Thursday, May 10, 2007

Child abuse and PTSD

Many studies have shown that child abuse is responsible for long-term psychiatric disabilities, medical problems, substance abuse, learning problems, interpersonal violence and other serious social and health problems. However, there is also growing evidence that early comprehensive intervention may effectively reverse some of this damage and lessen the risks to children. Victims of child abuse are often diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the recommended treatment for this is Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (TF-CBT). A trial of a 16-session course of TF-CBT for abused 9-14 year-old children in New Zealand made up of psychosocial strengthening, coping-skills training and gradual exposure to perceived threats together with special issues relevant to trauma and abuse has been found to show 'a good deal of promise' in a pilot study on 4 children.

Feather, Jacqueline and Ronan, Kevin R. - Trauma-focused cognitive and behavioural therapy for abused children with post-traumatic stress disorder : a pilot study New Zealand Journal of Psychology November 2006, 35(3), 132-145

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