How to help a child after sexual abuse

See Catherine Mogil, PsyD's video on How to help a child after sexual abuse...
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How to help a child after sexual abuse

Following sexual abuse, kids may have re-experiencing, they may have heightened anxiety, and most likely they'll have some sort of emotional disregulation or challenge in that area. And it's really important for parents to be patient, to understand that what's happened to their child is difficult, but to really not ignore it. Don't leave it as the elephant in the room. Make sure you're talking about it. Make sure you're letting your child know that you're here for them and you're going to do everything it takes to keep them safe. Restoring a child's sense of safety is really, really key. It's been said that parents form a protective shield for their child. And it's really important following a trauma for the parents to reform that shield. Because after their child has been traumatized, sometimes parents feel a little traumatized. In fact, often they feel even more traumatized than their child. So if the parents can come together, get the help and support that they need so that they can be functioning better, that will help restore their protective shield for their child.

See Catherine Mogil, PsyD's video on How to help a child after sexual abuse...


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Catherine Mogil, PsyD

Family Trauma Therapist

Dr. Catherine E. Mogil is an assistant clinical professor at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior in the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and serves as the director of training and intervention development for the Nathanson Family Resilience Center and as the co-director of the Child and Family Trauma Service.

Dr. Mogil is also a consultant for the National Military Family Association's Operation Purple Family Retreats, the Uniformed Services University, and a special military project with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. Her recent research focuses on the effects of multiple deployments on military families, including the role of parental functioning on childhood mental health. Working with children of all developmental stages, Dr. Mogil has been involved in several intervention development and translational research projects that examine the efficacy of parent-assisted interventions for infants and toddlers in foster care, school-aged children with developmental disabilities, and adolescents with autism spectrum and other disorders.

Dr. Mogil is certified in parent-child interaction therapy, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, and leadership education in neurodevelopmental disabilities. She received her doctorate from Pepperdine University and completed her clinical internship at UCLA. Dr. Mogil also completed a postdoctoral fellowship specializing in the prevention and treatment of child and family traumatic stress at the University of Southern California and Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

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