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

By Jenny Petrak; Barbara Hedge | Go to book overview

Chapter 6
TREATMENT FOR ACUTE STRESS
AND PTSD FOLLOWING RAPE

Amy E. Naugle, Heidi S. Resnick, Matt J. Gray, and Ron Acierno


INTRODUCTION

The primary goal of this chapter is to provide the reader with an overview of cognitive-behavioral strategies for treating acute stress reactions and PTSD. Intervening as early as possible post-assault may be effective in reducing longer term, chronic symptomatology; however, this needs to be demonstrated empirically. In order to place cognitive-behavioral treatment strategies outlined in the chapter within a coherent framework, we first offer a behavioral conceptualization for understanding the development of PTSD symptoms among rape victims. In the section that follows, we describe several cognitive-behavioral treatment techniques, many of which have been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety characteristic of PTSD. Intervention strategies presented in the chapter are primarily a summary of extant cognitive-behavioral treatments for PTSD that are described in greater detail in other sources. We also describe a video-based program that has been implemented into a hospital emergency department setting and has preliminarily produced some encouraging results. Finally, we offer a section on additional factors that should be considered when planning and executing treatment with rape victims.

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