chapter  11
Phase 2 – general trauma processing techniques
Pages 4

Testimony therapy was developed in South America when psychologists discovered that writing testimonies for lawyers had a ‘cleansing effect’ on the health of clients (Cienfuegos & Monelli, 1983; Mooren & Van Dijk, 2004). It is used in the Netherlands in the form of a protocol of twelve sessions in which clients relate their complete chronological life story in a structured way (see Section 2.1.8). The testimony therapy protocol (see below) provides a foundation for the therapist as well as the client, with the client ultimately creating their own document. The method is fi rst explained to the client, who provides their consent to continue. During the therapy, clients write their life story, including the disruptive episode(s). A general chronology results and – if possible – the destination options for the document are discussed. It may be used in legal procedures or just for therapeutic purposes, so it is important to consider who may read the document and where it will be stored. The therapy is closed with a ritual which usually includes something being done with the document.