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Cognitive-behavioral treatments for couples affected by childhood sexual abuse: An extension of the literature

18 April 2014


Past research regarding cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for childhood sexual abuse (CSA) survivors tended to focus on individual treatments even though it has been suggested that couples therapy may be beneficial or even necessary for CSA survivors in serious relationships. There is empirical support for CBT treatments for couples impacted by several forms of trauma, but past couples research generally neglected specific issues related to CSA. The purpose of this dissertation is to determine how CBT used for CSA survivors may translate into working with CSA survivors seeking couples therapy. Research on CBT for individual CSA survivors and couples impacted by trauma are reviewed and critically analyzed to determine potential adaptability for couples impacted by CSA. A proposed treatment combining findings from research on individual CSA treatments and couples trauma treatments is presented.


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