Posttraumatic growth (PTG) is defined as a positive psychological change that can emerge following a traumatic life event. Although documented in noninterventional studies of traumatized individuals, there are scant data on the potential for therapy to induce or improv e PTG. Thus, the primary goal of this study was to examine changes in PTG in a controlled trial of cognitive–behavioral conjoint therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder versus waitlist (CBCT for PTSD; Monson & Fredman, 2012). We also examined whether pretreatment relationship satisfaction and PTSD symptomatology moderated change in PTG. There were 40 couples (75% with a female partner with PTSD) who were randomized to either immediate CBCT for PTSD or a 3-month waitlist (WL). Compared to WL, individuals who received treatment immediately demonstrated a significant increase in PTG. There was a moderate effect size between-group difference (Hedge's g = 0.45). There was a nonsignificant relationship with a moderate effect size (Hedge's g = 0.65) for the positive effect of pretreatment relationship satisfaction on the trajectory of PTG, but no effect of pretreatment PTSD symptoms. Results suggested that CBCT for PTSD facilitated PTG, even with a limited focus on PTG in this conjoint intervention. Future research should target PTG as a treatment goal and further examine the role of close others in facilitating development of PTG.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health