WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Research has found a new treatment, testimony therapy plus ceremony, may offer mental health benefits to survivors of trauma among Khmer Rouge torture survivors in Cambodia.
Testimony therapy plus ceremony involves counseling for war trauma survivors in which individuals tell their life story along with the traumatic events. The survivors receive support from counselors and their stories are documented into books for the survivor.
For the Khmer Rouge survivors in Cambodia who participated in testimony therapy, a ceremony was also held involving a Buddhist ritual and other events with community members and non-governmental organization representatives.
"We found that testimony therapy was effective at reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD among Khmer Rouge survivors," Dr. Jennifer Esala, co-author of the study, said in a press release. "This is especially notable because the intervention was brief [five days], culturally adapted [and adaptable], and was conducted in a low resource context. We hope that these findings encourage researchers to continue to study testimony therapy more closely and for practitioners to consider its applicability in their work."
The study was published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress.