Child Abuse

Child Abuse

Child abuse or childhood trauma can present problems of adjustment for an individual at every life stage. We aim to help individuals, families and communities that have been impacted by trauma, adversity and loss to re-establish a sense of safety and predictability in the world.

Anyone who has experienced trauma through life situations that breach personal boundaries and have led to feelings of intense fear, helplessness or horror, could be said to have suffered incidents of child abuse.

It is our belief that incidents and series of incidents of sexual, physical and psychological abuse can have effects long into adulthood. Some of these are difficult to change. We are also optimistic that, given good insight, support and professional treatment that damage can be mitigated, symptoms can be improved and relationships can be healthy.

Initial Effects of Physical Child Abuse on Children:

  • Immediate pain, suffering and medical problems caused by physical injury.
  • Emotional problems such as anger, hostility, fear, anxiety, humiliation, lowered self-esteem and inability to express feelings.
  • Behavioural problems such as aggression by the child towards others or
  • Self-destructive behaviour, hyperactivity, truancy, inability to form friendships and poor social skills.
  • Poorer cognitive and language skills than non-abused children.

Long Term Consequences of Child Abuse:

  • Relationship problems, for example, violent relationships or difficulty trusting others within adult relationships
  • Social isolation or poor boundaries
  • Emotionally over-reactive or emotionally blunted
  • Sexual difficulty
  • Feelings of low self esteem.
  • Depression, anxiety, loneliness
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Physical symptoms – fatigue, headaches and/or GI disturbance

It is important to recognise that engagement in therapy is likely to be long rather than short term.

At Westbourne Park Psychology all psychologists have had the specialist training that is needed to provide the effective treatment that leads to reduced symptoms and long term improvement.