Therapeutic Work with Sexually Abused Children

Randall Easton Wickham and Janet West
Sage Publications
ISBN 0 7619 6969 1

is refreshing to find child therapists ready to engage with sexually abused
children by incorporating trauma theory and research, addressing child protection
and seeing themselves a part of team that includes the carers. The authors
provide an overview of phases of treatment, theoretical considerations and
essential skills. They emphasise the importance of relationship and explore its
impact on the therapist.

approach is creative and child-centred. Case vignettes, poems and exercises
promote empathy with the child’s perspective. There is a useful chapter on
cultural issues and the needs of children in alternative care.

the book has some limitations. It does not provide a critical perspective on
tensions and dilemmas affecting children’s access to therapy. It directs the
reader to other sources and provides a good bibliography, but only summarises
complex issues such as working with dissociation. It begs the question of who
will provide the therapeutic relationship.

notwithstanding, this is an excellent primer for the child’s helping network.

Richardson is an attachment-based psychotherapist, trainer and co-author of Creative
Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
, Jessica Kingsley, 2001.

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