Treatment for survivors of rape: Issues and interventions

In this article, treatment issues in counseling survivors of rape are reviewed, including sociocultural influences on a women's response to rape, a survivor's history of victimization, the specific nature of the assault, and a survivor's experiences with self-blame. A multimodal treatment approach for women who experience chronic symptoms of posttraumtic stress disorder in the aftermath of rape is also presented. To assist mental health counselors in delivering quality services based upon current standards of care, the model incorporates four empirically supported techniques based upon expert consensus guidelines for treating survivors of trauma.
Hensley,Laura G.
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Journal of Mental Health Counseling
This article is a review of various issues and interventions related to counseling survivors of rape. It summarizes relevant statistics, discusses four important issues, and details four treatment modalities. The four issues discussed all relate to the experience of the rape survivor, including: 1) how sociocultural factors will influence the survivor's reaction to the rape, 2) the survivor's history of prior victimization, 3) the specific details of the assault against the survivor, and 4) how victim-blaming may affect the survivor's recovery. The treatment modalities detailed are drawn from best practices for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The first modality detailed is psychoeducation, where the counselor provides an education about commonly experienced PTSD symptoms. The second is exposure therapy, where the counselor guides the survivor through multiple re-tellings of the assault. The third modality is Resick and Schnicke's Cognitive Processing Therapy, where the survivor's maladaptive beliefs about the assault are identified and challenged. The final modality described is actually a summary of various anxiety management techniques.
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Effects; risk; treatment
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