VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
The Relationship Between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Substance Abuse in Women With a History of Childhood Sexual Abuse Trauma
Karen A. Duncan
Women sexually abused as children who use or abuse substances are a specific group of at-risk clients who require specialized treatment. Therefore, they benefit from a certain knowledge, experience, and understanding of the complexity of their presenting problems when they come for treatment care and assistance regardless of whether they enter therapeutic treatment for CSA or substance abuse/use treatment programs. To improve the outcomes of singular (nonintegrated) treatments for women, there needs to be a concerted effort for substance abuse programs to assess women for childhood sexual abuse trauma. Equally important is that when women seek therapeutic treatment for childhood sexual abuse trauma, substance abuse/use issues need to be assessed as well. Assessment is the first step that precedes the development and implementation of integrated treatment plans that provide therapeutic strategies to address both substance abuse and CSAT for women, and therein lies both the challenge and the dilemma.