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Behav Ther. 2011 Dec;42(4):560-78. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2010.12.005. Epub 2011 Apr 16.

A randomized clinical trial comparing affect regulation and social problem-solving psychotherapies for mothers with victimization-related PTSD.

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University of Connecticut School of Medicine, USA.


Addressing affect dysregulation may provide a complementary alternative or adjunctive approach to the empirically supported trauma memory processing models of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A CBT designed to enhance affect regulation without trauma memory processing--trauma affect regulation: guide for education and therapy (TARGET)--was compared to present centered therapy (PCT) and wait-list (WL) conditions in a randomized clinical trial with 146 primarily low-income and ethnoracial minority mothers with PTSD. TARGET achieved statistically and clinically significant improvement on PTSD and affect regulation measures compared to WL, with more consistent and sustained (over a 6-month follow-up period) evidence of improvement than PCT. Drop-out rates (~25%) were comparable in TARGET and PCT, similar to those previously reported for trauma memory processing CBTs. Symptom worsening was rare (2-8%) and transient. Affect regulation-based CBT without trauma memory processing warrants further research as a potentially efficacious therapy for victimization-related PTSD.

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