Making raped teens relive trauma works, study says

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Associated Press

Posted on December 24, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 24 at 5:03 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — A new study shows that making young rape victims relive their harrowing assaults over and over again can have surprising benefits.

That approach is called prolonged exposure therapy, and it worked for eliminating or reducing post-traumatic distress in teen victims.

It's the first evidence that the same kind of therapy that helps combat veterans haunted by flashbacks also works for teens who've been raped or molested.

University of Pennsylvania psychologist Edna Foa (FOE'-uh) is the lead author. She says many girls are relieved that others want to hear their story. Retelling it helps them realize it's in the past and not present anymore.

The study was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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