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Προσκεκλημένη Ομιλία
«Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Children and Adolescents with PTSD: Review of Evidence and Experiences with Young Refugees»

Rita Rosner, Prof. Dr. Dipl.-Psych., Psychologische Psychotherapeutin, is currently the chair of Clinical and Biological Psychology at Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt. In the 1990ties, Prof Rosner studied the connections between flight, war, migration and psychological distress in the aftermath of the wars in former Yugoslavia. Current research projects focus on the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in children and adolescents after sexual and physical abuse, migration specific aspects of service use after childhood abuse and the treatment of Prolonged Grief Disorder in adults. From 2006-2008 Prof Rosner served as president of the German Speaking Society for Psychotraumatology, and from 2009-2015 as board member of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS). She is a co-founder and co-editor of the European Journal of Psychotraumatology (EJPT).


This presentation consists of three parts: In the first part I will present an overview of evidence based interventions for paediatric PTSD, in the second part I will report on a feasibility study on the treatment of young unaccompanied refugees and in the last part, I will describe the intervention.

Meta-analysis on the treatment of PTSD in children and adolescents in general report good results for trauma focussed cognitive behavioural therapy (TF-CBT). TF-CBT shows also moderate improvements for comorbid depression and anxiety. As yet empirically supported treatments have been rarely studied with young refugees, and the question arises if this treatments can be transferred to this very vulnerable and specific group and if and what modifications may be necessary and helpful. Thus I will present the results of an uncontrolled pre-post trial were we offer TF-CBT to unaccompanied young refugees with PTSD. 15 young refugees and their caregivers completed self-report and interview measures of PTSD, depressive symptoms and general distress. Patients were highly comorbid, with depression, suicidal behaviour and self-harm being most frequently reported. Patients were assessed at four time points: pre-, post-, 6-week – and 6-months follow-up. Patients improved significantly in terms of PTSD and depressive symptoms in self-report measures and caregiver reports. Effect sizes for PTSD measures were large (d between 1.1 and 2.0) and large for comorbid depression. Treatment success remained stable at 6 weeks follow-up. Yet, given that most UYR received a negative decision on their asylum status in the meantime, not all treatment successes could be maintained at 6 months follow-up.

TF-CBT consists of 12- 15 weekly 90-min parallel or conjoint sessions with the following components: psychoeducation and parent training, relaxation and affective modulation, learning cognitive coping skills, trauma narrative, cognitive processing of the trauma, in vivo mastery of trauma reminders, enhancing safety, and future development. Therapists in the above mentioned feasibility trial reported good treatment adherence with only few adaptations such as more time for affective modulation and cognitive coping and working with interpreters.