Q: How is my child referred?
A: Referrals are received from partner agencies on families with confirmed cases of abuse with protective parents or caregivers.
Q: My child does not’t want counseling. Does that mean that I should not seek counseling for my child?
A: It’s not uncommon for children to avoid counseling. As a parent, you should encourage your child to try it. Victims of abuse should be given the opportunity to process their thoughts and feelings in a therapeutic environment to help with the coping process.
Q: The abuse happened at a young age. Can therapy help my child now?
A: Abuse can have a lasting impact, especially if a child has not been able to process what has happened. Even if years have passed, a child may not have coped with what happened. Without adequate coping skills, the abuse can continue to affect your child.
Q: My child is not having any acting out behaviors. Should I seek counseling for my child?
A: Not all victims of abuse have acting out behaviors. Some hold their feelings inside or avoid, which can be just as detrimental as a child having behavior problems. It is important to allow a child to express their feelings in a safe environment, where a licensed mental health professional can help your child process through the abuse.
Q: Isn’t it better for my child just to forget about the abuse?
A: No, because children rarely forget about the abuse. Encouraging a child to “forget” about the abuse can make things worse. Counseling is a safe place where a child can have the freedom to talk about their painful experiences and get the help needed to have a successful future.
Q: If my child does not receive counseling, is my child more likely to have negative behaviors?
A: Victims of sexual abuse who do not develop healthy coping skills are more likely to engage in drug use, promiscuity, self-harm behaviors, as well as having anger problems, sleeping problems, low self-esteem, negative thoughts, anxiety , or depression. Behind every behavior problem there is a reason.
Q: If my child attends group counseling will my child experience more trauma?
A: Statistics show that being in a therapeutic group can give a child support and decrease effects of trauma.
Q: Isn’t it better for my child to see a school guidance counselor or church pastor who knows my child already?
A: Although these people may be a good support for your child and your family, you should ensure your child sees a licensed mental health professional who has specific training in child sexual abuse and trauma for treatment to be the most effective.
Q: I was a child victim of sexual abuse also so the abuse of my child is difficult for me. I want my child to get help, but do I need counseling also?
A: It can be beneficial for you to seek counseling for yourself so that you can begin to process your abuse and develop appropriate coping skills. This will be necessary in order for you to be able to support and help your child cope with his/her abuse.
A child victim once said, “Abuse is often like a boomerang-if you don’t deal with it- it can come back to hurt you.” We cannot change that a child has been abused, but together, we can make a difference in what happens next.
Our Family Advocates can help you in your decision to choose which is right for you and your child, so that the abuse does not continue to hurt. If you have any questions, please call and ask to speak with a Family Advocate at one of our three centers. We cannot change that a child has been abused, but together, we can make a difference in what happens next.