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Taking Charge: A Pilot Curriculum of Self-Defense and Personal Safety Training for Female Veterans With PTSD Because of Military Sexual Trauma

NCJ Number
Journal of Interpersonal Violence Volume: 21 Issue: 4 Dated: April 2006 Pages: 555-565
Wendy S. David; Tracy L. Simpson; Ann J. Cotton
Date Published
April 2006
11 pages
This article provides an overview of the results of an open-trial pilot evaluation of a Taking Charge (TC) cohort, a therapeutic self-defense program for female veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder from military sexual trauma.
The authors describe an overview of the pilot project Taking Charge, a 36-hour comprehensive behavioral intervention involving psychoeducation, personal safety, and self-defense training for 12 female veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from military sexual trauma. Self-defense training can incorporate the benefits of repeated exposure while teaching proactive cognitive and behavioral responses to the feared stimuli, and thus facilitate emotional and physical rescripting of and mastery over the trauma. Results up to 6 months follow-up indicate significant reductions in behavioral avoidance, PTSD hyperarousal, and depression, with significant increases in interpersonal, activity, and self-defense self-efficacy. The authors propose that this therapeutic self-defense curriculum provides an enhanced exposure therapy paradigm that may be a potent therapeutic tool in the treatment of PTSD. (Published Abstract) Table and references