Children between the age of 2 and 18 who have experienced a trauma may be referred for therapy. In addition, siblings of those children are eligible for services. Specialized types of therapy for mentally healthy childchildren and families of abuse are offered, including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). The Family Advocate will discuss therapy options with the family and make the necessary referrals to a local therapy clinic of the family's choice.

How do I know if my child needs counseling?

The following concerns might need to be addressed by a professional therapist: If your child is upset or withdrawn for unknown reasons, if your child is experiencing feelings of depression or anxiety over an extended period of time, and/or if your child is acting out sexually or experiencing an overt curiosity related to sex.

What to Expect

Therapy is a unique opportunity for a child to meet with a trained professional who is willing and able to work to establish goals for treatment and to develop a pathway toward achieving those goals. For children who are beginning therapy with a history of physical or sexual abuse, this process also uses research-based treatment that has been proven to be effective in coping with trauma. Occasionally, a child may leave a session feeling temporarily worse before realizing the full healing effect. Therapy relies on the child's willingness to be open and to participate in the process, and the family should feel welcome to voice any concerns, discomfort, and scheduling issues with the therapist.

How long should I expect my child's session to last?

The initial meeting with the therapist lasts about 1.5 to 2 hours. After the initial meeting with the therapist, you, and your child, therapy sessions typically last 45-60 minutes and may likely include your presence and input. Sessions are typically not extended beyond this time, as this might impact the scheduled appointment of other children. However, in the case of emergencies, a therapist will be present for you and your child until the emergency has been resolved.

Should I discuss my child's traumatic experiences with them to aid in the therapy process?

It is best to be supportive and caring if your child initiates a discussion about his or her abuse. Listen to what your child has to say and praise the effort your child has shown in sharing.

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