In Treating Secondary Victims the author builds upon a foundation of both the research literature on incest victims and families, as well as her own clinical experience to provide a conceptual framework for intervention and treatment of the non-offending mother.
Family treatment, like individual and group therapy, can be useful at any stage of the treatment process. In this chapter, I will focus on family treatment at the initial stage of engagement, when the family may be in crisis, and on mid-phase treatment issues dealing with relational consequences. Although family treatment can serve to highlight traumatic effects for a mother, the modality is best suited to working on relationship issues between family members because a major purpose of family therapy is to decrease dysfunctional patterns of interaction that support the incestuous relationships in families. Family therapy with the mother and children—the emphasis in this chapter—is relevant whether or not the mother chooses to reunite with the offender. Issues regarding reunification of an ...