Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing in Child Victims of Domestic Violence
Objective: This study was conducted to examine and compare the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in child victims of domestic violence (child physical abuse and/or witnessing parents’ conflicts).
Method: A total of 139 girls and boys, aged 8-12 years, were randomly assigned into CBT (n = 40), EMDR (n = 40), or control groups (n=59). All children received up to 12 individual treatment sessions over 4–12 weeks. Blind assessment was done before and 2 weeks after the treatment and on a variety of teacher-parent-rated and self-report measures of posttraumatic symptomatology, depression, anxiety, and behavior problems.
Results: CBT and EMDR were effective in ameliorating psychological sequelae of victims of domestic violence on the measured variables (p =.001). Comparison of the treatment and control groups suggested moderate to high practical significance in treatment groups vs controls.
Conclusion: Both CBT and EMDR can help children to greatly recover from the outcomes of domestic violence in comparison with control group. Moreover, structured trauma treatments are strongly recommended and can be used for children.
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