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Group psychotherapy for female adult survivors of interpersonal psychological trauma: a preliminary study in Scotland

Karatzias, Thanos; Ferguson, Sandra; Gullone, Angela; Cosgrove, Katie


Sandra Ferguson

Angela Gullone

Katie Cosgrove


Background: There is limited evidence on manualised group interventions that facilitate the
development of trauma recovery skills, affect regulation and meaning making for survivors of
interpersonal trauma.
Aim: The study aimed to provide preliminary evidence on the effectiveness of group
psychotherapy (based on Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Model, TREM) for psychological
distress in adult survivors of interpersonal trauma.
Method: Participants were a consecutive series of female patients (n¼71) from the waiting lists
of five National Health Service (NHS) Boards in Scotland. Participants completed a set of selfrated
measures (PCL, CORE, SCL-90, DES and RSES) at baseline, mid-intervention, postintervention
and 3-month follow-up.
Results: Effect sizes were small to medium across measures and assessment points at posttreatment
and follow-up. With regard to clinical significance, at post-treatment, a proportion of
9.9% to 54.9% of participants achieved clinical significance across measures. At follow-up, a
proportion of 9.9% to 62.0% of participants achieved clinical significance across measures.
Conclusions: Group psychotherapy may be useful for a proportion of participants and especially
so for symptoms of dissociation and self-esteem. Survivors of interpersonal trauma should be
offered a choice of individual or group treatment modalities to reduce drop-out rate and
maximise outcomes.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 3, 2015
Online Publication Date Feb 5, 2016
Publication Date 2016
Deposit Date May 16, 2016
Publicly Available Date May 16, 2016
Journal Journal of Mental Health
Print ISSN 0963-8237
Electronic ISSN 1360-0567
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 25
Issue 6
Pages 512-519
Keywords Child sexual abuse; group psychotherapy; interpersonal trauma; mental health;
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