Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Abuse - psychological consequences 1

Jaycee Dugard has suffered sexual abuse, neglect and emotional manipulation to an extent hard to imagine, according to the charges in the case involving her abduction. But therapists say the biggest challenge facing Ms. Dugard, who was found last week after 18 years in captivity, may be switching families.

“Her captor was her primary relationship, and the father of her two children, and at some level separation may be difficult for all of them,” said Douglas F. Goldsmith, executive director of the Children’s Center in Salt Lake City. Dr. Goldsmith added that any therapy “has to be mindful that there are three victims, not one, and that they will be entering a new life together.”

About two-thirds of children who are kidnapped or abused suffer lingering mental problems, most often symptoms of post-traumatic stress and depression.

Recent studies have found that about 80 percent of victims do show significant improvement in mood after three to four months of trauma-focused weekly therapy. Still, given the information available so far, experts say Ms. Dugard and her two children face an unusually complex task. [...]

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