NET Project

Promoting Optimal Wellness and Empowering Resilience through Narrative Exposure Therapy (POWER-NET): The goal of this study is to examine preliminary feasibility and efficacy of Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) to promote adolescent mental health related to interpersonal trauma. Among those at highest risk for interpersonal violence and its sequelae are youth from urban, low-resourced neighborhoods. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common outcome associated with IPT. Substance misuse (SUB) is a frequent concomitant of PTSD and other disorders such as depression. NET is a promising intervention to reduce PTSD symptoms and associated psychological distress, via the supported reconstruction (narrative telling) of the traumas. NET has a critical advantage over existing PTSD treatments in that it can be delivered in a brief format, in community settings where at-risk adolescents are likely to be found. We currently are conducting a trial (N=50) to estimate NET treatment effects on PTSD and depression symptoms and substance use outcomes in urban adolescents (ages 16-21). NET will be compared against a wait list control condition. This is the first study to examine NET efficacy in this population. Recruitment and intervention are taking place at our community partner, a Buffalo area facility that serves homeless and at-risk youth. We are collecting outcome data at Baseline, and at 1 and 3 month follow-up assessments. Potential mechanisms of change and treatment outcome also will be examined.

This study is funded by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute and by The Fahs-Beck Foundation.

This work is inspired by the life and work of Dr. Ellen Volpe. Click here for more information.