work. For those SE practitioners who also draw upon other modalities (CBT, EMDR, etc.) a case study can describe when and why SE is woven into a session).
SE Case Study Protocol:
Single Session Format-...