The Effectiveness of Therapy with Couples Reporting a History of Childhood Sexual Abuse: An Exploratory Study

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Abstract

The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the impact of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) on couples therapy. Participants were couples seeking therapy who were screened for CSA prior to therapy. Groups were compared using self-report and therapist-rated measures of individual and relational distress. Results indicate that although therapists report significant differences between CSA couples and couples not reporting abuse at the onset of therapy, those differences do not translate into significant differences in the perceived effectiveness of therapy as measured by change scores on therapist rated levels of distress, questions regarding the effectiveness of therapy, dropout, and length of treatment.

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