The most important aspect of your child’s recovery is YOUR RESPONSE to their sexual abuse. It is important to believe them and assure them that whatever happened was not their fault. If you do nothing else for them, please do the things you just read. The next steps involve getting them professional help. Having them talk to a therapist can help them work through their feelings without them having to tell their story to people they see every day. A therapist is someone who they can work on the issue with and then never see again. Sometimes, talking to family is very helpful. Other times, it is embarrassing and scary. Sometimes, therapy can help your child find ways of talking to you and asking you for the support that they need. The therapist can also educate you (and them) on typical responses that children who have been sexually abused typically have. Furthermore, the therapist can educate you on how to support your child when they are having a difficult time, when they have trouble sleeping, they are having nightmares, or when they are just scared.
There are many different ways that I have worked with kids who were sexually abused. The first step is to help them feel comfortable in therapy and to let them know that although they had no control during the abuse, that they do have control in therapy. I make sure my clients know that I will never take them into a subject that they are not prepared to deal with (by knowing how to cope and relax). The next step is finding out how your child/teenager best expresses themselves. Although I am able to do talk therapy with many of my clients, often times art therapy and/or play therapy works better for them because it is more at their level and they are much stronger in their ability to play or draw compared to their ability to verbalize their feelings. The most important thing is that your child is able to process their feelings about their experience and understand facts about abuse (for example, it is not their fault). If there was a police report made, you and your child should qualify for free counseling. Please contact me for more information.
If you are looking for therapy in Long Beach for your child or yourself due to issues of molest or sexual abuse, please give me a call to ask me a question or to set up an appointment.