The Behavioral Treatment of a Young Adult with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a Phobia of Children

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In vivo desensitization and self-modeling were evaluated for effectiveness in treating a 29-year-old female with an intense fear of children. Previous to, and independent of this study, this subject was diagnosed as having post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) stemming from a history of childhood abuse. The subject had been treated for PTSD without any impact on her reported fear of children. Initial assessments included behavioral, physiological, and self-report measures of fear, anxiety, and avoidance which all indicated a phobic level of response. Nineteen sessions were conducted over a 6 month period. Sessions involved in vivo exposure to a number of situations involving children and also included edited videotaped self-modeling. Following treatment, the subject stopped avoiding situations involving children, heart rate and blood pressure decreased slightly, confidence increased, and multiple fears in the client's life were reduced. A 5-month follow-up supported the treatment results.

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Child & Family Behavior Therapy