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What Are the Different Types of Child Abuse Treatments?

By Patti Kate
Updated May 17, 2024
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Child abuse treatments will vary depending on the individual child and each unique case. Some children do best with group or family counseling, while other children may require medical care in addition to psychological treatment. Another option is cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on self image and techniques that help the child deal with his emotions. Reenactment therapy helps the child reenact his experience and dispel any falsehood regarding why the abuse had occurred.

A professional may recommend various types of counseling for the young victim of abuse. In a case where a child abuse victim has become withdrawn and refuses to talk about his experience, a treatment option called play therapy may help. This is typically recommended for very young children. With this type of treatment, the child may be able to communicate and express his feelings more openly and constructively. This method often involves role playing.

Filial play therapy involves the interaction with a parent or guardian and child. This is not only intended to heal the child psychologically, but also strengthen the bond between parent and child. This type of treatment is typically done in short sessions and completed over a period of several weeks to several months.

Other forms of child abuse treatments are less widely practiced, or considered unconventional by some standards. One such method is known as pet therapy. This may be done with the use of a therapy dog, or even the child's own household pet. This form of therapy helps the child build trust, compassion, and rapport. This may help abused children who have difficulty establishing bonds with other children and adults.

In some cases, child abuse treatments may also involve prescription medication. Child abuse treatments involving medications are typically done in conjunction with other methods of treatment, such as counseling and therapy. Prescription drugs are generally reserved for children who exhibit extreme symptoms of anxiety. These medications may also be recommended for short-term insomnia or other sleep disturbances some child abuse victims experience.

In older children and teenage victims of child abuse, depression and suicidal thoughts may be a common issue. Under these circumstances, a different type of therapy may be recommended. One option might be suicide prevention counseling, which focuses on victims of abuse. The older child or teenager may receive counseling alone or as part of a group.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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