Our psychotherapists are experienced in helping children and young adults to resolve behavioural, emotional and social problems, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD), phobias, aggressive behaviour, substance abuse, pilfering, risky sexual behaviours which include addiction to pornography, masturbation and other age inappropriate sexual behaviours.
We also modify maladaptive behaviours such as bullying, pilfering, lie telling, low-self-esteem as well as controlling and oppositional defiant behavior.
Our psychotherapy services include helping sexually abused children to recover from trauma.
Sexual abuse has devastating short and long term psychological consequences that can severely inhibit the normal functioning and development of a child if he or she is not provided with effective psychotherapy.
Some of these effects include anxiety, depression, paranoid behaviour, trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and sexually related addictions.
A child that is traumatized by sexual abuse will experience nightmares, flashbacks, loss of concentration and sometimes, insomnia and amnesia. All these would make it difficult for the child to function normally or even concentrate in the classroom.
The first step is to carry out a general psychological assessment of the child. This is to obtain relevant data about the sexual abuse and also determine the level of trauma experienced by the child.
This assessment is very crucial because the data obtained informs the treatment plan to be designed for the client, based on his or her peculiar experiences and needs.
The next step is to design a treatment plan for the client. The treatment plan for a sexually abused child, especially a traumatized survivor is usually a combination of trauma relief therapies and other therapies targeted at identified related psychological problems that need to be resolved. Some sexually abused children do develop maladaptive behaviours as a result of the abuse. Hence, the treatment plan for such children will also include therapies that would help to modify such maladaptive behaviours.
In very severe trauma cases, such as where the client experiences insomnia or severed depression, the plan will include a combination of psychotherapy and medication, in which case the psychotherapist would have to refer the client to a psychiatrist.
Some of the most commonly used trauma therapies include Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness therapies, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), WHAT IMPACT WOULD THE THERAPY HAVE ON THE CHILD?
Trauma focused therapies help to relieve trauma by helping to tackle trauma reinforcing thoughts and behaviours such as faulty interpretations of the sexual abuse, self-blame and consequent guilt, denial and fear. Cognitive behaviour therapy forinstace helps to change the client’s faulty thought patterns and consequently changes the client’s covert and overt behaviour.
Denial is another trauma reinforcing behaviour that needs to be countered. When an individual experiences a traumatizing event, the first defence mechanism is usually denial. This is because it is painful to accept that the event actually occurred and also, the very memory of the event is painful. Hence, the individual finds it more convenient to deny the event and the way to achieve this is to avoid recalling the event. Unfortunately, the more the person consciously makes effort to block out the experience from being recalled, the more frightening and painful it becomes. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing helps the client to come to terms with the abuse by providing opportunity for the client to fully and repeatedly recall the traumatizing experience until desensitization occurs. This is when the memory of the abuse no longer hurts.
Psychotherapy also helps to deal with trauma symptoms such as anxiety and phobia.