Cognitive processing therapy for sexual assault victims.
Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) was developed to treat the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in rape victims. CPT is based on an information processing theory of PTSD and includes education, exposure, and cognitive components. Nineteen sexual assault survivors received CPT, which consists of 12 weekly sessions in a group format. They were assessed at pretreatment, posttreatment, and 3- and 6-month follow-up. CPT subjects were compared with a 20-subject comparison sample, drawn from the same pool who waited for group therapy for at least 12 weeks. CPT subjects improved significantly from pre- to posttreatment on both PTSD and depression measures and maintained their improvement for 6 months. The comparison sample did not change from the pre- to the posttreatment assessment sessions.
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