As mentioned previously, each survivor’s reaction to abuse will vary, which causes the kinds of treatments available to be very diverse in their uses. After experiencing CSA, the process through which an individual may begin to cope with that trauma will vary from person to person. However, it is possible to identify common themes in the initial coping mechanisms of survivors of CSA. It is also possible to recognize common repercussions of the same or similar types of abuse (e.g.
physical and sexual) because of the intricate boundaries of relationships that are violated during that abuse.
Because of this variation, it is nearly impossible to say that one surefire way of professional treatment exists for any given case after that survivor comes forward about their abuse, and therefore, there are many options for treatment that are used to aid all survivors in need. Regardless of the severity of sexual abuse specifically, it is commonly suggested that assistance from a licensed therapist should always be the next step after coming forward about abuse, if the resources are available to a survivor.
The different types of therapy best suited for the victim is based on the individual and their history, thereby making therapy an individualized and effective way to address trauma because of its personalized approach. Psychotherapy is the general term for one of the broadest forms of intervention and utilizes talking with a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other professional mental health provider to learn how to healthily respond to challenging situations in life. This approach is often the very first step on the path to more specific treatment, such as Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). TF-CBT was originally developed specifically for children that had experienced sexual abuse and has been around for over 25 years. This form of therapy is one of the most adaptable kinds of therapy, and is applicable to many cases. It is considered to very structured and relatively short-term, and tends to be especially effective for those diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
There are many different kinds of therapy that is selected for each survivor on a case-to-case basis, but at CARE House, services are based around TF-CBT. TF-CBT, developed by Drs. Anthony Mannarino, Judith Cohen, and Esther Deblinger, was originally developed specifically for children that had experienced sexual abuse and has been around for over 25 years. This form of therapy is one of the most adaptable kinds of therapy, and is applicable to many cases. It is considered to very structured and relatively short-term, and tends to be especially effective for those diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Organizations such as CARE House provide services that help to educate others about CSA and how to prevent it. At CARE House and at many other organizations, the main child abuse prevention efforts tend to be through educational sessions and training programs, which aims to increase the number of people (children and adults) in any given community that can identify the warning signs of abuse and neglect and know exactly what it is. Doing so encourages children to tell an adult if they or someone they know are being abused or neglected. Adults can recognize and report suspicions of abuse, potentially risky situations, and intervene before any instances of abuse occur. Other forms of prevention include promoting the development of safe relationships and environments between children and their parents or caregivers and educating them about body safety. Healthy relationships and environments are vital in order to ensure the right kinds of connections are being made, helping to ensure the child has healthy relationships and environments act as a buffer against adverse experiences and are necessary to ensure the long-term physical and emotional well-being of children. In order to get involved with child abuse prevention, reach out to local organizations such as CARE House that provide these resources to get you on the right path.
Make a change! See you in my next post. – Z
About Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). (n.d.). Retrieved
April 17, 2017, from Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: National
Therapist Certification Program website: https://tfcbt.org/about-tfcbt/
Child Abuse Prevention. (n.d.). Retrieved April 17, 2017, from Center for
Disease Control and Prevention website: https://www.cdc.gov/features/
Parry, S., & Simpson, J. (2016, September 21). How Do Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse Experience Formally Delivered Talking Therapy? A Systematic Review. Retrieved October 9, 2016, from Taylor & Francis Online website: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10538712.2016.1208704
Psychotherapy. (2016, March 17). Retrieved November 15, 2016, from Mayo Clinic