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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2002 Oct;70(5):1067-74.

Skills training in affective and interpersonal regulation followed by exposure: a phase-based treatment for PTSD related to childhood abuse.

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  • 1New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, USA.


Fifty-eight women with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to childhood abuse were randomly assigned to a 2-phase cognitive-behavioral treatment or a minimal attention wait list. Phase 1 of treatment included 8 weekly sessions of skills training in affect and interpersonal regulation; Phase 2 included 8 sessions of modified prolonged exposure. Compared with those on wait list, participants in active treatment showed significant improvement in affect regulation problems, interpersonal skills deficits, and PTSD symptoms. Gains were maintained at 3- and 9-month follow-up. Phase 1 therapeutic alliance and negative mood regulation skills predicted Phase 2 exposure success in reducing PTSD, suggesting the value of establishing a strong therapeutic relationship and emotion regulation skills before exposure work among chronic PTSD populations.

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