Date of Award
Master of Public Health (MPH)
Traumatic experiences occurring during childhood is an increasing public health concern. Commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), which is the sexual abuse of a minor for economic gain, can be considered a complex trauma, as often this experience includes entrapment, isolation, frequent relocation, and prolonged physical, sexual, and psychological abuse. CSEC victims have a particularly high risk for negative mental health outcomes, such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse, which requires trauma-focused care. Trauma- Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is the gold standard treatment approach for children and adolescents that have experienced sexual abuse. TF-CBT is an evidence-based practice designed to target negative mental health outcomes associated with traumatic experiences, including PTSD, depression and anxiety, and externalizing behavior problems. A network of highly trained therapists was established in Georgia to serve the CSEC population. The current research study examined responses from therapists following an advanced TF-CBT CSEC training workshop. A primary objective of this study was to assess needs identified by the providers while considering suggestions for improved applications of TF-CBT with CSEC clients. Results from this study reaffirm the benefits of using TF-CBT with CSEC clients, but emphasizes the need for additional TF-CBT CSEC-specific resources to be developed.
McCarty, Colleen, "Factors that Increase and Decrease Therapist Use of an Evidence-based Practice with Youth Victims of Commercial Sex Trafficking." Thesis, Georgia State University, 2015.