Frequently asked Questions

Questions About Participation

No, all appointments will be completed virtually either over the phone or video via computer/tablet (e.g. Zoom). You need to have a device that connects to the internet in order to participate. If you live in commuting distance to Seattle, you can come to our offices to use our devices for your sessions if you prefer. 

Treatment is 6-12 sessions delivered over 3-6 weeks, depending on your treatment conditions. Sessions are 20-60 minutes depending on treatment type. Regardless of treatment type, you will meet with your therapist twice per week while in treatment. 

Participants will receive payment throughout the study for completing surveys and interview assessments (at intake, randomization, 1-, 2-, and 6-month follow-ups).

No, you will not be asked to take any pills or medications. To see information on the treatments we offer, see our “treatment” page. 

If you have called, emailed, or submitted a contact form for Project SARAH, then you can expect to hear back within 48-72 hours during regular business hours though your preferred contact method (email or phone).  

Yes, your participation and information will all be kept confidential using standard research practices, with a few exceptions. To learn more about confidentiality, please give us a call or send us an email.  

Assessments are audio recorded and treatment sessions may be video recorded. These recordings are stored confidentially and only available for access to necessary study staff. The recordings are made in order to ensure that procedures are being carried out consistent with the established research protocols. 

Questions About Eligibility

To be eligible for the study, you must be a recent or current drinker. Since Project SARAH explores how treatments work for participants with alcohol concerns, you are unable to participate if you don’t have any past month alcohol use. See our resources page for study and treatment options that are not focused on alcohol. 

Yes, you can participate, unless you are currently doing trauma-focused or alcohol-focused treatment. If you enroll in the study, you will be asked to pause any trauma- or alcohol-focused treatment for your duration of treatment with us (3-6 weeks).  

Most of the time, yes. If you have made recent changes to your medications we may ask you to delay participation. If you have a question about medication, you can double check with research assistants or lab coordinator. 

Unfortunately, not in this study. Project SARAH seeks to investigate effective treatments soon after unwanted sexual experiences, which is why we are prioritizing participants whose unwanted sexual experience took place sometime within the past year. If you have experienced sexual assault or unwanted sexual contact outside of the past year, please see our resource page for other treatment options. You are also free to contact us directly and we can provide some suggestions.

Oftentimes, it can be difficult to identify what qualifies as an unwanted sexual experience because people label their experiences in a variety of ways. If you are not sure whether what you have experienced would be a fit for our study, feel free to give us a call. We are happy to talk it through with you.

Although most of our appointments take place within our working typical business hours, we can work with you to accommodate appointments outside of these hours on Monday-Thursday. For example, we have some evening availability. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer appointments Friday-Sunday. 

Project SARAH is only open to female-identifying participants. Individuals who identify as female are at increased risk for sexual violence and its negative impacts which is why this study focuses on this specific group. However, we recognize that people of all gender identities experience sexual assault. If you do not identify as female but are in need of services following a sexual assault, please see our resource page for other treatment ideas or give us a call for other suggestions.

Questions About Project SARAH's Background

Project SARAH is funded by the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Use, a division of the National Institute of Health (NIH). 

The study therapists are all Masters or PhD level clinicians employed at the University of Washington.

In Project SARAH, we use the broader term “unwanted sexual experience” as a way to encompass a wide variety of experiences. Each survivor views their experiences differently and may use varied terms for what they experienced. We are using a term that we see as inclusive in the hope that survivors with all different types of experiences will consider if we are a good fit for their needs.  

As a study centered around improving clinical treatments for PTSD and alcohol use, a large part of participation in Project SARAH entails receiving treatment and having us track your progress throughout that treatment. If treatment is not something that you would not like to engage in, then this study may not be the best fit for you.  

Questions About Treatment

You are not able to choose which treatment you receive. You can see which treatment(s) you may be randomized to here.  

Each participant in our study will be randomized to at least one of the three treatment options. In other words, treatment options will not be self-selected by participants. If you feel that any of the treatment options would not fit with what you’re looking for, our study may not be a good fit for your needs at the moment.