Group Therapy Technique Successful For Women Victims Of Sexual Violence In DRC, Study Shows

“A type of group therapy designed for trauma victims has proved extraordinarily helpful for survivors of sexual violence in Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC], enabling women to overcome the shame, nightmares and terrifying flashbacks that had left them unable to work or take care of their families or themselves,” researchers from Johns Hopkins University, the University of Washington in Seattle and the International Rescue Committee reported Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, the New York Times reports. The researchers “brought a type of treatment called cognitive processing therapy to Congo …, adapted the method to treat women who could not read or write, and taught it to local health workers who had a high school education or less,” the newspaper writes. “The workers then conducted group therapy sessions in five languages with survivors of sexual attacks who had severe anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder,” according to the New York Times. “Researchers estimate that about 40 percent of the women in the region have been victims of sexual violence,” the newspaper notes (Grady, 6/5).