Journal of Traumatic Stress

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 115–133 | Cite as

Efficacy of Emotion Focused Therapy for Adult Survivors of Child Abuse: A Preliminary Study

  • Sandra C. Paivio
  • James A. Nieuwenhuis


This study examined the effectiveness of Emotion Focused Therapy with 32 adult survivors (EFT-AS) of childhood abuse (emotional, physical, and sexual). EFT-AS is a 20-week individual psychotherapy based on current emotion theory and experiential therapy theory and research. The study employed a quasi-experimental design in which participants, who met screening criteria, were assigned to therapy or a variably delayed therapy condition. Clients receiving EFT-AS achieved significant improvements in multiple domains of disturbance. Clients in the delayed treatment condition showed minimal improvements over the wait interval but after EFT-AS showed significant improvements comparable to the immediate therapy group. These effects were maintained at 9 months (on average) follow-up.

adult survivors child abuse emotion experiential therapy PTSD reexperiencing 


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Copyright information

© International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra C. Paivio
    • 1
  • James A. Nieuwenhuis
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada
  2. 2.Psychology DepartmentFoothills HospitalCalgaryCanada

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