FAQ

How long is a therapy session?

Therapy sessions are typically 50 minutes long. Sometimes sessions can be extended to 75 or 100 minutes for family or couples therapy.

What is the length of my therapy?

This depends on the issues with which you want assistance. Short-term intervention therapy may only last a few weeks or months; more involved treatment may require a year to several years.

What is the definition of trauma?

Trauma is any event that is perceived to be life-threatening. The event(s) may be obvious, such as violence, catastrophic illnesses, or childhood injury, rape, or neglect. It may also be less obvious, such as minor car accidents, sudden loud noises heard by babies, prolonged immobilization in children (e.g., casting or leg splints), or medical procedures. Remember, it is the perception of the person that determines whether an event is experienced as life-threatening and therefore, traumatic.

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) results when one is unable to integrate overwhelming, traumatic experiences. As a result, symptoms such as anxiety and panic, obsessions, hyper-vigilance, negative beliefs about oneself, relational problems, depression, and dissociation can occur. Therapists at A Step Forward specialize in helping children, adolescents, and adults heal from the effects of trauma by creating a safe environment conducive to exploring and processing the experience of distressing life events.

What treatment modalities do you use in treatment with sexual abuse survivors?

Depending on the therapist’s training, they may use any of the following: EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Internal Family Systems (IFS), Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Somatic Experiencing, Trauma Focused CBT, Grounding and Mindfulness training, Art and Drama Therapies.

What does “evidence-based treatment” mean?

Evidence-based treatment means that the methods our therapists use take into account current research about what works, therapist expertise, and the needs and preferences of our clients.

What is an ACE score?

An ACE score is person’s total score on a questionnaire called the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) questionnaire. This measure has been developed and used in large research studies that have linked a greater amount of difficult challenges faced in childhood (e.g., abuse, neglect, parental chronic illness, divorce, and parental death) to a higher occurrence of physical and mental disorders in adulthood.

What is Play Therapy?

Play Therapy is an important communication tool for therapy with children between the ages of three and twelve. It provides natural, gentle interaction for young children to express their experiences and feelings, as well as a vehicle for guiding them through self-acceptance and interactions with others. Tools used include puppet play, story telling, art making, toys, dolls and sand-play, and techniques to help them talk about their feelings and concerns.

How do I find out what my young child says in therapy?

When therapists talk with parents about their treatment plan for the child, they will recommend a beneficial level of involvement in their child’s therapy. Children often worry about getting in trouble for what they say and/or disappointing their parents, so affording them their right to privacy allows them to speak freely about themselves. We let parents know about general information such as issues children are working on and if they are using therapy well. Of course, any safety issues must be shared, and often children are cooperative with therapists when invited to work with their parents on a family issue.

How do I find out what my teen is talking about in treatment?

Therapy is confidential unless there are situations where parents have to be involved due to safety issues. However, we encourage teen program members to maintain an active dialogue with their families about their treatment as a way to build positive communication skills, and there are some program assignments that require parental participation.

What does the inability to protect mean?

In cases where sexual or physical abuse has occurred toward a child, a non-offending parent is evaluated as to their ability to protect the child from future abuse. Such a parent may be labeled unable to provide this protection.

What does it mean to be a fit parent in the court system?

The courts take into consideration many factors in determining whether a parent is deemed a good enough parent for having custody of their child. Some of the factors taken into consideration are ability to set age-appropriate limits, understanding and responding to their child’s needs, history of child care, social functioning, methods used for resolving custody conflicts with the other parent, substance abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, and psychiatric illness.

What is the nature of your collaborative relationship with Family/Dependency court?

When we talk about Family/Dependency court, we are referring to all the professionals involved in the decision-making process of child custody. The local counties with which we work take a compassionate perspective where child sexual abuse has occurred in families. Together we do all that we can to keep families intact in a safe way. When requested, we often provide family assessments, safety planning guidelines, and progress reports about treatment.

What is an extended victim?

An extended victim is anyone who cares about the direct victim but was not offended against. This most typically refers to other family members.

What do you mean by mostly male perpetrators?

Throughout our website we refer to perpetrators as male: however, please note that from time to time we do treat different types of female offenders. For example some women also commit sexual offenses and/or violence, and we also treat a number of women who failed in their protection of children in a sexual abuse situation. When appropriate, we treat and help such women reconcile and reunify with their victims and/or children.

What is CORR?

CORR stands for Community Of Resource & Resolution. It is a 503C Non-Profit Corporation whose mission it is to support those who have graduated from A Step Forward’s men’s program. As the men continue to cultivate better lives, we help them address the ongoing needs of their victims, families, and one another. The men help their wider communities integrate with them through a commitment to do no harm, offer amends where possible, and support sexual assault prevention. CORR also aims to provide monetary resources towards amends and reconciliation work between the men and those they have harmed. For more information visit CORR online at www.corrsite.com.