New Program Treats Children with Problematic Sexual Behaviors

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Family Counseling Services and the Cortland County Child Advocacy Center are partnering to offer a treatment program for families of children with Problematic Sexual Behavior (PSB).

 

Some sexual play among young children,such as playing doctor or looking at private parts, may be considered normal. However,
some sexual behaviors are inappropriate and potentially harmful to children. For example, some children display intrusive, aggressive, or coercive sexual behaviors.  Helpful Info for Parents

There isn’t one type of child who develops problematic sexual behavior. Both boys and girls can have problematic sexual behavior. While some of the children have been sexually abused, many have not. Most children who have been sexually abused do not have problematic sexual behavior. Research suggests that many factors can contribute to developing problematic sexual behavior, including:

  • Exposure to sexual material
  • Exposure to family violence
  • Physical abuse
  • Other nonsexual behavior problems

Help Begins with a Phone Calllogos-and-phone-image-block

Family Counseling Services and the Cortland County Child Advocacy Center are partnering to offer a treatment program for families of children with Problematic Sexual Behavior (PSB). Many youngsters with problematic sexual behavior can be helped with outpatient treatment. They can live at home and attend school and other activities without jeopardizing the safety of other children. Even better, most of these children do not continue to have sexual behavior problems into adolescence and adulthood.

The PSB Treatment Program is available for school-age children (ages 7 to 12 years) and their caregivers. Treatment is provided at the FCS office in Cortland. Behavior(s) for which children are referred include:

  • Repeatedly exposing themselves to others
  • Excessive masturbation
  • Failure to recognize socially acceptable physical boundaries
  • Aggressive sexual acts

The first step is an assessment to determine if the group treatment program is a good fit for the child and family. If accepted into the program, children will learn:

  • Rules about sexual behavior
  • Privacy and boundary rules
  • Coping skills and impulse control skills
  • Social skills

Caregivers (parents, foster parents, grandparents) also must participate in the program where they will learn:

  • To distinguish normal from problematic sexual behaviors in children
  • Appropriate responses to children’s sexual behaviors
  • Ways to prevent problematic sexual behavior
  • Effective responses to other behavioral problems

Children and caregivers meet at the same time in separate groups once a week in the evening. Combined sessions occur where children and caregivers can practice new skills. This PSB program is nationally recognized for its success in treating children and is based on a treatment model developed at the University of Oklahoma.

If you, or someone you know is interested in the PSB program, please call Family Counseling Services at (607) 753-0234 or the Child Advocacy Center at (607) 753-5087.

 

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