The Georgia Center for Child Advocacy is proud to provide high quality therapy free of charge to children and their families in Fulton and DeKalb County who have experienced sexual abuse, commercial sexual exploitation, or severe physical abuse. Therapy services at GCCA are trauma-informed and evidence based. That is, our therapists understand the impact of trauma on children and families and use therapy approaches that are effective in helping children and families heal from their experiences.
We know that not every child responds in the same way to sexual abuse and traumatic events. For example, some children may have problems with anger and get easily upset after such experiences whereas other children become more withdrawn and sad. Some children are more fearful and have nightmares or other troubles sleeping. Other children may have trouble paying attention in school. Children who have been sexually abused sometimes act out sexually with others and may have difficulty maintaining good interpersonal boundaries. Children may feel unsafe in the world around them. These and other problems are commonly observed in abused and traumatized children and are addressed in therapy.
Sometimes, children who have had abuse experiences will have few obvious signs of distress. This may be because they have natural strengths and resilience as well as caregiver support that helps them cope with their experiences. It is also true that some children who do not talk about the events and do not appear outwardly distressed are actually experiencing “avoidance” and “numbing.” Avoidance and numbing are understandable, but ultimately unhealthy, strategies that children (and adults!) sometimes use to cope with overwhelming experiences. It is important that these children get help, too, to develop better ways of coping and with their experiences. Our therapy services flexibly address a wide spectrum of concerns common in children who have experienced sexual abuse or other trauma.