The experience of trauma recovery: A qualitative study of participants in the Women Recovering from Abuse Program (WRAP)

St. Joseph's Healthcare, London, Ontario, Canada.
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse (Impact Factor: 0.75). 02/2007; 16(2):55-77. DOI: 10.1300/J070v16n02_04
Source: PubMed


The efficacy of intensive group treatment programs for child maltreatment has been established. The aim of this qualitative study was to understand how women with a history of child maltreatment experienced the Women Recovering from Abuse Program (WRAP), an existing intensive group treatment program. Seven women were interviewed following their participation in WRAP. Three themes emerged: Breaking Trauma-Based Patterns, Doing Therapy, and The Healing Journey as a Continuous Process. These findings deepen our understanding about how participants view the recovery process. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.

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    • "Within the field of psychological trauma in general, and in the field of inclusive group-based trauma treatment in particular, little research has, however, focused on the client perspective. To the best of our knowledge there is only one relevant study (Parker, Fourt, Langmuir, Dalton, & Classsen, 2007), and this one showed that clients had to get used to treatment, and the research participants underlined the influence of new experiences, beliefs and behaviours in the experience of recovery, as well as the importance of being open to change in order to benefit from treatment. In particular, while more inclusive trauma groups have the potential for reaching more clients in need of trauma-specific treatment, we have been unable to locate any study exploring the client perspective of such approaches. "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract The present study explores how trauma clients experience participation in an inclusive stabilization group approach. Upon completion of treatment, all 31 clients from six stabilization groups for women were invited to participate in a qualitative post-therapy interview study. Thirteen clients consented to participate. All interviews were carried out by a team of three health-care workers shortly after completion of treatment. Five main themes were identified: Dreading and Hoping-Preparing for Participation; Tuning in and Staying Put; Meeting Other Trauma Survivors; Acquiring a Stabilizing Ballast; and Being Receptive to Change. Participating in the stabilization group was experienced as demanding, while also providing new and helpful experiences. Participants emphasized the importance of being receptive to help in order to benefit from treatment.
    Psychotherapy Research 03/2013; 23(4). DOI:10.1080/10503307.2013.778437 · 1.75 Impact Factor
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    • "We have only located two qualitative studies of recovery following trauma. One study explored recovery linked to a specific treatment program for women exposed to abuse (Parker et al., 2007), while the other study explored life trajectories among female survivors of child abuse thriving in adulthood (Thomas & Hall, 2008). Given the important role the clients play in recovery (Tallman & Bohart, 1999), and the unique contribution of client perspective to knowledge development (Elliott & James, 1989), it seems important to focus on what constitutes the key experiences of the recovery process from the client's perspective. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to explore how female survivors of childhood trauma who have sought treatment experience ways to positive change. Little knowledge exists regarding the first-person perspective of the recovery process following childhood trauma, and getting access to this perspective might contribute to better understanding of these processes, hence offering opportunities for health promotion. All clients (31, including 3 who dropped out) from six stabilization groups for women exposed to human-inflicted traumas were invited to participate in the study. Experiences of the recovery process were not restricted to the period of receiving treatment, and all clients who volunteered were included in the study. Qualitative, in-depth interviews with 13 consenting clients were carried out shortly after completion of the group treatment. All interviews were transcribed verbatim, and a hermeneutical-phenomenological approach to analysis was applied. The analysis resulted in five interrelated, but distinct main themes: finding new ways to understand one's emotions and actions, moving from numbness toward vital contact, becoming an advocate of one's own needs, experiencing increased sense of agency, and staying with difficult feelings and choices. The themes support, yet supplement trauma theory, by underlining the relationship between emotional contact and meaning-making, while downplaying the necessity of symptom elimination in the experience of recovery. The findings also underline that the active role trauma survivors play in their processes of recovery.
    Nordic psychology 03/2013; 65(1):3-18. DOI:10.1080/19012276.2013.796083 · 0.18 Impact Factor
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    • "En lo que respecta a la intervención psicológica, ni los metanálisis (Harvey & Taylor, 2010) ni las revisiones sistemáticas (Martsolf & Draucker, 2005) publicadas hasta el momento, han podido demostrar la mayor eficacia de un tratamiento sobre otro, siendo los programas que combinan diferentes técnicas en búsqueda del mayor beneficio del paciente los que han conseguido unos efectos más relevantes (Taylor & Harvey, 2010). Viendo la complejidad y diversidad de trastornos y problemas que se relacionan con el abuso sexual en la infancia, la idea de un tratamiento único, aplicable a todas las víctimas de esta experiencia, no parece una opción realista ni adecuada , dado que el abuso sexual en la infancia es una experiencia vital, no un conjunto de síntomas específicos, y cada persona cuenta con sus propios recursos para llegar al objetivo de la superación (Hetzel-Riggin et al., 2007; Parker et al., 2007). En este sentido, el concepto de resiliencia y la existencia de factores de protección en la víctima, refiriéndose a la interacción entre las características del individuo y de su entorno con la situación, (Luthar, Cicchetti & Becker, 2000) juegan un fuerte papel, que no puede obviarse. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Adult victims of child sexual abuse are more vulnerable to psychological symptoms. The objectives of this review are to describe and critically examine papers published in the last decade concerning psychological intervention with adult victims of childhood sexual abuse and to bring these studies to the Spanish-speaking population. Methods: The authors reviewed articles from January 2000 to June 2010 addressing the topic above. Literature was gathered from databases including Medline, Scopus and PsycINFO using the following terms: (sexual abuse OR child sexual abuse) AND (psychological treatment OR psychological intervention). Results: One hundred and one potential articles were identified and 19 studies were finally included. The strong contribution of North America and Canada to the study of psychological interventions with sexually abused victims is clear. Psychological treatments are diverse and mainly come from cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic perspectives, focused on victims' general distress. Conclusions: No theoretical approach is better than other to treat sexual abuse symptoms. The best therapy might be one that takes into account that sexual abuse is an experience, not a specific syndrome.
    Anuario de Psicologia 01/2011; 41(1-3):81-105.
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