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Social Work


This qualitative study explored adults’ perceptions of experiences that were helpful and unhelpful to their recovery from the traumatic effects of childhood physical and sexual abuse. The authors conducted in-depth interviews with 30 participants approximately 6 months after discharge from an inpatient trauma treatment program. Participants reported that barriers to recovery postdischarge were lack of follow-up support immediately after discharge, social isolation, lack of friends, problems with partners, and lack of emotional support from family members. Facilitating factors were concrete support from family and friends; emotional support, particularly from friends; developing a social network unrelated to the abuse history; and continuing self-care strategies learned in the inpatient program. Implications for community-based mental health professionals are discussed.


Reprinted with permission from Families in Society (, published by the Alliance for Children and Families.