When individual child psychotherapy exacerbates family systems problems in child abuse cases

A clinical analysis

Ian Shochet*, Mark Dadds

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Children who have suffered physical or sexual abuse are as vulnerable as adult trauma victims to experience 'secondary trauma', in which the reactions of the family or broader system exacerbate the child's difficulties. Three clinical cases are presented that suggest that this secondary trauma can be made worse by either excessive or insufficient provision of individual child psychotherapy, and the way the system interprets and reacts to these clinical decisions. Types of secondary trauma and their interactions with clinical decisions are discussed. Ways of framing clinical decisions to minimize the potential secondary trauma are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-249
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Volume2
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1997
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • child maltreatment
  • family systems
  • individual treatment
  • secondary trauma

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