Therapy & Family Advocacy
The Children’s Assessment Center currently employs two licensed therapists who provide counseling sessions to child victims of sexual abuse. Children are referred for counseling through law enforcement or Children’s Protective Services. The number of sessions that a child qualifies for is unlimited, and all sessions are free of charge regardless of a family’s income. Age-specific therapy groups and parent support groups are also offered at various times throughout the year.
Therapists and their clients initially focus on building rapport and setting goals they want to achieve during their time in therapy. Goals can be added and modified as their time together goes on. As the client progresses, the focus becomes identifying the triggers that need to be “healed.” Various modalities of treatment are used during therapy to assist in the healing process.
Once the therapist feels that the client has met his or her goals and is ready to end counseling, the process to end their sessions is discussed. Most clients end with what is called a “Trauma Narrative.” The client will essentially write their story from their life before their abuse happened all the way through the abuse and after they received treatment. Once the narrative is complete, the child can add pictures and decorate their story. The narrative is shared with whomever the child chooses as they end their time in therapy.
Counseling for Children with Sexual Behavior Problems (8 and under)
Children display sexualized behaviors for a number of reasons other than having been sexually abused. This behavior can be troubling for the parents/caregivers of the child and can also cause difficulty in school settings. If your child is experiencing problems due to sexualized behaviors, please contact the CAC to speak with our Behavior Specialist.
The Family Advocate provides support for families who are in crisis due to their child being a victim of sexual abuse. This support is tailored to meet the needs of each family. For some families it is emotional support, for other families it is crisis intervention, and for other families it is coordination of services and assisting in identifying resources outside of the CAC. Family advocates maintain contact with clients on their path to healing and continue to empower them to obtain the resources and services they need to lead healthy lives.
Our Family Advocate is also available to go out and educate members of the community, both lay and professional, on the dynamics of victimization, sexual behaviors, and CAC services.
When a case is criminally charged, the child’s therapist and Family Advocate will provide education regarding the court process. The therapist and advocate may also accompany the family to court to provide emotional support