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Current Treatment Strategies for Sexually Abused Children (From Violence and Sexual Abuse at Home: Current Issues in Spousal Battering and Child Maltreatment, P 277-291, 1997, Robert Geffner, et al., eds. -- See NCJ-168285)

NCJ Number
C I Tyndall
Date Published
15 pages
Given the disturbingly high prevalence of child sexual abuse, the expertise of medical and mental health professionals in treating child sexual abuse victims is critical.
Relevant issues in treating sexually abused children include developmental considerations, the incorporation of a multi-modal therapeutic evaluation approach, the clarification of treatment goals, the appropriate use and integration of various treatment modalities, and effective treatment termination. The treatment of sexually abused children of all ages, from preschoolers to adolescents is reviewed. The emphasis is on developmentally linked evaluation and treatment strategies. Treatment is discussed in terms of goals and stages from evaluation to termination and in relation to such formats and modalities as individual psychotherapy, family psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, and hypnotherapy. The following treatment goals for child sexual abuse victims are identified: ameliorate presenting symptoms; develop a realistic and factual understanding of the abusive experience; ventilate feelings associated with abuse; develop healthy physical, psychological, and interpersonal boundaries; attain an appropriate balance between a sense of personal safety and self-protective awareness; learn about healthy sexuality; and prevent perpetration or sexual acting out. 25 references and 3 tables