Therapeutic Work with Sexually Abused Children

Books

Randall Easton Wickham & Janet West

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  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
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    Dedication

    This book is dedicated to all children who have been sexually abused.

    Acknowledgements

    The authors wish to thank Alison Poyner, Senior Commissioning Editor, and Louise Wise, Editorial Assistant at Sage Publications for their contributions and support in writing this book. We are indebted to Pat Walton, University of Leicester, for her assistance in writing Chapter 12.

    Randall Easton Wickham would like to thank the following: both her brother, Michael Easton and her sister, Kelly Easton for their intelligence, sensitivity and unfailing senses of humour, and to thank them for always being there when she has truly needed them; her children Celia and Katie, for their affection, spirit and patience with her while she worked on this manuscript; Phyllis Spinal-Robinson, LCSW, for friendship, supervision and co-authorship of the workbooks for sexually abused children and adolescents written in the US; her previous colleagues on the sexual abuse team and staff at Des Plaines Valley Community Centre in Chicago; most notably the following: Phyllis Spinal-Robinson, Avis Shapiro, LCSW, a highly skilled clinician; Beth Forte, LCSW, who supervised her on her first sexual abuse case; the teaching staff at SSA at the University of Chicago where she received her MA in Social Work; her co-author, Janet, for her unfailing sense of humour, dedication, hard work and fortitude; and lastly, and most importantly, all the children and families she has had the opportunity to work with, who have taught her so much. Thank you.

    We also wish to acknowledge the following publications:

    American Psychiatric Association (2000) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Washington, DC.: American Psychiatric Association for permission to quote from DSM IV and defence mechanisms.

    Sharp, S. and Cowie, H. (1998) Counselling and Supporting Children in Distress. London: Sage for permission to quote Table 2.1, p. 28.

    Spinal-Robinson, P. and Easton Wickham, R. (1992) Cartwheels. A Workbook for Children Who Have Been Sexually Abused. Notre Dame, Indiana: Jalice, for permission to quote some of the Worksheets.

    Spinal-Robinson, P. and Easton Wickham, R. (1992) Cartwheels. Therapist's Guide. Notre Dame, Indiana: Jalice, for permission to quote clinical material regarding feelings of responsibility for the abuse, p. 4.

    Please note that the text is based on an integrative approach to treatment including the following orientations: psychodynamic, person-centred, self-psychology and cognitive. We also advocate a psycho-educational approach.

    Please also note that the words ‘carer’ and ‘parent’ are used interchangeably in our text. We have varied gender pronouns in order to reinforce the reader's awareness that both girls and boys are sexually abused, and that there are male and female therapists. Within England and Wales, the person with overall case-management responsibility for the sexually abused child who is receiving therapy may be a social worker, a child protection officer, or some other designated worker. Only rarely is the therapist also the child's identified worker.

  • Epilogue

    A final poem written by a survivor of childhood sexual abuse; a poem written at the end of treatment:

    (To my abuser)

    In my thoughts and dreams,

    you do not exist.

    I have banished you.

    Ashes to ashes,

    dust to dust.

    I am the one

    who moves on.

    Besieged and defeated,

    you can no longer

    linger in the shadows.

    Farewell.

    (For my therapist)

    In this room,

    an exorcism

    has occurred,

    harmonious inside,

    you have guided me,

    tears transformed,

    fears dissolved.

    I am the

    Survivor.

    Appendix 1: Answers to the Exercise on Coping Styles and Defence Mechanisms (Chapter 10)

    • Acting out
    • Denial and minimization
    • Devaluation
    • Dissociation (symptoms of depression)
    • Passive aggression/displacement of anger
    • Sublimation
    • Projection
    • Suppression/undoing

    Appendix 2: Worksheets (see Chapter 11)

    Feelings in Your Body

    People often feel emotions in their bodies. Can you show where you have feelings in your body? You can use different colours for different feelings and colour them in.

    Ways to Cope

    Things to do when I'm feeling afraid or overwhelmed:

    Write a Letter

    Write to the person who abused you. Say whatever you feel like saying:

    Draw a Picture of Yourself or Write Some Words Describing Yourself

    before the abuse

    after the abuse

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