Treatment for PTSD Caused by Childhood Abuse via Imagery Rescripting

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Treatment for PTSD Caused by Childhood Abuse via Imagery Rescripting

Compared to comparators, imagery rescripting dramatically reduced the symptoms of PTSD caused by childhood abuse. According to research findings published in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, Imagery Rescripting (ImRs) therapy may be used as a stand-alone treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) associated with childhood abuse (CA).
Treatment for PTSD Caused by Childhood Abuse via Imagery Rescripting
Treatment for PTSD Caused by Childhood Abuse via Imagery Rescripting
Between 2011 and 2015, researchers from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands gathered participants with CA-related PTSD from 2 mental health clinics. In a 1:1:1 ratio, patients (N=61) were randomly randomised to undergo waitlist placement (n=20), ImRs alone (n=21), or Skills training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation (STAIR) + ImRs (n=20). At week 8, the waiting cohort’s STAIR plus ImRs (n = 10) or ImRs (n = 10) treatment was randomly allocated to them in a 1:1 ratio. The STAIR intervention consisted of eight weekly, one-hour sessions that were conducted according to the STAIR guidelines. The ImRs intervention, which was based on a previously reported ImRs technique, included 16 90-minute sessions held twice a week. The improvement in PTSD symptoms was the main result. Patients (89% of whom were female) with a mean age of 35.9 (SD, 10.7) years made up the research population. Of these, 53% had undergone both sexual and physical abuse, 31% had only experienced sexual abuse, and 16% had only experienced physical abuse. This research suggests that ImRs as a stand-alone therapy is a successful and comfortable approach for treating CA-related PTSD and that it is quite simple to incorporate into normal clinical care. The average number of ImRs therapy sessions for study participants was 13, and early treatment discontinuation rates for the ImRs and STAIR + ImRs groups were 19% and 13%, respectively. The STAIR (mean, 75.6 vs 64.1 points), ImRs (mean, 78.2 vs 45.6 points), and waiting (mean, 70.5 vs 63.7 points) groups all had a decline in their clinician-administered PTSD scale ratings from baseline to posttreatment, respectively. The clinician-administered PTSD scale scores fell from 69.9 points at baseline to 26 points at the 12-week follow-up among the STAIR + ImRs group for just the pooled active treatment groups. Comparatively, the ImRs alone group’s scores on the clinician-administered PTSD scale dropped from 75.2 points to 36.1 points. For the change in the clinician-administered PTSD scale score, there were significant effects for ImRs compared with waitlist (, -26.54; P =.003) and ImRs compared with STAIR (, -21.23; P =.017). The posttraumatic diagnostic scale (PDS) scores, PDS guilt, PDS humiliation, PDS rage, and sensitivity analyses all changed significantly for ImRs when compared to the waitlist and STAIR, all with a P value of.010 or higher. The tiny sample size of this research was its main drawback. “This research suggests that ImRs as stand-alone therapy is an effective and acceptable technique for the treatment of CA-related PTSD and may be reasonably simply applied in normal clinical care,” the study’s authors said in their conclusion. Although a sequential therapy (STAIR/ImRs) may not provide better results, this issue may need further research with a bigger sample.

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