Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing : a case study of a female adolescent sexual assault survivor

Vearey, Steven Clive (2004-04)

Thesis (MEd(Psych)--University of Stellenbosch, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study explores the use of Eye Movement Desensitisation (hereafter referred to as EMDR), a form of psychotherapy on a female adolescent sexual assault survivor. Adolescence as a developmental stage is characterised by specific issues, such as the search for own identity. Sexual trauma may increase the inner conflict, because of the adolescent's ability to deal with the trauma at a higher cognitive level than in earlier childhood. Without support including psychotherapy, the adolescent sexual assault survivor may be at risk of developing mental health problems including Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome (hereafter referred to as PTSD). This research is a qualitative case study, involving only one adolescent participant. Mary (pseudonym) a sexual assault survivor, was selected from referrals the Unit for Educational Psychology at the University of Stellenbosch received from the Child Protection Unit of the South African Police Services. She was referred because she displayed symptoms of depression and PTSD, which affected her relations with her parents, siblings and peers. She also struggled to cope emotionally with the academic demands of school. The ecosystemic approach was chosen as the preferred framework within which to locate this study. In assessment and intervention this framework lends itself to focussing on relationships and systems rather than merely the individual with a problem. The study explores the use of EMDR to alleviate symptoms of depression and PTSD in Mary. She attended thirteen sessions of which the first three were used to assess her level of functioning. Data were collected by means of self-report questionnaires including the Beck's Depression Inventory and the Dissociative Experiences Scale, interviews and therapy sessions during which EMDR was used. The data were analysed using codes, categories and themes, interpreted and the study concluded with a discussion of the findings. The findings suggest that EMDR effectively alleviated Mary's symptoms of depression and PTSD. However, since the study was limited to a single participant, a larger sample is recommended to determine whether EMDR might be a feasible treatment tool for female adolescent sexual assault survivors.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek die gebruik van Oogbeweging Desensitifisering Herprosessering (hierna verwys as OBDH), 'n tipe psigoterapie, om 'n vroulike adolessente slagoffer van seksuele misbruik te ondersteun. Adolessensie as 'n ontwikkelingsfase word deur spesifieke kwessies gekenmerk, onder andere die soeke na 'n eie identiteit. Seksuele trauma mag die innerlike konflik verhoog, weens die adolessent se vermoeë om dit op 'n hoër vlak van ontwikkeling as die jonger kind te hanteer. Sonder ondersteuning, insluitend psigoterapie, mag die adolessent die risiko loop om geestesversteurings soos Posttraumatiese stresversteuring (hierna verwys as PTSV) te ontwikkel. Hierdie navorsing was 'n kwalitatiewe gevallestudie en slegs een adolessente deelnemer was daarby betrokke. Mary (skuilnaam) 'n seksuele geweld oorwinnaar, is gekies vanuit verwysings wat die Eenheid vir Opvoedkundige Sielkunde van die Universiteit van Stellenbosch van die Kinderbeskermings-eenheid van die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisie Dienste ontvang het. Sy is verwys aangesien sy blykbaar simptome van depressie en PTSV geopenbaar het, wat haar verhoudings met haar ouers, sibbe en portuurgroep beïnvloed het. Sy het ook emosioneel gesukkel om die akademiese eise van die skool te hanteer. Die ekosistemiese benadering is gekies as die raamwerk vir hierdie studie. In assessering en intervensie lê dié benadering groter klem op verhoudings en sisteme, as op 'n individu met 'n probleem. Die doel van hierdie studie was om vas te stelof die gebruik van OBDH verligting van simptome van depressie en PTSV in Mary teweeg sou bring. Sy het dertien sessies bygewoon en die eerste drie is gebruik om haar vlak van funksionering te bepaal. Data is ingesamel deur middel van die Beck's Depression Inventory en die Dissociative Experiences Scale vraelyste, onderhoude en terapie sessies waarin OBDH ook gebruik was. Die data is ontleed deur middel van kodes, kategorieë en temas, geïnterpreteer en die studie eindig met 'n bespreking van die bevindinge. Die bevindinge het aangedui dat OBDH effektief Mary se simptome van depressie en PTSV verlig. Omdat die studie egter beperk was tot 'n enkele deelnemer, word 'n groter getal deelnemers aanbeveel om te bepaal of OBDH moontlik geskik is om vroulike adolesente oorwinnaars van seksueel geweld te ondersteun.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/49963
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