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An Educational Group Therapy Program for Female Partners of Veterans Diagnosed with PTSD /

  • Author(s): Sones, Heather Marie
  • et al.

As researchers continue to explore the consequences of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) within the military population, there has been increased focus on the negative impact PTSD can have on intimate relationship functioning and the psychological health of both partners. Despite the development of conjoint couples therapy programs designed to address PTSD and relationship functioning, very few programs have been developed to address the unique needs of the female partners of veterans diagnosed with PTSD. The current study evaluated a 10-week group therapy protocol aimed to increase partners' PTSD knowledge, self- care, and relationship-focused skills as a means to improve both the psychological health of the female partner and overall relationship functioning and satisfaction. Twenty-three female partners were randomized to either the intervention group or waitlist control condition, and completed measures of relationship satisfaction and psychological distress at baseline and post-treatment. Although no significant difference was found on changes in relationship satisfaction for the intervention or waitlist control group, the female partners participating in the intervention reported a significant decrease in their own psychological distress when compared to the waitlist control condition. In addition, participants who completed the intervention found it to be beneficial, and the women provided helpful feedback to help improve future iterations of the treatment. The results of the intervention are reviewed, limitations are presented, and future directions for research are discussed

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