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Clin Psychol Psychother. 2010 May-Jun;17(3):240-9. doi: 10.1002/cpp.670.

Treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder in children using cognitive behavioural writing therapy.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



This study evaluated the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Writing Therapy (CBWT) in 23 children (age 8-18 years) in the Netherlands, who experienced a range of single and recurrent traumatic experiences. CBWT uses exposure, cognitive restructuring and social sharing.


At pre-test, post-test and follow-up, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, depressive symptoms, trauma-related cognitions and general behavioural problems were assessed.


At post-test there was a significant reduction of all symptoms, and this effect was maintained at 6 months follow-up. The mean amount of treatment sessions needed was 5.5.


This study shows that short-term CBWT is a potentially effective intervention for clinically referred traumatized children. There is now a clear need of establishing the effectiveness of CBWT in a randomized, controlled trial.


This first study indicates CBWT is a promising treatment, which can easily be used in clinical practice.

Copyright (c) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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