Why Therapy Helps Sexually Molested Children
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento sexual abuse lawyer. Today we want to explain why therapy helps sexually molested children. It is important for families to understand how to locate sensitive counselors for sexually molested children. It helps to connect with a professional soon after they’ve been sexually abused. We believe that when this occurs, you can greatly minimize the long-term consequences of abuse. Every effort must be made to help children realize that they are not to blame for what happened to them – and that they deserve the best psychological care available so they can heal and move on with their lives.
Preparing Your Child for Counseling
To help your child understand why sexual abuse counseling can be useful, you’ll need to explain how therapy works. You’ll also need to trust your child’s judgment as to which consulted therapist seems to provide the “best fit” – while also creating a safe counseling environment. Here’s some useful information for locating a good therapist, evaluating the care being provided, and determining how much therapy may be required.
Locating the Best Therapist for Your Child
It’s always wise to first ask your health insurance company for the names of covered therapists. Next, consider asking friends and family, your child’s school guidance counselor, your house of worship, and community centers if they are familiar with the reputations of any of the counselors suggested by your insurance company.
You may also want to go online and consult websites run by: SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), and NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness). Groups like these often provide free telephone information and referral services.
Be prepared to interview some of these therapists over the phone – and then choose one or two to go meet in person with your child. Remember that choosing the best therapist you can afford is crucial to this process – although let your child know in advance that you can change counselors later on if the first one doesn’t prove to be the best match.
Be prepared to ask prospective therapists the following questions.
- Where did you receive all your training? How many hours of supervised clinical care were you required to complete before obtaining your current license as a therapist?
- Do you regularly work with children – especially those who are rape or incest survivors?
- Have you completed specialized training in the field of sexual abuse and violence against women and children?
- How long do you normally treat new childhood victims of sexual abuse?
- What type of “talking therapy” or other approaches do you use?
Confidentiality and Trust
Make sure your child knows that the therapist can be trusted to keep confidences. Tell her that many young people and adults obtain therapy after being raped or otherwise sexually abused. Explain that your chief desire in finding a good therapist is to help your child come to terms with what happened and then regain a strong, positive sense of self-esteem. This is one of the main reasons why therapy helps sexually molested children.
Encourage Your Child to Create Realistic Expectations for Therapy
Tell your child that there are no set time limits for completing sex abuse therapy. Make it clear that if the therapeutic relationship isn’t going well, your child has the right to consider moving on to a new counselor. As for how long it can take to heal, some children and teens may only need to go for a few months – while others may require supportive weekly or bi-weekly therapy for over a year. It will usually be possible to restart therapy later, if necessary.
Finally, tell your child that shame is never appropriate – bad things happen to everyone and during successful therapy, your child will learn that he or she is now a survivor – and no longer anyone’s victim.
More Topics by Edward A. Smith ~
- Sexual Abuse in Foster Care
- Preschool Sexual Assault Lawyer
- Clergy Sexual Assault Lawyer
- Youth Sports Leagues
Sacramento Sexual Abuse Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sexual Abuse Lawyer in Sacramento. If someone you love has been sexually molested or you have suffered a sexual assualt or sexual abuse, please call me at (916) 921-6400 for confidential, free and friendly advice. Calling from outside of Sacramento? Call me toll free at (800) 404-5400.
I am a proud member in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. This is a fellowship reserved for top US trial attorneys who have obtained verdicts or settlements in cases worth over $1 Million Dollars.
A listing of some of my past settlements and verdicts appear here.
Image Courtesy of: D. Sharon Pruitt – Hill Air Force Base, Utah, United States (Free A Child’s Cry for Peace Creative Commons) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Why Therapy Helps Sexually Molested Children ~