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Rituals and Ceremonies, Therapeutic Use of

Rituals and ceremonies can be useful adjuncts in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder and other sequelae of traumatic events. Rituals and ceremonies have been used throughout human history to contain transitions or disturbances within the social order, when roles and status of members are changed, such as at birth and death, entrance to adulthood, marriage, promotion, and retirement. The purpose of the ritual is both to represent the transformation in relationships that are occurring and to provide public acknowledgment and acceptance by the authority of this transformation.

Therapeutic rituals differ from ordinary rituals in that they aim to provide more room for participants to express and explore their feelings and views, and thus therapeutic rituals serve less of the containing function of ordinary rituals. Consistent ...

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