The Gifted Practitioner
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This book is about practice and interventions for abused children, their families and abusers too. Our work on violence against children and child sexual abuse (CSA), in particular, continues to be informed by the theoretical lens of intersectionality, ecological systems theory and the public health approach, which aim to produce knowledge and interventions to prevent sexual abuse and other forms of gender-based violence across entire societies rather than at the individual level. The first two books in this series were also informed by these lenses. It is important, though, that while we seek to tackle abuse at the societal level, we pay mind to the needs of individuals who are harmed by abuse and that we recognise that the statistics the public health approach seeks to reduce are composed of individual acts of harm stacked one on top of the other. So, we have written a book that provides an ecological approach to dealing with the effects of abuse on individuals and families. Using case studies, we demonstrate the interconnecting factors that contribute to children’s maltreatment and explore some clinical and therapeutic approaches to assisting them and their families. Our approach shows the non-linearity of causes and effects of abuse, reminding us that the uniqueness of each child’s situation requires a specific and individual response. However, we should also be cognisant of the common factors that contribute to abuse, and where possible we should provide group prevention and treatment interventions. Children’s resiliency following abuse and the extent of any adjustment difficulties they may face (such as certain psychiatric outcomes like depression, conduct disorder and attempted suicide) are influenced by a range of factors. An important objective of this book, therefore, is to increase critical thinking about the imperative need for a range of child, family and group interventions within the Caribbean for responding to the harm of sexual abuse. Sometimes the interventions we describe are taken directly from practice—these are examples of actual treatment approaches we have used. Other times we provide examples of interventions that would be appropriate for the cases presented; in these instances, these are hypothetical treatment approaches. We have used approaches from the fields of social work, clinical psychology, psychotherapy, art therapy and organisational psychology; for example, we borrow the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EI), derived from organisational psychology, to argue for reflective practice.
KeywordsDown Syndrome Child Sexual Abuse Emotional Intelligence Intelligence Quotient Reflective Practice
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