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#437526 - 06/09/13 11:16 AM New Therapist Concerns
mattheal Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/10/12
Posts: 142
Loc: Ohio
Hi guys,

I would greatly appreciate your collective and experience and wisdom.

After spending a year with my last T, I realized that she was not a good fit, and decided I would be best served by someone with more experience in CSA. Despite living 10 minutes away from a mid sized city, I have had not been able to find a T specializing in male survivors through recommendations by other mental health providers I have worked with or online searches.

What I have found is this:

1. A lot of T's that include childhood abuse and trauma do so as part of a laundry list of issues ranging from ADHD to Schizophrenia

2. Specialist for children dealing with abuse (I love these people and wish I could have met them 25 years ago)

3. Specialist in CSA who also have a background in treating perps

Last year when I looked for a therapist, someone recommended one and I made an appointment. When I got home, I found that most of the guys direct experience was treating perps at a correctional facility. I cancelled.

I have an appointment next week with a T that started out treating child victims, has treated adults with CSA, conducts assessments of perps for the state, and also treats perps.

I want someone who has background with CSA, but his involvement with perps makes me nervous.

On the otherhand, I could also see how you could call him a super advocate for the child - Healing them while working with perps so they don't attack children again.

I know I am in charge of my therapy, and I will not quit until I find the right fit. I would think its understandable for me to be worried given his closeness to these monsters.

Is it common for those who treat CSA to also work with perps?

Thanks,
Matt
_________________________
It's okay to find the faith to saunter forward
With no fear of shadows spreading where you stand
And you'll breathe easier just knowing
that the worst is all behind you
And the waves that tossed the raft all night
have set you on dry land
- The Mountain Goats - "Never Quite Free"

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#437527 - 06/09/13 11:24 AM Re: New Therapist Concerns [Re: mattheal]
onlyakid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1552
Loc: New Jersey
Some people have a different opinion but to me, a Therapist who treats perps as well is a good thing. In addition to helping keep them from re-offending, it also gives them a birds eye view of the way the perps think the things they do to manipulate their victims and that can be used to help victims because the T can say "Perps typically say X to get their victims to believe they were complicit" and stuff like that. I'm not sure if there are a lot but I think personally its a plus
_________________________
"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love is...you just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"


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#437530 - 06/09/13 11:43 AM Re: New Therapist Concerns [Re: onlyakid]
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1096
Loc: The ATL
Originally Posted By: onlyakid
Some people have a different opinion but to me, a Therapist who treats perps as well is a good thing. In addition to helping keep them from re-offending, it also gives them a birds eye view of the way the perps think the things they do to manipulate their victims and that can be used to help victims because the T can say "Perps typically say X to get their victims to believe they were complicit" and stuff like that. I'm not sure if there are a lot but I think personally its a plus


I haven't been with a therapist in a very long time, so maybe I'm not the right one to be giving input on this but I'm going to have to agree with what Onlyakid said. To truly understand a problem you have to understand both sides of it. I think a T who works with offenders would probably have some very helpful insight for CSA victims that other Ts may not have. I certainly wouldn't let the fact that a T works with offenders be the deciding factor in whether or not you choose to see them but that is up to you. Take care. Peace,

Ken

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#437574 - 06/09/13 07:25 PM Re: New Therapist Concerns [Re: mattheal]
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 767
Loc: upper south
I agree the T who works with both the child and the perp would be aware of both sides. But as the victim, I don't want to know both sides. I want my T to understand that I am the recipient of something horrifically wrong- and there is only one side. I don't want to understand why it happened to me from the perp's viewpoint- one tiny little suggestion that I might be more empathetic to his viewpoint would set me back decades. Even if, in all probability, it would never be said directly.

From recent experience, an off-hand remark (or several) from the T caused me tremendous pain that ended with having to find another T. And I still hear her phrases echoing inside my head.

So Matt, if you think you might feel uncomfortable with the T you described, you probably will. And even one visit is one visit too many. But you will find one. Keep searching 'til you feel comfortable. It's worth it. Much healing, kind sir. And its only my big O...

b
_________________________
For now we see through a glass, darkly.



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#437575 - 06/09/13 07:41 PM Re: New Therapist Concerns [Re: mattheal]
Poorsoft Offline


Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 163
You will often find that a lot of perps have been experienced CSA therefore they have a lot of similiar issues. That doesnt mean a therapist is going to think you're a perp if that's what you're worried about.

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#437576 - 06/09/13 08:01 PM 1 [Re: mattheal]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 2217
1


Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (02/28/14 07:29 PM)

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#437626 - 06/10/13 09:41 AM Re: New Therapist Concerns [Re: mattheal]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
When I started out in the csa field 35 years ago, there were mostly therapists who only dealt with child and adult victims/survivors. Most of the therapists who worked with perpetrators back then came from the ranks of victim advocates. More recently, with the rise of treatment programs for abusers, students could get into the programs geared for abusers without spending time directly with victims.

However, the field has evolved to understanding that PREVENTION is the key to ending csa. Primary prevention is like vaccinating people before they get the disease. Programs like Child Assault Prevention target children in schools to keep themselves safe and educates parents to prevent abuse from happening in the first place. (see http://www.eirc.org/website/child-assualt-prevention-cap/ for more info.)

Secondary prevention is the treatment of those who have been abused to help ameliorate the symptoms and treat those who have been identified. Everyone here will recognize that the experience of being abused has caused problems in their lives that hopefully can be treated so the abuse does not interfere in healthy functioning and relationships. Whether treating child or adult victims, the object is to restore normal/healthy life to the person and prevent dysfunction. Organizations like MaleSurvivor and others are adjuncts to therapy and may not be as intensive as individual or group therapy.

Tertiary prevention is the treatment of abusers to help them not to abuse others again. Another part is to help them understand and overcome the abuse issues, if that is part of their history. Although many abusers have victimization issues in their lives, most don't and of course, being abused does not make one more likely to abuse others. And research over the years does show that treating abusers works to prevent more abuse. (Recidivism rates for adolescent and adult abusers are much lower than public opinion believes. See www.csom.org for more info.)

I started out in child protective services over 40 years ago with a caseload of children who were abused (some sexually) or neglected and wound up specializing in treating kid victims, adult survivors, and adolescent and adult perpetrators. This gave me the understanding that victims/survivors had nothing to do with the abuse and that treating abusers would help prevent more victims.

Long story, but the advice here is to read "A Consumer's Guide to Therapist Shopping" on this site and ask the potential therapist the questions. You have a right as a consumer of their services to interview a therapist (or even question one that you may already have) and get answers that you ask. I think the advice you get from this article will allow you to get what is best for you.

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#437645 - 06/10/13 12:10 PM Re: New Therapist Concerns [Re: mattheal]
bodyguard8367 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""
""


Edited by bodyguard8367 (02/27/14 04:07 PM)

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#437696 - 06/10/13 06:48 PM Re: New Therapist Concerns [Re: mattheal]
mattheal Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/10/12
Posts: 142
Loc: Ohio
I really appreciate your responses. I have reviewed the Consumers Guide... and I am hopeful for my appointment. Thanks for easing some of my anxiety.
_________________________
It's okay to find the faith to saunter forward
With no fear of shadows spreading where you stand
And you'll breathe easier just knowing
that the worst is all behind you
And the waves that tossed the raft all night
have set you on dry land
- The Mountain Goats - "Never Quite Free"

Top


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