ERIC Number: ED376404
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
Reference Count: N/A
The Incest Survivor Syndrome: Implications for Assessment and Treatment.
Kirschner, Sam; Kirschner, Diana
The past decade has witnessed a growing awareness of the prevalence and consequences of childhood sexual abuse. This paper presents findings from numerous studies which indicate that adult survivors of incest suffer from devastating personal and interpersonal difficulties. Recent studies on incest claim that some 20 percent of females and over 16 percent of males, suffered an incestuous episode at some point in their childhood. Survivors often reveal in therapy a variety of cognitive, emotional, physical, and interpersonal difficulties. These problems and their interactions form the incest survivor syndrome. Because of the powerful consequences of incest on the victim, a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder needs to be given to the survivor in addition to the diagnosis of the presenting complaint. A dual diagnosis will assist the clinician, the patient, and his/her family in normalizing the presenting problems and in depathologizing the survivor. The multiplicity of survivors' problems calls for an integrative treatment approach which is technically eclectic, including among other strategies and techniques, cognitive/behavioral, psychodynamic, and family systems work. Additionally, treatment of married survivors, or those in committed relationships, should include spouses or partners. (Contains 49 references.) (RJM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder; Survivors
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (101st, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 20-24, 1993).