Treatment for Abused Children

It is important to note that treating abused children without addressing the family system that caused the abuse is unlikely to achieve its goal. Treatment for abuse victims generally includes counseling. When service providers deem that the child should be returned to the parents, family counseling can be used to exploit some of the protective factors for future violence implied in our review and advocated by others, such as restoring close relationships with parents, and a positive attitude toward them (e.g., Losel & Farrington, 2012). If practitioners want to take advantage of the opportunity for prevention of future violence, then specific interventions designed for that end are warranted. Specific interventions should target the mechanisms thought to lead from abuse to violent behavior such as hostile attribution biases, violent problem solving, emotion dysegulation, and anger. The applicability of cognitive models to treatment is evident. There are numerous social skills training programs for children, which target impulsivity, low empathy, and self-centeredness, and they are designed to address social, emotional and cognitive competence in steering social skills problem solving, anger management and emotional expression (Farrington & Welsh, 2007). The effective programs seem to employ cognitive-behavioral approaches and are commonly implemented with older children (teenagers) (Farrington & Welsh, 2007).

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