Working with Children with Sexual Behavior Problems

By Eliana Gil & Jennifer A. Shaw

This book provides guidance and practical tools when working with children with sexual behavior problems and their families. The authors explain the many possible causes of sexual behavior problems and offer treatment techniques when working 4- to 11-year-olds and their families. Four case examples are provided to illustrate how to integrate cognitive behavioral therapy, play and expressive therapies, and family-based approaches beginning from assessment through treatment and discharge.

Participants will:

  1. Develop an understanding of what is normative sexual play and in what circumstances children’s sexual behaviors become abusive or harmful.
  2. Learn how play therapists can respond effectively using assessment and interventions that take into account a range of factors that may contribute to a child’s difficulties, including trauma, abuse, attachment issues, family stressors, cultural and media influences, developmental delays, and general impulse control problems.
  3. Learn concrete strategies to engage both caregivers and children, educate them about sexuality, and help strengthen their relationship while working toward behavioral changes.
  4. Explore a structured treatment approach, the Boundary Project, and ways to integrate cognitive behavioral therapy, play therapy and other expressive therapies, and family therapy.