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Developing an Emotion- and Memory-Processing Group Intervention for PTSD with complex features: a group case series with survivors of repeated interpersonal trauma.

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Meiser-Stedman, Richard  ORCID logo
Johnson, Rebecca D 
Hitchcock, Caitlin 
Dalgleish, Tim 


Individuals who experience repeated interpersonal trauma exposure often present with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with more complex features. There is currently no consensus regarding whether current evidence-based interventions for PTSD need to be tailored to better account for these complex features. However, one recommended adaptation is to adopt a phase-based or sequenced approach involving three phases, each with a distinct function. This paper describes the development of a 12-session Emotion- and Memory-Processing Group Programme, adapted from Cloitre's Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation (STAIR) phase-based treatment protocol. A single case series provided a preliminary examination of the group-based intervention's efficacy for three groups of women with a history of repeated interpersonal trauma and PTSD with complex features (N = 15; age 19-46 years) at The Haven Sexual Assault Referral Centre in London. Results revealed significant reductions in: PTSD, complex features of PTSD, and depression, along with improvements in process measures of maladaptive cognitions and emotion processing. Results from this case series demonstrate that an Emotion- and Memory-Processing Group Programme holds promise for treating individuals with a history of interpersonal trauma in outpatient settings, and provides evidence to warrant the completion of a feasibility trial.



CPTSD, PTSD, Posttraumatic stress disorder, complex PTSD, emotion regulation, group case series, group therapy, trauma-focused therapy, • Reports a small (N = 15) case series of an Emotion- and Memory-Processing Group Intervention.• Primary aim was to establish acceptability and feasibility; secondary aim was to explore treatment efficacy.• Treatment achieved a 76% completion rate with one drop-out.• Large effect sizes demonstrated for PTSD severity (d = 1.18) and severity of complex features (d = 0.96).

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Eur J Psychotraumatol

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Informa UK Limited
MRC (1099928)
MRC (unknown)
Economic and Social Research Council (ES/R010781/1)
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00005/4)