2 out of 15 therapists responded to my email. One preferred I called her personally to answer the questions.
Adult Therapist Note This therapist did not answer all the questions. What I found different from the second therapist, therapist A was less observant of her patients than the child therapist. This could just be cause they practice different methods of therapy, but therapist A could not or chose not to answer more of the observant questions and non-textbook answer questions.
1. How do you recognize abuse in adults? What are the most common signs? The people that I deal with are able to say what they are dealing with. Often they have had a pattern of being in abusive relationships; one woman was chased to the agency where I saw her by a man she had just started seeing-and this was after we'd found safe housing for her after violence with her husband.
2. What is the likelihood of successfully "fixing" a domestic violence issue between married couples in joint therapy? Depending on the level and frequency of the abuse, they may need to be seen separately. That's the traditional way of doing treatment. They can be seen together one time IF THEY HAVE IMPULSE CONTROL AND EGO STRENGTH to manage themselves AND IF THERE HAS "ONLY" BEEN ONE INCIDENT that was not a complete loss of control, just to set some ground rules (if you feel your palms getting sweaty-or whatever that person's signs are-you take yourself out of the situation or if you see this in your partner you take yourself out of it, your partner wil leave and call the police if you ever do this again, etc.) The fixing is done in intensive individual therapy, but if there's been beating and a real history, there's not going to be any fixing that's possible, in my opinion.
CHILD THERAPIST Note This therapist was more personal when answering the questions. She was willing to speak to me, had the questions ready in front of her and explained certain aspects of her field for me to better understand the process of her field of therapy.
1. What are some of the first things you do and ask a child who comes in for therapy regarding abuse?A play therapist such as myself do not ask the children any questions. Instead, we play with them in the child centers, which consists of various types of play therapy toys. Play is the language and toys are words. If they choose to speak to us, then I will engage in conversation but other wise, I try to stay away from asking questions. During the therapy session, I focus on their specific actions and how they play with certain toys. We have a spectrum of measuring the state of the child and which play therapy approach to take when interacting with the child. Sometimes, bringing in some techniques of art therapy is helpful too. Just letting the children draw sometimes just helps to understand.
2. Is it mandatory for parents to be in the therapy room with the child? If so how do parents actions and words effect how the child responds? Parents are preferred not to be in the therapy room with the child, but also depends on each issue. The general tactic is parent child separate therapy.
3. Is one on one therapy more beneficial for the child or is group therapy or collaborative art projects more beneficial? That's a good questions. Both are very helpful when dealing with children, but again this also changes with each case. It really depends on the state of the child and whether they are ready to join a large group of kids, or if they need personal alone therapy time.
4. What are some of the common responses from children during therapy when asked about the abuser? Well since I try not to ask any questions, there aren't really any 'common responses'. But if the topic of the abuser does come up, they try to avoid it by leaving to play with another toy or just withdraws. But that's what play therapy is good because the children talk through their actions, and that's what I read.
5. If left untreated what are some long term effects of abuse? Oh, there are many effects. The most common is that the victim will have relationship issues, trouble trusting people, have family problems, may not be able to hold long term relationships, even become abusive later themselves.