Objectives: This study evaluated the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Writing Therapy (CBWT) in 23 children (age 8-18 years) in the Netherlands, who experienced a range of single and recurrent traumatic experiences. CBWT uses exposure, cognitive restructuring and social sharing.
Methods: At pre-test, post-test and follow-up, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, depressive symptoms, trauma-related cognitions and general behavioural problems were assessed.
Results: At post-test there was a significant reduction of all symptoms, and this effect was maintained at 6 months follow-up. The mean amount of treatment sessions needed was 5.5.
Conclusions: This study shows that short-term CBWT is a potentially effective intervention for clinically referred traumatized children. There is now a clear need of establishing the effectiveness of CBWT in a randomized, controlled trial.
Practice implication: This first study indicates CBWT is a promising treatment, which can easily be used in clinical practice.
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