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A child who is abused either inside or outside of the home could deal with the effects of that mistreatment for the rest of his or her life. Fortunately for those children, there are forms of child abuse therapy for just about every type of mistreatment. This professional help could entail therapy for verbal, physical or sexual abuse in addition to counseling for neglect. Often, it is not only the abuse that needs to be dealt with by a therapist but also the results of that abuse, which could include eating disorders, depression, anxiety and substance abuse.
Child abuse therapy could be one-on-one between the abuse victim and the therapist, or it could include group therapy. In the case of group therapy, the session could include the patient with his or her siblings or parents. Depending on the form of abuse that took place, child abuse therapy could take years to resolve and could include the prescription of medication by a psychiatrist.
In addition to counseling sessions, a therapist might prescribe other forms of therapy. Play therapy and family therapy could be effective for young children in certain situations. In this form of child abuse therapy, which would be coupled with counseling sessions, the child can use toys such as dolls and other objects to communicate, express feelings and demonstrate past abuse. Child abuse therapy can occur in a variety of settings depending on the situation. These sessions could be in a private environment, such as the home, or could occur in a clinical setting.
Although children can be resilient, the effects of child abuse can be extremely damaging, especially if that mistreatment occurs within the confines of the home, which is supposed to be a safe haven. In addition to teaching the child how to cope with the abuse that has taken place, the therapist will have to instruct that child's caregivers on techniques to use throughout the recovery process. The therapist and caregivers alike must be prepared for setbacks throughout therapy, but that is a normal part of the process.
Different forms of abuse require different types of child abuse therapy. If a child is sexually abused, group therapy might be the most effective form of counseling so that the child does not feel alone. Among other skills, the child will learn relaxation techniques to conquer anxiety. Educational requirements for a child abuse therapist include a degree in psychology coupled with experience working with abused kids.
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