Game-Based Therapy for Abused Children

An article published recently in the International Journal of Play Therapy describes a promising game-based approach for treating children who have been sexually abused.  Game-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (GB-CBT) Individual Model for child sexual abuse (CSA) uses structured therapeutic games and activities as primary techniques to teach skills, process trauma, and assist children and their families following CSA. GB-CBT is a modular-manualized treatment that integrates empirically supported components of Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy including social skills building, psychoeducation about child sexual abuse, personal safety skills training and exposure treatment with play therapy interventions. Treatment utilizes developmentally appropriate games designed to allow children and nonoffending caregivers to process their abuse experiences and learn skills necessary to overcome trauma in a nonthreatening, fun, and engaging manner. Clinicians may select developmentally appropriate games from a menu of options in order to meet the specific therapeutic needs of children and families. The implementation of these techniques, allows clinicians to address a variety of psychosocial symptoms that are commonly found among children who have experienced sexual abuse. Techniques and procedures for treatment delivery with a description of core components and therapeutic modules are discussed. A case example is presented in order to illustrate the clinical application of using GB-CBT to treat CSA

For the abstract.

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