Child Sexual Abuse: The Search for Healing by Christopher Bagley

By Christopher Bagley

A accomplished review of the explanations, therapy and prevention of kid sexual abuse which ways the matter from the views of the sufferers, their households and the offenders themselves.

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Extra resources for Child Sexual Abuse: The Search for Healing

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His model has become synonymous with humanistic treatment. The programme is restricted to treatment of incest, defined as ‘sexual activity between parent and child or between siblings of a nuclear family’ (Giarretto 1976:143). Although the programme is limited to family treatment, many of the concepts can be applied universally. The basic premise is that the offender must accept total and personal responsibility for his actions. The difference from more traditional approaches is that the offender is seen as requiring strong self-identity and self-esteem as prerequisites to rehabilitation and the acquisition of responsible social attitudes and actions.

Fraser 1987:113) As an adolescent and adult, Sylvia experienced frequent bouts of depression and suicidal feelings. She experiences fearful dreams which feature monsters and devils. Relationships with men are difficult. She marries, and is divorced. Sylvia’s monstrous dreams and fears continue. In one of her novels she features an incident of sexual abuse of a child. Still the personal truth of her own abuse is not revealed. Sylvia weeps ‘old and desperate tears for reasons unknown to me’. Then her father dies.

The basic premise is that the offender must accept total and personal responsibility for his actions. The difference from more traditional approaches is that the offender is seen as requiring strong self-identity and self-esteem as prerequisites to rehabilitation and the acquisition of responsible social attitudes and actions. Part of Giarretto’s programme, then, involves support for the development of self-esteem and identity development in both offenders and victims. Cohen also provides a humanistic interpretation of sexual abuse within the family: The incestuous family cannot be viewed only as a sexually abusing and deviant unit, nor can the psychoanalytical explanation suffice in understanding the phenomenon.

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