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NCJ Number: 75574 Find in a Library
Title: Psychotherapy for the Rape Victim - Some Treatment Models
Journal: Journal of the American Psychiatric Association  Volume:29  Issue:5  Dated:(May 1978)  Pages:309-312
Author(s): H I Evans
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 4
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The strengths and weaknesses of several psychotherapy models for rape victims are weighed; an integrated therapy model that would measure the rape victim's stages of recuperation is provided.
Abstract: A victim of rape immediately feels an acute disruption of her lifestyle and coping skills and a great stress on her ego. In order to achieve long-term integration, she must resolve a lack of trust of men, paranoia about her physical safety, guilt, and a grief reaction. Rape crisis centers, offering extensive support and education for rape victims within a peer framework rather than under the rubric of mental health or psychiatry, seems to meet the needs of many women. The psychodynamic therapy approach, appearing to assume victim precipitation, is expensive, time-consuming, and ineffective for most people. Another approach, traditional humanistic therapy, also encourages empathy with the assailant through role playing in psychodrama. Although the group format is helpful, the victim's mistaken expectations of recovery often leads to an increase in anxiety and guilt. Existential and growth models are similar to the humanistic model, and behavioral-cognitive therapy, although providing symptomatic relief for the rape victim, has yet to be reported as systemetically effective. A discussion of the crisis therapy model notes that the rape victim undergoes a succession of crisis and adoptive phases during which she becomes increasingly able to handle stress. Important factors in the victim's recuperation period are symptom relief and the support of significant others. A proposed model for measuring the rape victim's progress consists of a numbered scale of adaptive behavior in which she can advance from the first stage--acute disorganization--to higher levels of behavior. The scale would provide a method of quantifying the rape victim's uneven recovery rate. Treatment modalities for each stage of the victim's recuperation can also be compared for effectiveness. Nineteen footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Psychiatric services; Psychological victimization effects; Rape; Rape crisis centers; Sexual assault victims; Victim services
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