By Katherine A. Heeg
Center for Psychological Services of Somerset County
Katherine A. Heeg, Hillsborough, New Jersey.
Katherine A. Heeg is now at Achieve Your Full Potential, New York, New York.
The views reported here do not reflect the views of the Center for Psychological Services of Somerset County.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Katherine A. Heeg, 135 E. 50th St, 108C, New York, NY 10022.
The Comprehensive Resource Model is a groundbreaking new psychotherapeutic treatment modality with broad possibilities for use with the military veteran population.
Objective: This article describes in detail a clinical case example where this modality was used with a military veteran presenting with severe PTSD symptoms. Method: Six 60-75 minute treatment sessions with the veteran are described, and client symptoms were measured before and after treatment and at a two year follow up using the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale, Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale, and Clinical Global Impression scale. Results: Findings showed that the treatment was effective at relieving the worst symptoms (dissociation and flashbacks) even after two years. Some symptoms remained such as hypersensitivity to loud noises. Conclusion: The Comprehensive Resource Model, specifically the Resource Energy Grid, provided a safe, effective way to treat some of the most challenging symptoms in trauma therapy. Studies on larger sample sizes would be necessary for generalizability. An Appendix by the spouse of the subject provides additional support for the findings.
Keywords: Comprehensive Resource Model, combat PTSD, dissociation, Resource Energy Grid
The purpose of this article is to introduce the Comprehensive Resource Model of psychotherapy with a clinical case study. The Comprehensive Resource Model was formerly called the Resource Model of Brainspotting. To date, no articles or books have been written specifically about this model in the professional literature. This case report attempts to test the effectiveness of the Comprehensive Resource Model, specifically a clinical tool called the Resource Energy Grid. Pre and post treatment questionnaires are used to measure results. This article attempts to show that the Comprehensive Resource Model is a practical and effective therapeutic modality for treating Posttraumatic Stress Disorder related to military service.
The Comprehensive Resource Model is a new psychotherapy treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. It has some similarities to the evidence-based treatment Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), and Brainspotting, a modality that uses focused eye position. While EMDR primarily uses eye movements, Brainspotting predominantly uses focused eye positions. Corrigan and Grand (2013) define Brainspotting:
Brainspotting is a psychotherapy based in the observation that the body activation
experienced when describing a traumatic event has a resonating spot in the visual
field. Holding the attention on that Brainspot allows processing of the traumatic
event to flow until the body activation has cleared. This is facilitated by a
therapist focused on the client and monitoring with attunement (p. 1).
Grand (2010) further defines Brainspotting below.
A “Brainspot” is the eye position which is related to the energetic/emotional activation of a traumatic or emotionally charged issue within the brain. Located by eye position, paired with externally observed and internally experienced reflexive responses, a Brainspot is actually a physiological subsystem holding emotional experience in memory form. Brainspotting stimulates and promotes deep processing, integrating, and healing activity within the brain. This appears to take place within the brain’s emotional centers at a reflexive and cellular level. It typically results in a de-conditioning of previously conditioned, maladaptive emotional, psychological, and somatic responses and patterns. It appears to stimulate, focus, and activate the body’s inherent capacity to heal itself from trauma.
The Comprehensive Resource Model appears to take the above process even further, adding another six nested, primary resources and four secondary resources which are utilized sequentially, concurrently, or individually as needed throughout the therapy work. The use of these layered resources creates a streamlined, highly effective level of somatic resourcing and brain-based neurobiological rewiring. The component of the CRM model which was used as the primary resource in this particular case is the Resource Energy Grid, during which a client identifies grounded, centered, present, solid areas of the body and connects them together, creating an internal resource, and from there, a corresponding eye position is found which anchors this state physiologically, and the traumatic reprocessing work begins. Lisa Schwarz, M.Ed., developed the Comprehensive Resource Model (Schwarz 2009). Brainspotting was used in her clinical psychology practice with clients diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and Dissociative Identity Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (DDNOS), and the Comprehensive Resource Model evolved out of her work with that population (Schwarz 2009). An upcoming book The Comprehensive Resource Model for the treatment of complex posttraumatic stress disorder is currently being written by Frank Corrigan and Lisa Schwarz (L. Schwarz, personal communication, January 13, 2014).