Effects of Clinician-Assisted Emotional Disclosure for Sexual Assault Survivors: A Pilot Study


This study assessed the effects of clinician-assisted emotional disclosure (CAED), an integration of emotion focused therapy (Greenberg, Rice, & Elliott, 1993) and emotional disclosure, in ameliorating distress experienced by survivors of sexual assault. A total of 670 female university students were screened for both histories of sexual victimization and clinically significant levels of global psychological distress. Twenty-eight females entered the treatment phase of the study and were randomly assigned to participate in either treatment or no-treatment control conditions. Participants completed a battery of instruments at each evaluation to assess interpersonal, global, and traumatic stress symptoms. At termination and 1-month follow-up, there were no significant differences between CAED and control group on any of the outcome variables. However, there were several differences between the CAED treatment and control groups at 3 month posttreatment. Specifically, individuals in the CAED group reported significant reductions in interpersonal distress, namely, hostility and dependency and reductions in avoidance symptoms associated with posttraumatic stress disorder. These findings are useful for the development of emotion-focused therapies and, specifically, toward psychotherapy integration strategies that combine imaginal exposure with experiential techniques for emotional processing of previously avoided experience



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Journal of Interpersonal Violence


Sage Publications

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