The effects of direct versus Socratic cognitive therapies on battered women with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Texas Tech University


The magnitude of domestic violence in America has often been overlooked. It is a much larger problem than can be realized a growing number of researchers have suggested that the most accurate diagnosis for many survivors of interpersonal and family violence is that of posttraumatic stress disorder. Yet, the majority of the literature on battered women does not explicitly highlight posttraumatic stress disorder as a construct; it is merely referred to as symptomatology.

Research has repeatedly failed to use standardized measures to assess for the presence of posttraumatic stress disorder among battered women. Therefore, it was evident that a utilization of standardized measures was needed in order to obtain significant data for the application of the diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder to battered women. Also, the cognitive processing of traumatic events has been emphasized in theoretical discussions of violence impact. This highlights the trend of the growing use of cognitive therapies with battered women. These obvious research needs were the major premises behind this study.

The purposes of this study were: (1) to explore the diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder as it pertains to battered women by using standardized measures, and (2) to apply cognitive group counseling techniques (ie., direct vs. indirect/Socratic) as therapeutic methods to treat the battered women's posttraumatic stress disorder. The instruments used to assess the amount and type of abuse (physical vs, psychological) received by the women participants from their partners were (1) the Abusive Behavior Inventory (ABI), and (2) the Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS), The instruments used to assess the levels of posttraumatic stress disorder of the participants were (1) the Impact of Event Scale (lES), and (2) the MMPI Subscale for the Assessment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (MMPI/PTSD).



Abused women, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Counseling