Child Sexual Abuse: The Search for Healing

By Christopher Bagley; Kathleen King | Go to book overview

Chapter Seven

HEALING OF THE CHILD SURVIVOR

Healing, and the belief we can heal ourselves, and the decisions to move toward healing are all radical acts which transform us in and of themselves…because by the process of caring for ourselves, we become more and more ourselves.

Susan Griffin (1979),

Rape: the power of consciousness

The purpose of this chapter is to review how treatment can best respond to the child survivors of sexual abuse. Goals of treatment, principles of intervention in response to specific traumas, and various methodologies or tools of practice will be considered. As well, different therapeutic philosophies will be reviewed. Although the focus of this chapter is the child, it must also be remembered that many children do not receive treatment for the traumas that child sexual abuse involves, during their childhood years. These principles of healing are equally relevant for ‘the hurting child’ who may still be part of the adult personality.


TREATMENT IMPLICATIONS

Goals of Therapy

Giarretto (1976) identifies the four goals of therapy for child sexual abuse victims as emotional catharsis, confrontation, self-identification, and self-management. Each of these will be briefly explained.

Emotional catharsis is the process of releasing pent-up emotional energy. ‘Feelings of despair, shame, and guilt must be listened to with compassion, as natural expressions of inner

-133-

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Child Sexual Abuse: The Search for Healing
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables vii
  • About the Authors ix
  • Chapter One - The Meaning of Sexual Abuse in Childhood 1
  • Chapter Two - Historical Perspectives 25
  • Chapter Three - Definitions and Ethics 38
  • Chapter Four - Statistical Dimensions 56
  • Chapter Five - A Community Model 78
  • Chapter Six - Trauma to the Child Victim 105
  • Chapter Seven - Healing of the Child Survivor 133
  • Chapter Eight - Healing the Family 157
  • Chapter Nine - Healing of Offenders 182
  • Chapter Ten - Healing of Society 203
  • Chapter Eleven - Implications for Practice and Research 230
  • Bibliography 241
  • Name Index 264
  • Subject Index 269
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