Child and Family Therapy
A child’s reactions to abuse will vary from mild to more serious effects. Some children show signs immediately while others may have delayed symptoms. Even if your child is not showing any symptoms at this time, it is best to let a professional therapist evaluate your child. Many parents feel that a child should just forget about the abuse and are reluctant to let the child talk about the abuse. Unfortunately, denial will not make it go away. Most children do not just forget about abuse and need help to recover from their trauma. The purpose of counseling is not to dwell on the details of the abuse, but to help your child deal with the feelings that he/she is experiencing and to help your child heal. Counseling is extremely beneficial to children because it helps the child to:
- Develop a healthy self-image
- Learn to trust again
- Identify ways to stay safe
- Find ways to feel more in control
Your child may need continued counseling after the initial therapy visit. This does not mean that your child has been affected for life. After completing treatment do not be alarmed if at a later date your child needs additional therapeutic services. At different stages of life there are different concerns with which your child may need help.
As a parent, you may also need help in dealing with your feelings. In most instances, when a child is sexually abused, all family members will be affected. If you were a victim of sexual abuse, your child’s abuse may bring back difficult memories. A therapist may be able to help you as well since your response to the abuse will play a large part in your child’s healing. In all situations, it is important to assess if the child and the family can benefit from counseling.