Traumatic Memories in Abused Adolescents

Church D, Piña O, Reategui C, Brooks A. Single-Session Reduction of the Intensity of Traumatic Memories in Abused Adolescents After EFT: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study. Traumatology 2012;18(3):73-9.

Abstract: The population for this study was drawn from an institution to which juveniles are sent by court order if they are found by a judge to be physically or psychologically abused at home. Sixteen males, aged 12-17, were randomized into two groups. They were assessed using subjective distress (SUD), and the Impact of Events Scale (IES), which measures two components of PTSD: intrusive memories and avoidance symptoms. The experimental group was treated with a single session of EFT (emotional freedom techniques), a brief and novel exposure therapy that has been found efficacious in reducing PTSD and co-occurring psychological symptoms in adults, but has not been subject to empirical assessment in juveniles. The wait list control group received no treatment. Thirty days later, participants were reassessed. No improvement occurred in the wait list (IES total mean pre = 32 SD -¦4.82, post = 31 SD -¦3.84). Posttest scores for all experimental-group participants improved to the point where all were nonclinical on the total score, as well as the intrusive and avoidant symptom subscales, and SUD (IES total mean pre = 36 SD -¦4.74, post = 3 SD -¦2.60, p < .001). These results are consistent with those found in adults, and indicates the utility of single-session EFT as a fast and effective intervention for reducing psychological trauma in juveniles. -® The Author(s) 2012.

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