Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Combat-Related Multifaceted Trauma-Focused Group Therapy

A Pilot Study

Levi, Ofir PhD; Wald, Ilan PhD; Svetlitsky, Vlad PhD; Zusmanovitz, Sergei MSW; Parasha, Eli MSW; Shoval-Zuckerman, Yael PhD; Afik, Gal MA; Haikin, Gal MA; Fruchter, Eyal MD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: February 2017 - Volume 205 - Issue 2 - p 133–139
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000619
Original Articles

The efficacy of combat-related trauma-focused group therapy (TFGT) was tested using a unique technique that combines principles from prolonged exposure, cognitive processing therapy, and art therapy. Eighty Israeli male veterans exposed to traumatic events participated in the study. They were divided into eight therapeutic groups led by four pairs of trained therapists. Posttraumatic stress disorder and depression symptoms and levels of functioning were taken at pretherapy, end of therapy, and 6 months posttherapy. Analyses found that therapy helped in reducing posttraumatic and depressive symptoms at the end of therapy and at 6 months follow-up. It also showed that patients' functioning had significantly improved by the end of therapy and at 6 months follow-up. A significant clinical change in each parameter over time was also observed. In conclusion, the study provides preliminary evidence that combat-related TFGT may be efficacious in reducing psychological suffering and enhancing actual functioning. Follow-up randomized controlled trials to determine treatment efficacy are needed.

*Social Work Department, Ruppin Academic Center, Emek Hefer; †Bob Shapell School of Social Work, Tel Aviv University; ‡Mental Health Division, Israel Defense Forces, Medical Corps, Ramat Gan; and §Psychological Services, The Hebrew University, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel.

Send reprint requests to Ofir Levi, PhD, Bob Shapell School of Social Work, Tel Aviv University, POB 39040, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel. E-mail:

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.