Traumatic stress and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are rampant in contemporary culture. This study assessed the similarities and differences among contemporary treatment modalities, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Structured Intervention for Trauma for Children, Adolescents and Parents, Hypnosis, and Curanderismo, a Mesoamerican traditional treatment modality which contains elements of practice similar to Transpersonal Psychology for the treatment of PTSD. In this heuristic study, data was collected in urban settings in the United States and urban, rural,and jungle settings in Mexico and Guatemala. This study includes description of the therapeutic use of the temazcal, a Mesoamerican sweat lodge, limpias, a ritualized clearing of the subtle energy field, the medicinal and spiritual applications of herbalism, shamanic ritual, and the plática, a specific and highly interpersonal counseling style employed by curanderos. Results produced the development of an integrated healing model to reflect the positive aspects of all researched modalities toward efficacious treatments for traumatic stress and PTSD.
Kathy Mohr-Almeida, Ph.D., studied traditional healing in rural, urban and jungle settings in Mexico and Guatemala as part of her doctoral research. In addition to her doctoral research, Dr. Mohr-Almeida completed an apprenticeship in Curanderismo, and holds degrees in English, Journalism, Elementary Education, and a Master's Degree in Psychology.