Thursday, December 26, 2013

Making raped teens relive trauma is therapeutic

AP       [JAMA article]  It almost sounds sadistic - making rape victims as young as 13 relive their harrowing assault over and over again. But a new study shows it works surprisingly well at eliminating their psychological distress.

The results are the first evidence that the same kind of "exposure" therapy that helps combat veterans haunted by flashbacks and nightmares also works for traumatized sexually abused teens with similar symptoms, the study authors and other experts said.

After exposure therapy, 83 percent no longer had a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. They fared much better than girls who got only supportive counseling - 54 percent in that group no longer had PTSD after treatment.

Girls who got exposure therapy also had much better scores on measures of depression and daily functioning than girls who got conventional counseling [...]

1 comment :

  1. A recent (2010) extended discussion by several clinicians about how they approach a military client's 'traumatic [memory] nucleus" treating ASD so as to forestall onset of PTSD. Discusses processes of memory consolidation and stage-dependent pro/con of 'exposure'.

    Case study + 3 commentaries here:
    Palgi, Y. & Ben-Ezra M. (2010). “Back To The Future”: Narrative Treatment for Post-Traumatic, Acute Stress Disorder in the Case of Paramedic Mr. G. [Rutgers] Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy 6(1). Online here.


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