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Relational Concepts in Psychoanalysis.

Practice Goals
Psychotherapeutic interventions for adult sexual assault victims are designed to reduce psychological distress, symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and rape trauma through counseling, structured or unstructured interaction, training programs, or predetermined treatment plans. Most treatments include individual cognitive behavioral approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or insight/experiential therapy. The goals of psychological therapy for victims of sexual assault include (1) preventing and reducing PTSD/trauma symptoms, anxiety, depression, and other psychopathologies; and (2) improving social adjustment and self-esteem.

Target Population
The vast majority of rape and sexual assault victims are female. A recent examination of the National Crime Victimization Survey found that between 2005 and 2010, there were 2.1 victimizations per 1,000 females age 12 and older in the United States. Females age 34 or younger, who lived in lower income households and in rural areas, reported the highest rates of sexual violence during that time (Planty et al. 2013). Psychotherapeutic interventions can be provided to victims of sexual abuse and assault who are experiencing rape trauma or PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD can be categorized into three groups: (1) re-experiencing intrusive thoughts, emotions, or physiological distress upon exposure to cues of the event; (2) avoidance of thoughts or stimuli that are reminiscent of the event; and (3) biological, emotional, or cognitive arousal (Regehr et al. 2013). Sexual assault victims also report high rates of depression, difficulty concentrating, uncontrollable grief, low self-esteem, self-destructive behavior, suicidal thoughts, addictive behavior, impaired social and occupational functioning, sexual avoidance, and psychological disorders such as panic attacks