"It is refreshing to find child therapists ready to engage with sexually abused children by incorporating trauma theory and research, addressing child protection and seeing themselves as part of a team that includes the carers. The authors provide an overview of phases of treatment, theoretical considerations and essential skills. They emphasis the importance of relationship and explore its impact on the therapist. Their approach is creative and child-centered. Case vignettes, poems and exercises promote empathy with the child's perspective. There is a useful chapter on cultural issues and the needs of children in alternative care.... this is an excellent primer for the child's helping network" - COMMUNITY CARE Therapeutic Work with Sexually Abused Children is a creative and practical guide for professionals working directly with those who have suffered sexual abuse and for their careers. The trauma of sexual abuse experienced in childhood can be severe and enduring. Therapeutic support is offered to help both the child and the family cope with psychological or emotional difficulties both currently and in later life. Therapists must be able to respond effectively to the child victim in a sensitive and timely way which prioritizes the needs of each child. Drawing on their experience as practitioners, the authors explore the reactions which children commonly experience following abuse and examine the tasks of the therapist in responding to them. The book covers: the theory, skills and process of therapeutic work children's coping and defense mechanisms career involvement professional issues Child sexual abuse is an issue which crosses professional boundaries and requires an integrated, inter-professional approach. Therapeutic Work with Sexually Abused Children will therefore be of interest to those undertaking specialist work or training in this area including social workers, psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists, and health and education professionals.    

Beginning Phases of Treatment

Beginning phases of treatment

A poem written by a male survivor:

Speak to me

And I will speak with you.

I need to reclaim my body

my spirit
my peace of mind.

I want you to hear me

to understand

how I was forced

not to be a child.

A childhood taken away


never to be reclaimed.

I need you to listen

not to speak, but to listen

Will you help me?

Can I be reclaimed?

I am asking you to believe me.

And more importantly

to believe in me.

It makes all the difference.

Listen carefully

For my voice is soft

like that of a child.

And if you speak

I will listen.

I am waiting.

There are many important issues that need to be considered at the beginning of the treatment phase. These include:

  • the referral source and available information;
  • the safety and protection of the child;
  • confidentiality ...
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