Treatment of Sexual Abuse
Children who have been sexually abused are a heterogeneous group and as a result, no single treatment protocol is appropriate for all of them. The clinical and empirical literature clearly indicates that children’s short- and long-term reactions to abuse vary greatly and that there is no cluster of symptoms unique to sexual abuse. In addition, the potential effects of sexual abuse, and consequently the salient treatment issues, depend on the developmental level of the child. Thus, each child and family must be assessed for their ability to cope with the stressful event so that treatment can be focused on their unique needs. In this chapter, we first review different models that can be used to organize the enormous amount of information that typically is associated with these cases and to plan and guide treatment. Next, treatment issues including case management, foster care, and effective treatment methods are discussed, followed by a description of specific individual and group treatment approaches. Finally, a format for short-term treatment is presented that helps in the immediate crisis of disclosure and provides information on the need for further treatment.
KeywordsSexual Abuse Abuse Child Foster Care Traumatic Sexualization Treatment Issue
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