Effect of Cognitive Processing Therapy and Holographic Reprocessing on Reduction of Posttraumatic Cognitions in Students Exposed to Trauma

By Basharpoor, Sajjad; Narimani, Mohamad et al. | Iranian Journal of Psychiatry, Fall 2011 | Go to article overview

Effect of Cognitive Processing Therapy and Holographic Reprocessing on Reduction of Posttraumatic Cognitions in Students Exposed to Trauma


Basharpoor, Sajjad, Narimani, Mohamad, Gamari-give, Hossien, Abolgasemi, Abas, Molavi, Parviz, Iranian Journal of Psychiatry


Objective: This research was conducted to examine the effect of cognitive processing therapy and holographic reprocessing on the reduction of posttraumatic cognitions in students exposed to trauma.

Method: This was an experimental study with spread pretest-posttest randomized groups design. Statistical society of this research consisted of male freshman, junior and senior high school students of Uremia (N=10286). Utilizing Traumatic Events Screening Inventory, and SCL-90 R on 1000 randomly selected high school students, 129 students were recognized as having experienced traumatic events. Of the subjects, 60 were selected randomly. Then, clinical interview was conducted, and the selected sample was randomly assigned in to three groups of cognitive processing therapy, holographic reprocessing and control. These groups responded to Posttraumatic Cognitions Inventory in pretest and post test. Differences of pre-post test scores were analyzed using one way ANOVA and Scheffe test.

Results: The results demonstrated significant differences between the three groups in total score of the Posttraumatic Cognition Inventory. Difference was also observed in negative cognitions on self and self-blame dimensions. Furthermore, these two therapeutic methods were equally effective in the reduction of posttraumatic cognitions.

Conclusion: It appears that cognitive processing therapy and holographic reprocessing which had been originally developed and tested for sexually assaulted females, can also be applied for the victims of other traumatic events, particularly adolescents.

Keywords: Cognitive therapy, Holography, Post traumatic stress disorder

Iran J Psychiatry 2011; 6:138-144

Exposure to traumatic events is common, with estimated lifetime rates ranging from 26 to 92.2 percent in men, and 17.7 to 87.1 percent in women (1, 2, 3, 4). In the National Comorbidity Survey, 60.7% of American adults reported experiencing at least one traumatic event during their lifetime; of them, 8.2% of men ,and 20.4% of women developed posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)(5). More than half of children and adolescents in the United States, have experienced at least one traumatic event such as child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, community violence, bullying, serious accidents, fires, disasters, medical trauma, or the traumatic death of a loved one. Approximately a quarter of the exposed children developed significant symptoms, especially the

symptoms of PTSD related to the experienced traumatic event (6).

Traumatized people are at an increased risk for other psychiatric and medical conditions. These negative

effects are not restricted to childhood, but are also seen in adults. In adulthood, survivors of early childhood traumas are at the risk of PTSD as well as other

anxiety, affective, addictive, psychotic, and personality disorders (7); besides, they might be in danger of re-victimization (8). In the cognitive view, following a trauma, survivors typically adopt negative perceptions about the self and the world (9). It was proposed that these negative cognitions about trauma and/or its sequel may produce serious current threat, which is critical to persistent PTSD (10).

Although exposure to some stressful and traumatic events in children and adolescents is inevitable, identifying, diagnosing and offering early effective therapies can prevent them from the subsequent outcomes. Current studies have questioned the efficacy and safety of pharmacological interventions in the treatment of posttraumatic symptoms in adolescents, as they are in the developmental stage. Some years ago, the prominent approach in the treatment of traumatized children was cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The application of this method in the treatment of physically and sexually abused children and adolescents has attained strong evidences for supporting its effectiveness on the reduction of psychiatric symptoms (11).

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