Researchers Find Group Therapy Benefits Homeless Veterans Prone to Violence

Sep 25, 2009
Researchers Find Group Therapy Benefits Homeless Veterans Prone to Violence
Gary Dick

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new study examines the rates of violence among homeless veterans and their partners and the significant results of group therapy.

A new study finds that group therapy can benefit homeless veterans who have admitted taking physical or emotional abuse against their partners. The research - a collaboration between Gary Dick, associate professor of Social Work at the University of Cincinnati, and Brad Schaffer, corrections counselor for the Veterans Administration Cincinnati Medical Center - was presented this month at the 14th International Conference on Violence, Abuse and Trauma in San Diego.

The researchers examined the cases of 130 homeless veterans who had admitted to committing either emotional or physical abuse against their partners. All of the veterans studied were male, living in homeless shelters, with 88 percent unemployed, with the median age 45. Ninety percent of the group reported suffering from some form of substance abuse; 16 percent reported a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); 41 percent of the men had expressed interest in joining group treatment.

That group treatment involved a 13-week psycho-educational program, with sessions led by a master level social worker. Sessions focused on anger management, the link between substance abuse and violence, respect and partnership, stress and challenges as well as values and violence. Individual therapy was also held for men who expressed the need for additional therapy.

The researchers say the support led to dramatic results in curbing among homeless veterans. The average 9.5 score in reporting abuse before treatment dropped to an average score of 4 after group treatment, with the most drastic drops reported in .

Statistics from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs suggest 33 percent of the U.S. adult homeless population is made up of veterans. Among them are veterans suffering from (PTSD), other mental health issues and drug or substance abuse.

Provided by University of Cincinnati (news : web)

Explore further: World's first wearable blue LED light therapy device to treat skin disease psoriasis vulgaris

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Growing problem for veterans: Domestic violence

Nov 06, 2008

"The increasing number of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) raises the risk of domestic violence and its consequences on families and children in communities across the United States," says Monica Matthieu, ...

Metabolic syndrome a risk for veterans with PTSD

Jan 08, 2009

Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are more likely to have metabolic syndrome than veterans without PTSD, according to a study led by Pia Heppner, Ph.D., psychologist with the University of California, San ...

Study re-examines Vietnam stress disorder

Aug 18, 2006

A review of an 18-year-old U.S. study of post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by Vietnam veterans found sharply fewer were affected than originally reported.

Recommended for you

Motion capture examines dance techniques

Sep 29, 2014

WAAPA dance students are set to take part in a world-first biomechanical study that tracks their training, technique and injuries as they develop as professional performers.

User comments : 0