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Efficacy of Various Treatments for PTSD in Battered Women: Case Studies

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Abstract:

Spousal abuse and other forms of domestic violence can lead to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Little is known about how to best treat this form of PTSD. The current case series, based on data collected as part of a larger clinical trial, was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of exposure therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), or relaxation therapy. Three woman with battered-spouse-related PTSD were assigned to one of these treatments. The patient receiving exposure responded well to treatment and no longer met the criteria for PTSD at post-treatment or at 3-month follow-up. The battered women in the other two conditions continued to meet the criteria for PTSD at post-treatment and at follow-up. The patterns of treatment response were similar to those experienced by individuals with other forms of PTSD (N = 42) examined in the larger trial. The results of these case studies encourage further studies of exposure therapy for battered-spouse-related PTSD.
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  • Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy is devoted to the advancement of the clinical practice of cognitive psychotherapy. This scholarly journal seeks to merge theory, research, and practice and to develop new techniques by an examination of the clinical implications of theoretical development and research findings.
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