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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 93397 Find in a Library
Title: Group Psychotherapy With Sexually Abused Children (From Sexually Abused Children and Their Families, P 199-210, 1981, Patricia B Mrazek and C Henry Kempe, ed. - See NCJ-93389)
Author(s): P B Mrazek
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Pergamon Press
Elmsford, NY 10523
Sale Source: Pergamon Press
Fairview Park
Elmsford, NY 10523
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Seven case studies of girls sexually abused by their biologic fathers demonstrate the beneficial effects of group therapy as well as family intervention approaches, problems encountered, and the children's long-range therapeutic and life situation needs.
Abstract: The studies are based on diagnostic evaluations and 8-month and 3-year followups. The seven girls, including two sets of siblings, ranged from 4- to 7-years-old. All were from lower socioeconomic families, six were white, and one was American Indian. Five were in foster placement, and two lived with their mothers, although the fathers were not at home. Treatment consisted of weekly group therapy sessions of l-l/2 hours over a 6-month period. Each session included a talking and sharing time, a structured activity to initiate further fantasy and discussion, free play, and a snack. Therapists also met with parents and formed a weekly parents' group which was active for 3 months. All the girls, except one pair of siblings, initially appeared rather self-sufficient and sophisticated, but this psuedo-maturity lessened as they began to trust the therapists and very basic helplessness and neediness were expressed. As time went on, the girls began to talk more about separations from either both of their parents or their fathers and derived comfort from being with other children who had experienced similar problems. Parents chose to focus on themselves rather than their children, with fathers initially denying the incestuous behavior. While all the girls except two sisters improved in the group setting, most continued to have emotional difficulties. Direct treatment of sexually abused children can only be helpful in the long run if their life situation also changes. In these cases, no fathers followed through with the psychiatric treatment required by a probation or diversion agreement for more than 2 months. Therapists eventually recommended termination of parental rights for three children and long-term foster care for two. The paper supplied 12 references.
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child Sexual Abuse; Group therapy; Incest
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