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Keywords:

  • sexual abuse survivors;
  • posttraumatic stress disorder;
  • dissociation;
  • affect-management group therapy

Abstract

Systematic research on effective treatment for survivors of childhood sexual abuse with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is virtually non-existent. The aim of the present study was to compare the effectiveness of an affect-management treatment (AM) group to a wait list control condition for female survivors of childhood sexual abuse with PTSD. Forty-eight female survivors of childhood sexual abuse with PTSD were randomly assigned to either a 15-week affect-management treatment group or to a wait list control condition. All subjects received individual psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy for the duration of the study, and for at least 1-month prior to the study. Controlling for pretreatment scores, subjects who completed the affect-management treatment group (n = 17) reported significantly fewer posttreatment symptoms of PTSD and dissociation than subjects in the wait list control condition (n = 16). Our findings suggest that an affect-management group treatment is beneficial as an adjunct to individual psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy for survivors of childhood sexual abuse with PTSD.