The Problem of Molestation
A clinician needs to assess the child’s current level of development and help the child to understand as well as to resolve the trauma. The structure of the child’s individual therapy must provide a safe situation in which the child can construct a healthy framework for conceptualizing the traumatic event. The clinician must also be prepared to provide the child with accurate, age-appropriate information about molestation, about the molester, and about the child’s relationship with the molester. The family frequently needs considerable support during the initial, discovery phase, and it would be useful for a therapist to spend some time with each family member during this initial stage, because it is fraught with fear and anxiety. Some children may appear emotionally bland or neutral, while others may exhibit positive feelings or even affection toward those who have sexually traumatized them.