Indirect victimization from media exposure to terrorism manifests in a variety of psychological distress symptoms. Risks for the public inherent in this exposure prompted construction of a post-exposure therapeutic intervention for moderating emotional responses. For empirical rigor, efficacy was tested in a laboratory study in which 168 participants were exposed to a terrorism or nonterrorism media clip and for each exposure type to a therapeutic or control intervention. State anxiety and anger were measured before and subsequent to experimental manipulation. The first hypothesis predicting higher post-test anxiety and anger in the terrorism than the nonterrorism exposure group was confirmed, validating the negative effects of exposure. Testing the efficacy of the therapeutic intervention, the second hypothesis predicting, in the terrorism exposure, lower post-test levels of anxiety and anger in the therapeutic than control intervention group was also confirmed. These results support the utility of integrated emotional and cognitive therapeutic intervention. Clinical implications of these results suggest a potentially effective therapeutic strategy for indirect terrorism exposure victims, which is especially important during this new era of terrorism.

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