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Deep story: An investigation of the use of the embodied voice in the treatment of traumatic memory

Molly Scott, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This study is a qualitative case study investigation of the expanded use of the voice in the treatment of trauma. It examines the Deep Story process, a treatment for traumatic memory using both languaged narrative and pre-language sounding, or PLS. The Deep Story process uses an interactive team protocol with a story teller, a reflector, and a witness, involving repeated tellings of the trauma story both in and out of language. The use of the embodied voice in the treatment of trauma is under-researched and the purpose of this study is to provide an experiential data base to generate knowledge about how the intentional use of vocal frequencies might alleviate the stress of trauma. In-depth interviews were conducted with five women, two Germans and three Americans, ages thirty-seven to forty-eight, who had participated in a therapy training which included Deep Story trauma work. Data collection also included a follow-up questionnaire, meetings and phone contacts. Thematic analysis, using the constant comparative method, defined the experience of the participants and provided data for emerging implications and further study. Participants reported a lessening of anxiety around the trauma after the Deep Story work, and a stronger sense of empowerment, authenticity, and voice in the world. For all the participants, the locus of therapeutic change was in the pre-language sounding component of the protocol. These findings suggest that such extended use of the voice in the Deep Story treatment lessens the toxity of traumatic memory and can be an effective intervention in the treatment of trauma.

Subject Area

Psychotherapy|Cognitive therapy|Personality

Recommended Citation

Scott, Molly, "Deep story: An investigation of the use of the embodied voice in the treatment of traumatic memory" (1997). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9737582.