Therapy

A child’s reactions to abuse will vary from mild to more serious effects. Some children show signs immediately while others may have delayed symptoms. Even if your child is not showing any symptoms of trauma at this time, it is best to let a professional therapist evaluate them. Your initial instincts might tell you that your child should just forget about the abuse, and you might be reluctant to let the child talk about the abuse. Unfortunately, denial will not make your child's experience with trauma go away. Most children do not just forget about abuse and need professional help to recover from their trauma. The purpose of counseling is not to dwell on the details of the abuse, but to help your child deal with the feelings that he/she is experiencing and help your child heal. Counseling is extremely beneficial to children because it helps them develop a healthy self-image, learn to trust again, identify ways to stay safe, and find ways to feel more in control. Your child may need continued counseling after the initial therapy visit. This does not mean that your child has been affected for life. If your child needs additional therapeutic services at a later date, do not be alarmed. At different stages of life there are different concerns with which your child may need help. As a parent, you may also need help in dealing with your child's trauma and your own feelings. In most instances when a child is sexually abused, all family members will be affected. If you were a victim of sexual abuse, your child’s abuse may bring back difficult memories. A therapist may be able to help you as well since your response to the abuse will play a large part in your child’s healing. In all situations, it is important to assess if the child and the family can benefit from counseling.