When a child is abused, depending on the severity, it can be a lifelong of painful events, emotions and physical effects on the child. It is amazing how child abuse is seldom a single event; rather, it occurs on a regular base. It crosses all boundaries of income, race, ethnicity, and religious faith. A child abuser is usually closely related to the child, such as a parent, step-parent or other caregiver (KMI). The effects are often very damaging and agonizing, resulting in children or adolescence needing psychological help and sometimes even medication for a life time. Particular when children are molested or sexually abused, numerous times it is by ones family members or someone they know very well, frequently it creates more mental anguish on both the child and the family members. There are many play therapy treatments that can assist parents, schools, and the victims of such horrendous defilements to children and adolescents. This paper will discuss some of the effects of children/adolescences who have been sexually abused. It will also briefly discuss a portion of the Gestalt Play Therapy counseling methods that will help a child or adolescent recover and cope from such events. Lastly, it will give a brief counseling session of a young teenage girl who has possibly been sexual abused and later victimized an adolescence girl. The Empty Chair method will be shared to show how quickly results can occur for her particular situation, where some unresolved abuse may have taken place, as well as helping the adolescence take responsibility for her actions, which is very important in the Gestalt Therapy.
Once a child has been violated in a sexual manner, their knowledge and awareness of sex and sexual things become more advanced and often they are not sure how to handle their feelings and emotions. Repeatedly children will either become very promiscuity or withdrawn at an early age. According to Meta-Analysis of the Published Research on the effects of Children who have been Sexual Abused may present the following characteristic:
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – A disorder characterized by a severe and ongoing pattern of anxiety and avoidance, lasting longer than one month. Following exposure to a traumatic event (serious injury, threat death, or sexual violence) (Troy, Parritz p. 306)
Heighten Sexual Behavior/ Sexual Promiscuity – sexual drive is typically higher than normal child or adolescence.
Depression – severe despondency and dejection typically felt over a period of time and accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy. If depression progress enough without being addressed, it could lead to Para suicide, suicide ideation or even suicide itself.
Victim-Perpetrator Cycle – When a victim victimize another person, it become a cycle.
Poor Academic Performance – grades typically drop significantly, often failing. (Trask, Walsh, DiLillo, 2011)
When a therapist is preparing for children that...