Thesis

Psycho-educational care packages for parents and families of children in treatment for sexual assault

"During the course of their childhood, one in three girls and one in seven boys will be sexually abused" (Briere, 2010, p. 1). While the ramifications of child sexual abuse may differ dependent on the severity and length of the trauma, early therapeutic intervention is crucial in the child survivor's recovery. In addition, research has shown that non-offending parent(s) and/or caregivers may contribute positively to the therapeutic process, especially when the caregiver is receiving individual services in addition to being directly involved in the therapy of the minor client. However, if the non-offending parent(s) and/or caregivers are not able to participate in a complete therapy program, how may a counselor incorporate them in the child survivor's therapy in order to increase the probability of positive therapeutic outcomes? The framework of a three phase psycho-educational model and care package have been created to utilize when non-offending parent(s) and/or caregivers are unable to obtain their own individual therapy and/or treatment when a minor child is receiving therapeutic services. The project is intended for child sexual abuse survivor's ages seven to twelve and their non-offending parent(s) and/or caregivers. The model was created in congruence with the therapeutic interventions utilized in the Valley Trauma Center in Van Nuys California, specifically Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The overall goal of the project is to improve the efficacy of treatment for children who have been sexually abused by increasing involvement of the non-offending caregivers and facilitating family cohesion and support both inside and outside the professional therapeutic setting.

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