The Trauma of Sexual Assault: Treatment, Prevention, and Practice

By Jenny Petrak; Barbara Hedge | Go to book overview

Chapter 4
A REVIEW OF TREATMENT
AND OUTCOME OF
POST-TRAUMA SEQUELAE IN
SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVORS

Jennifer A. Bennice and Partricia A. Resick

The purpose of this chapter is to summarize the literature on psychosocial and pharmacological interventions for post-trauma reactions to sexual assault. The treatment models reviewed in this chapter will include crisis intervention, hypnotherapy, psychodynamic therapies, stress inoculation training, systematic desensitization, prolonged exposure, cognitive therapy, cognitive processing therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, and pharmacotherapy. Although men are victims of sexual assault, the large majority of sexual assault victims are female. 'She' and 'her' will be used throughout the chapter for ease of language. Therapy procedures that have been developed and assessed for female sexual assault survivors should be considered for male clients as well.

This summary will take the form of an empirical review of various treatment models, evaluating each through a discussion of treatment outcome studies. We have included limited reference to studies involving survivors of various traumas because not all types of treatment have been evaluated with sexual assault victims, and there tends to be many similarities across traumas. This review will include the results of both controlled and uncontrolled group designs as well as relevant case studies. Well-controlled studies incorporate random assignment to treatment, comparison, or control groups; standardized treatment; objective measures of symptoms at pre- and post-treatment; and specific inclusion/exclusion criteria. While the results of uncontrolled studies offer few definitive conclusions,

The Trauma of Sexual Assault. Edited by Jenny Petrak and Barbara Hedge.
© 2002 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

-69-

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