Advocates and therapists have important roles in promoting the healing of survivors of childhood and teen sexual abuse, as well as survivors' nonoffending family members. When we work together, we can develop strong partnerships that ensure survivors have therapy options that are relevant to their needs. This offers survivors and their families a continuum of care that can help ease, and possibly hasten, the path of healing.
This booklet was developed for advocates and aims to address many of the questions advocates and survivors have about therapy. Information on current evidence-based therapy practices, examples of what advocates can share with a survivor about the therapy process, considerations for making a therapy referral, tools for keeping an up-to-date referral list, and talking points that may help facilitate conversations about therapy are included in this guide.
The goal in creating this resource was to offer advocates a foundation of information about therapy services. The information in the booklet was developed by the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs in association with sexual assault advocates and therapists across Washington State.
It is important to remember that each community is unique in the resources it has to offer. Strong connections with therapists who can work with child sexual abuse and teen sexual abuse survivors, as well as their family members, are invaluable resources; making and finding connections to therapists with these skills will look different for each community.
In this booklet, we have chosen to use the term "parent" to describe nonoffending parents, caregivers or anyone functioning in the parental role with child and teen sexual abuse and assault victims.