Categorically, TF-CBT helps children recover from post-traumatic stress associated from sexual assault or any form of sexual abuse that could have affected the mental thinking of the child. However, other people playing guidance roles to the affected children can also adopt the use of TF-CBT in alleviating the traumatic situations of the sexually assaulted child (Cohen et al., 2004). Essentially, the paper seeks to shed more light on treatment of sexually abused children using TF-CBT.
How TF-CBT is used in treating sexually abused children
The TF-CBT treatment technique starts by assessing the symptoms or the severity of the sexually abused child. The therapist then makes use of the Child Behaviour checklist in assessing what should be done in terms of treatment. This is followed by the development of the treatment plan that a therapist uses to relieve the child from traumatizing situation. Play therapy intervention is one among the many TF-CBT intervention strategies a therapist may use in administering treatment to a sexual harassed child (Pifalo, 2007). Psycho education, good parenting and relaxation are among the components one might use in administering treatment using TF-CBT treatment model. However, there might be a need to adopt more than one component in treating a sexually abused child who is affected by post-traumatic stress disorders (Kar, 2011).
Experts from the field of clinical psychology and related disciplines have acknowledged the fact that trauma focused cognitive behavioural therapy is a treatment that brings together different sessions of individuals including non-offended parents and children. This form of treatment is vital as it has proved to be effective for treating and curing children with Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, PTSD especially those that suffered sexual assault or abuse (Deblinger et al., 2011).
According to the social-culture of many countries women and the entire families, try their level best to ensure that their virginity is well protected while men incline towards development of muscles and creation of sexual prowess. With regard to this, there have been increased cases of sexual abuse especially among female children. The trauma narrative is considered the most valuable component of TF-CBT, but parents and therapists have always been hesitant in length discussions about concerning the trauma. On the same note, exposure basing on cognitive behaviour and their affiliated form of intervention are highly recommended for youths and adults who suffered from PTSD.
There is a lot of tangible evidence of proving that CBT is the best measure that can be deployed in dealing with PTSD on children sexually harassed. However, the best results after the treatment the patient must be subjected to frequent assessment and follow up to enhance complete healing. Studies and research carried out separately evidently shows that prolonged exposure on TF-CBT for most children with severe PTSD who suffered from sexual harassment or assault shows that the treatment successfully reduces the level of PTSD. (Cohen et al., 2004). Cognitive restructuring normally plays a minimal role in enhancement of the entire outcome of the treatment process. Studies shows that patients who are treated by counsellors lacking experience in CBT are not effectively cured, but to those attended to by experienced or experts in CBT get the best healing. The rationale behind it is that knowledgeable experts in the CBT field understand the techniques used to administer therapy to various patients depending on the extent to which the patient has suffered. CBT plays a vital role in reduction of self-reported PTSD anxiety and its related severity. A patient is meant to get a deeper meaning of some of his emotional problem and as a result change his negative perception concerning the traumatic event he/she underwent.
According to Kar (2011), the prevalent rates of posttraumatic stress disorder in children or the childhood stage is high because some of them trust people close to them who commit abuse their sexual personalities. There is need of finding the most effective measure of handling the main disorder and its resultant symptoms. The treatment measures especially TF-CBT should be inclined towards moderation of treatment outcome and its related factors. The final development of PTSD largely depends on the events of trauma such as the entire characteristics of the event, the proximity of the child to the main event and the critical subjective of the child to the main event which includes perceived loss of life and life threats. This implies that when a child is being treated these factors must be put into consideration. These will also allow the counsellors to create the best basis of treating affected patient.
According to Pifalo (2007), treatment that relies on cognitive theories and learning changes the inherent distorted belief and culture concerning sexual abuse. This treatment provide a platform within which affected children are encouraged to share their experience about the trauma and in so doing, they recover slowly from PSTD associated with sexual abuse. Apart from that TF-CBT concentrates on habitual responses that a sexually abused child may have developed after the erroneous act. The treatment method aims at identifying stimuli or situations that would alleviate some of the habitual responses developed by the child. In essence, it rejuvenates the childâ€™s lost self-esteem, which makes it possible for the affected child to identify with others without having a feeling or inferiority complex.
Furthermore, TF-CBT identifies patterns of interactions within the cohorts of affected children and helps them in reconnecting with their mates. The identification of these patterns helps parents and therapist in establishing inherent emotional problems that a child might have gone through after sexual abuse. In this case, it becomes easy to administer therapy or treatment during the early stages of trauma after a child has been sexually harassed. Many therapeutic researchers who have adopted the use of TF-CBT agree that the treatment method is effective in treating children with multiple traumatic situations (Getz, 2012). This is evident after the child welfare information gateway carried a study in America and noted that bereaved children healed from multiple traumatic situations. With regard to this, it was consider that it could be effective in addressing multiple traumas especially associated with sexual abuse (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2012).
In using TF-CBT many therapist have proved that the treatment technique shows elevated levels depression and dysfunctional behaviour, which the therapy administrator can target in an effort to alleviate emotional hyper arousal and numbing as some of the symptoms of Post-traumatic stress associated with sexual abuse.
Effective treating situations using TF-CBT
In treating a sexually abused child using TF-CBT, the therapist or parent should sum up events and consider pre- trauma variables of special interest before taking the initiative of treating the child. The family plays a significant role in the life of a child during trauma and the after trauma development period. After a child, experience of trauma, the relationship between them and their parents matters greatly (Deblinger et al., 2011). This means that any form of argument or conflict between the child and the parents might trigger fresh development of trauma in the child. The psychological state of the child must be stabilized to allow him/her successfully overcome the whole nightmare experienced during the trauma phase. On the same note, the impact of the family during the healing process from the trauma is paramount. It implies that the respect and care the affected child receives from the entire family members influence the rate at which a child is traumatized. Parental reactions and support affect either negatively or positively the development of PTSD in a child. It is advisable that families and parents should be cautious when dealing with children especially the period of after trauma development.
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Trauma cognitive behavioural therapy is a model that discourages any form of behaviour that might result into sexual harassment. Children who are subjected to trauma usually believe that they did something to persuade the situation. For this reason, the state of failure to take caution or implicitly give in without knowledge makes children to undergo severe traumatizing situation. At this point, a child needs the understanding of parent, guardians or mates who might have knowledge on TF-CBT required to treat him within the time he is affected. During the counselling session, the child might believe that they are sharing a lot and they literally feel wrong (Getz, 2012). However, it is recommended that being communicative during the counselling process the therapist should employ paraphrasing skills in order to acquire information about the situation in order to prescribe effective therapy.
TF-CBT is a unique and best form of cognitive behavioural therapy that has been adopted with the core intention of dealing with children who have been subjected to trauma. This therapy has been proven the best for children who have been sexually harassed or abused. In most instances, children experience posttraumatic stress disorder, other related emotional, or symptoms of behaviour that can include anxiety, depression, or disruptive behaviour.
Research conducted by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, in Pittsburgh in 2005, shows that after approximately 12 to 16 sessions of TF-CBT, a higher percentage of children would show great improvement after a therapist encourage them to relax or use interventions that would relax their minds and make them forget about the previous traumatizing situation (Deblinger et al., 2011). It is believed by many clinicians who adopted the use of TP-CBT has recorded positive results in handling children who have suffered trauma in their life. In addition, they opt to enhance future safety of the child in order to avoid repetition of sexual abuse. This can be done through child support networks that educate the child about the dangers of sexual abuse and provide them with safety strategies upon facing victims of sexual abuse in the future. TF-CBT is considered the best evidence for effective handling post-traumatic situations because it addresses the problems associated with child sexual abuse at developmental levels. This means that a therapist can develop a treatment plan for children affected as a result of sexual abuse depending on the severity of trauma.