No parent is ever prepared for the shock of discovering sexual abuse between their children. Some parents simply can’t, but would eventually have to, given how their children’s future is at stake. Discovering sibling sex abuse happening right under your nose is not something that would be easy to bear for any parent. It is reassuring to know there is always opportunity for professional help which could come in the form of counseling, therapy and treatment programs, as well as guides and help for parents coaching them on how to deal with the situation and how to effectively influence their children’s rehabilitation for the better.
There are some agencies and organizations which have made it their raison d’être to help out families in need. As you might already know, this particular kind of sexual abuse is more difficult to handle than most given the pressure that it brings upon the members of the family. Both the victim and the offender are members of the family, which makes it traumatic even for parents. This is why such agencies could really extend a helping hand to families dealing with sibling sexual abuse. Star Guides, for instance, offers unique programs which go far beyond outpatient office counseling, but rather, take advantage of Mother Nature’s assets to bring back everyone including the offending sibling, victim and parents to their senses and to undergo an impactful, life changing rehabilitation process.
Most programs that deal with teen sexual abuse maintain a good online presence, which makes sense because most parents who are looking for help in this area tend to go online looking for help. Seeking treatment outside of the local community can also make sense because of the fear of information about abuse being spread by individuals who become aware of it. A worst case scenario here is that of families which choose to remain silent and then pretend as if nothing ever happened in an attempt to protect the family’s reputation, all while every member is already crumbling deep inside and in urgent need of help. This is why seeking professional help is so vital.
Important counsel parents need to navigate these challenges, both scientific and administrative can be provided to you by counselors and therapists experienced and trained in the area of teen sexual abuse. Our admissions counselors work closely with parents to help them understand the program and treatment process prior to the youth enrolling. Upon admission into the Star Guides program, parents and the offending teen travel to our office in St. George, Utah for the in-take process. Parents and the youth meet the treating therapist and an initial assessment is conducted. Parents then return home, while the youth is transported into the wilderness field for participation in the program. The parents work closely with therapist via weekly phone sessions while the youth works closely with the therapist through therapy sessions in the wilderness. The program is designed to be a 60 day experience although the length of stay is determined by each individual youth’s progress in completing the program requirements.
The youth is provided an intensive counseling program which includes a sexual offending specific curriculum that is completed together with the help of the therapist. Upon completing program requirements, the parents return to spend a day and night in the field with their child to celebrate successfully completing the program and for a final family therapy session.
Parents are provided guidance for after-care needs to assure that their family is able to continue the healing process beyond the wilderness experience.
Matt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working in the field of youth treatment and psychotherapy since 1995. He did his undergraduate work at BYU and earned his M.S.W. at the University of Utah. He has worked in a variety of treatment setting in his career ranging from wilderness therapy and residential treatment to outpatient treatment and state government.