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Therapy & Problematic Sexual Behaviors

Promoting healing through therapy.

Children between the ages of 3 and 18 who have experienced sexual abuse may be referred to the Center for therapy. We offer several types of therapy, including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR, body safety, individual workshops, age-specific therapy groups and parent support groups.

All our therapists have specialized trauma training and are experienced in utilizing evidence-based treatment approaches with children and adolescents. The goal of therapy is to provide a safe space for families to engage in their healing journeys through the guidance of client-centered, individualized treatment goals.

Therapy generally consists of weekly or bi-weekly counseling appointments and may include such treatment practices as play, art, sensory and sand tray interventions.

For more information regarding therapy through the Center, please email clinical supervisor Samantha Akerman or call her at (616) 719-4684.

Para obtener más información sobre la terapia a través del Centro, envíe un correo electrónico a la supervisora clínica Samantha Akerman o llámela al (616) 719-4684.

What to Expect in Your First Counseling Session

Addressing problematic sexual behaviors.

Sexual exploration and play are a natural part of childhood sexual development; however, some childhood sexual behaviors may indicate more than harmless curiosity. In some cases, sexual behaviors pose a risk to the safety and well-being of the child and other children in his or her world.

If you are a parent or caregiver with questions about problematic sexual behaviors (PSB), please email Case Manager Marian Anderson or call (616) 719-4687. Marian can help determine if PSB screening and/or treatment may be appropriate for your child.

PSB Screening:

Offered for children age 9 and under who have not disclosed sexual abuse but have exhibited problematic sexual behaviors. A trained specialist will meet with both the parent/caregiver and the child individually to gather information around the concerns, provide education around body safety and offer potential treatment recommendations.

PSB Treatment:

Treatment at the Center may be recommended following a PSB screening. A trained therapist will work one-on-one with children to teach and promote body safety, appropriate boundaries, privacy and telling. The therapist will also assist parents/caregivers in developing parenting techniques and supportive strategies the family can use in the home.

For more information on PSB and child sexual development:

Problematic Sexual Behaviors
Sexual Development and Behavior in Children

National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth
Understanding Early Sexual Development
Healthy Children – Sexual Behaviors

Check our FAQ for answers to common questions about therapy. For more information, please email clinical supervisor Samantha Akerman.

5% of children under the age of 18 are solicited sexually online.
1,000+ suspected child sexual abuse cases are reported in Kent County each year.
75% of childhood sexual abuse is thought to go unreported.
1 in 7 girls and 1 in 25 boys are sexually abused.
1,000+ suspected child sexual abuse cases are reported in Kent County each year.
75% of childhood sexual abuse is thought to go unreported.
1 in 7 girls and 1 in 25 boys
are sexually abused.
5% of children under the age of 18 are solicited sexually online.