Treatment : Services, Training, Materials
CPTCSA is one of the very few agencies offering counseling services to children and youth with both inappropriate sexual behavior or sexually aggressive behavior that is confronted by the legal system (the young sex offender).
Treatment towards healing comes in different forms and cannot be achieved in isolation. That is, the child must be considered and treated together with their environment (family and community). Theory-based therapy includes CBT, play, sand, art, RET, built on the needs, developmental level, and personality of the client. Therapists are registered social workers with a minimum of 10 years of experience working with this population and issue.
Individual therapy is personalized and in-depth treatment, working to create a safe and trusting place for the child to share their thoughts and feelings about abuse with a therapist. The therapist helps the child understand their feelings so that the child can move forward and find emotional healing. But as important is the need to confront distorted reality, especially if those thoughts lead to inappropriate or harmful behaviors.
Individual therapy sessions are set based on the need of the client, although generally once a week. Sessions for younger clients average between thirty to forty-five minutes; sessions with older children last between forty-five minutes to an hour. A total of six to eight sessions is needed for assessment of the child’s presenting problems, after which, the course of the actual intervention (therapy) will be determined based on treatment goals, family support, child strengths, and other variables. The case and the progress of the client will be reviewed periodically through professional mentoring and supervision by inside and an outside Treatment Response Team to determine the need for further intervention or if therapy should be terminated.
Group therapy allows children struggling with the same issues to confront and work through their experiences together. This is powerful in the healing process because the sexually abused or offending child often feels isolated from their peers. Therefore, sharing the experience in a group can lessen this loneliness. Group therapy sessions range between eight to fifteen sessions. Each group therapy session lasts for ninety minutes.
Optimal group size is 6 – 8 members. Criteria for membership includes same-gender/age groups, and the child is not psychotic or violent. Before any child can join group therapy, a screening process will be conducted by the group facilitator.
Family therapy brings together the entire unit in order to confront all elements of what happened. Often different counselors will provide the treatment services so that each individual gets their own advocate.
CPTCSA places a special emphasis on boys as both victims and young offenders.
TREATMENT SERVICES AT CPTCSA CAN HELP BY:
- Providing a safe release of feelings.
- Overcoming negative and potentially self-destructive behavior.
- Helping understand what part of thinking has been affected by the abuse and help correct distortions.
- Helping overcome self-blame and self-hatred.
- Helping build a sense of trust in yourself and in a positive future.
- Enabling child victims to gain a sense of perspective about the abuse and to gain the emotional distance necessary to keep the trauma from hurting in the future.
- Supporting the child to come to terms with their own sexuality, including good feelings surrounding sexual behaviors and the ability to discriminate healthy sexuality from abuse.
- Building a supportive environment around children with inappropriate or harmful sexual behaviors to prevent re-offending.
- Teaching and supporting children today so they do not become offenders tomorrow.