Child Sexual Abuse Essay

1298 words - 6 pages

Child sexual abuse is a social crisis of significant magnitude. This type of abuse has been found to be correlated with the advancement of an extensive range of mental health and social problems in children and adults. Child sexual abuse is the term used when an adult uses a child or adolescent for his own sexual gratification or pleasure. Furthermore, a frequent expression of childhood sexual abuse is control over the abused child. This type of abuse knows no particular demographic and occurs across all social, cultural, economic, and religious lines (The national clearinghouse on family violence. 1993). Moreover, this type of abuse does not always involve penetration, but also ...view middle of the document...

The assessment is an imperative element of the counseling process. The timing of the assessment in relation to admission affects the child's direct treatment demands. Additionally, children may have trouble articulating their anxieties, doubts, or questions directly to a counselor. Many adolescents lack the capacity to convey plainly their emotional responses concerning abuse. Older juveniles may be wary of counselors and other professionals. Finally, parents may be inadequate reporters of their children's responses.
It is advocated that a child be seen by a qualified mental health professional for a clinical assessment arising admission of abuse. The objective of the clinical assessment is to pinpoint treatment demands, assets, and discrepancies as opposed to establishing whether or not abuse occurred. A clinical assessment addresses several topics of child functioning as well as the family environment preceding and following disclosure. The results of a clinical assessment offer evidence concerning the child's need for treatment.
It is imperative that children are safe from possible maltreatment from the offender as well as from nonbelieving family members. Treatment is governed by a child's presenting symptomatology and are identified following the initial assessment. Moreover, treatment must be directed on the abuse itself. There are multiple approaches for treatment of sexually abused children. First, counselors must help and encourage children to discuss and consider the abuse without humiliation or apprehension. Next, counselors must aid children to express the emotional state about the abuse. Counselors must diminish the strength and occurrence of behavioral and emotional symptoms. Additionally, counselors must explain and change irrational beliefs that negatively affect children’s view of self and others. Counselors must help children develop healthier attachments. Furthermore, must work to strengthen children’s coping skills. Counselors must use a gradual discussion of abuse experiences to decrease children’s anxiety and embarrassment. This treatment method offers openings to amend erroneous thinking processes. Finally, counselors must work to augment social skills with self-protective strategies.
Group therapy and cognitive behavioral strategies are additional forms of treatment for child sexual abuse victims. Group therapy can reduce children’s sense of isolation or stigma through exposure to other victims of abuse. This form of treatment has many positive effects, but also is associated with increased behavior problems. Consequently, counselors should be vigilant and observe group participants’ behavior closely. Cognitive behavioral strategies, which concentrate on the situation, have received some scientific support. This form of treatment tackles children’s thinking patterns, affective response, and behavioral reactions to the abuse. Finally, it is imperative for counselors to establish a safety plan...

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