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Amelioration of Sexual Fantasies to Sexual Abuse Cues in an Adult Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse: A Case Study

NCJ Number
Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry Volume: 39 Issue: 4 Dated: December 2008 Pages: 417-423
Jane E. Wilson; Keith M. Wilson
Date Published
December 2008
7 pages
The purpose of this investigation was to examine the effectiveness of aversion therapy for a woman’s unwanted sexual fantasies involving force and coercion and, to explore the impact of the intervention on the participant’s sense of control and guilt or shame.
The results of this investigation demonstrated under controlled conditions that several preexisting individual difference factors, as well as increased anxiety during a distressing film and post-state anxiety, were important in the development of intrusive recollections. Treatment consisted of self-applied aversion therapy to unwanted sexual arousal to sexual abuse cues achieving a decrease in sexual arousal to these cues. In addition, self-ratings of control increased while a concomitant decrease in guilt and shame occurred. Although sexual dysfunction of childhood sexual abuse survivors has received considerable attention, other sexual difficulties experienced by survivors of child sexual abuse, such as sexual fantasies to cues of sexual abuse, have received less attention. In this case study, of a young adult female survivor of childhood sexual abuse, who presented for treatment at a rape crisis center, after successful treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), she complained of unwanted sexual fantasies to sexual abuse cues and concomitant guilt and shame. Following baseline data collection, treatment consisted of self-applied aversion therapy to unwanted sexual arousal to sexual abuse cues. Figures and references