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Behav Ther. 2013 Jun;44(2):262-76. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2012.10.003. Epub 2012 Nov 5.

Randomized clinical trial comparing affect regulation and supportive group therapies for victimization-related PTSD with incarcerated women.

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UCHC Department of Psychiatry MC1410, 263 Farmington Ave., Farmington, CT 06030, USA.


Traumatic victimization and associated problems with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and affect dysregulation are prevalent among incarcerated women, but there is limited evidence to support psychotherapeutic interventions for these problems in this underserved population. A group psychotherapy designed to enhance affect regulation without trauma memory processing-Trauma Affect Regulation: Guide for Education and Therapy (TARGET)-was compared to a supportive group therapy (SGT) in a randomized clinical trial with 72 incarcerated women with full or partial PTSD. Both interventions achieved statistically significant reductions in PTSD and associated symptom severity and increased self-efficacy. Dropout rates for both interventions were low (<5%). TARGET was more effective than SGT in increasing sense of forgiveness toward others who have caused harm in the past. Group therapy that teaches affect regulation may enhance incarcerated women's ability to achieve affective resolution (forgiveness) while also reducing their victimization-related PTSD and associated symptoms. Experiential-focused supportive group therapy also may reduce victimization-related PTSD and associated symptoms. Both group therapy approaches warrant further study with this vulnerable population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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