Counseling children who have gone through some abuse is a daunting obligation for counselors and other mental health providers. The prevalence of reported and confirmed neglect and child abuse has increased significantly since the birth of the battered child syndrome and ensuing mandated laws. The country has progressed through phases of public awareness regarding the matter. Presently, counselors have become more aware of the extensive sexual abuse in teen girls and are finding ways to increase awareness of sexual abuse in teen boys. Sudden changes concerning the subject require that counselors are updated on the signs of maltreatment, the existing laws for alleged abuse, and how kids can be best supported to overcome the impacts of this kind of negative family crisis.
Forms Of Maltreatment
A typical premise that is fundamental to many forms of maltreatment – neglect, sexual abuse, and physical abuse – is emotional pain. A physically abused child frequently feels emotionally distressed from unreliable parenting and anxiety. A sexually abused child feels a lack of supervision or affection, leaving him susceptible to the elusive advances of the offender. The child then feels worried or indifferent about the kind of life he has – one where his primary needs are not met. Similarly, a student who is reported to the counselor because he is having trouble socializing or getting good grades in school could be a victim of abuse.
This is commonly described as the deliberate perpetration of harm on a child by his guardian or caregiver. It presents as bumps, burns, wounds, scratches, or ultimately, death. It may happen through beating, biting, punching, kicking, or other kinds of violence targeted at a child. Most, if not all, parents, who abuse their kids, have been raised in environments where some abuse transpired.
It is the adult abuse or manipulation of the usual childhood development stages by using sexual activity. Cases considered sexual activity include kissing, fondling the genitals with fingers, touching, and actual sex. In scrutinizing the structures of sexual abuse, it is vital to note that the facts and reports are quickly changing. The initial presumption was that offenders of sexual abuse were largely men. Still, experts studied women perpetrators and documented that both males and females aided offenders or abused independently – mostly those who came from unpleasant childhoods or were sexually abused themselves. For the past ten years, it has been recognized that male kids also have a higher likelihood of being victimized.
Neglect Or Emotional Abuse
Emotional abandonment typically indicates constant unresponsiveness to a child’s need. It entails an array of behavioral patterns, from a parent who is apathetic to his child and keeps his child in the crib at all times to the crazy parent who is incapable of accepting the reality of her child’s world, or the fact that she has a child. Emotional abuse, however, denotes voluntary maltreatment or rejection of the child by his parent. Longstanding verbal abuse damages the child’s self-confidence. Using excessive punishment or restriction is also a type of emotional abuse. Emotional neglect or abuse is typically complemented by other types of mistreatment, including physical and sexual abuse.
Counseling The Abused Child
One of the basic goals of counseling the abused child is to offer a secure space and a secure relationship. The child may explore the new alterations to a more secure world and where the child’s stunted development may be modified. Counselors are not capable of fully replacing the necessary parenting connection that helps abused children develop and grow. However, they have the chance to guide the children and help them establish an honest and safe relationship with adults.
The premise of understanding the abused child is to identify during the developmental phase instead of the chronological phase. The counselor will recognize the adjustments that the child may have learned because of the abuse and teach him better methods of interacting. Children most often uncover in play the tragic events of the past years. They might also present unstable behaviors that place them at risk of added abuse.
As per their relationships with their counselors, working with abused children needs many strategies other than listening and conversing. Utilizing structured and unstructured plays, music, or art therapy may provide children with a secure technique to express their anger, tension, anxiety, and worries. Younger kids can efficiently project how they feel about family matters when the counselor utilizes dolls and dollhouses for play. Several abused children have not tried engaging in play and acting out activities and may work well with just free play with the counselor. Reading stories, role plays, and using puppets are techniques that abused children can do.
Abused children also work efficiently when counselors deal with them in groups. Younger kids do well with playgroups, while the older ones can take advantage of activity groups and treatment-oriented groups.