The Anna Crawford Children’s Center CAC program employs therapists who have their Master’s degree and are licensed or license-eligible in the fields of Professional Counseling, Clinical Social Work or Marriage and Family Therapy. In addition, we are a therapy internship training site for several local universities, including Argosy University, Georgia State University, and Kennesaw State University.
Not every child responds to abuse or trauma in the same manner. Problems encountered by children who have been abused may include issues with anger and emotional outbursts, sadness and withdrawal, feelings of fear and anxiety, nightmares or issues with sleeping, attention and concentration difficulties, academic and social problems, eating disorders, self-mutilation and/or suicidal behaviors, teen pregnancy, and abuse of various substances. Children who have been sexually abused may also act out sexually with others and may have difficulty maintaining appropriate interpersonal boundaries. These and other problems commonly observed in abused and traumatized children are addressed in therapy.
In some case, people assume children are unaffected by their abusive or traumatic experiences because they do not talk about the abuse and/or do not exhibit outward signs of distress. In these types of situations, these children may be using denial, avoidance and numbing or attitudes of perfectionism to cope with their experiences. It is important that these children also receive therapy to assist them in developing healthier ways of coping and dealing with the abuse.
At the Anna Crawford Children’s Center CAC program, non-offending caregivers are also actively involved in the treatment of their children. Because the sexual abuse of a child can be intensely difficult for the adults in their lives; our therapists provide emotional support to caregivers through the process. Additionally, treatment referrals to adult therapists in the community are provided to parents interested in individual therapy for themselves.
The primary treatment model utilized by the Anna Crawford Children’s Center CAC program is Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). TF-CBT is widely regarded as the most effective treatment with sexually abused and traumatized children. It has the strongest research support of any treatment model with traumatized children and is identified as “Best Practice” for therapy with sexually abused children. This therapy emphasizes the importance of parent involvement. During the course of treatment, therapists have individual sessions with the child, individual sessions with the parent and also joint sessions with the parent and child.
In addition to TF-CBT, the Anna Crawford Children’s Center CAC program also has therapists who have been specially trained in Play Therapy, a model of treatment techniques that emphasizes the child’s natural world of Play to facilitate healing. These techniques are often essential to treatment of young children who have been abused but may have limited cognitive or verbal skills due to their developmental levels. Therapists use sand tray, art, puppets, therapeutic games, etc. as well as words to enable a child to communicate about, and heal from, their experiences.