Traumatic intrusions as worse case scenarios

H. Merckelbach*, P. Muris, R. Horselenberg, E. Rassin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


While some clinicians assume that traumatic intrusions are historically accurate revisualizations of traumatic incidents, others have suggested that these types of intrusions may represent a worse case scenario (i.e. exaggerated) version of the trauma. To explore this issue, a survey was conducted among undergraduate students (N = 189). Of the 69 respondents who had been the victim of or witness to a relatively recent trauma, 15 (22%) reported an exaggerated perception of the traumatic incident. Exaggerated intrusions were found to have more flashback qualities and tended to have a higher frequency than 'realistic' intrusions. These findings are well in line with the idea that intrusions are not necessarily veridical copies of traumatic events.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1075-1079
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998

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