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A comparison of CBT and EMDR for sexually abused Iranian girls

This is the abstract only — Please feel free to request a copy.

Citation: Jaberghaderi, N., Greenwald, R., Rubin, A., Zand, S. O., & Dolatabadi, S. (2004). A comparison of CBT and EMDR for sexually abused Iranian girls. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 11,358-368.


Fourteen randomly assigned Iranian girls ages 12-13 who had been sexually abused received up to 12 sessions of CBT or EMDR treatment. Assessment of post-traumatic stress symptoms and problem behaviors was completed at pre-treatment and 2 weeks post-treatment. Both treatments showed large effect sizes on the post-traumatic symptom outcomes, and a medium effect size on the behavior outcome, all statistically significant. A non-significant trend on self-reported post-traumatic stress symptoms favored EMDR over CBT. Treatment efficiency was calculated by dividing change scores by number of sessions; EMDR was significantly more efficient, with large effect sizes on each outcome. Limitations include small N, single therapist for each treatment condition, no independent verification of treatment fidelity, and no long-term follow-up. These findings suggest that both CBT and EMDR can help girls to recover from the effects of sexual abuse, and that structured trauma treatments can be applied to children in Iran.

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