Mental illness is still a taboo concept in India and there is a lot of social and cultural reservation around accessing mental health services. In case of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), the individuals are further stigmatized. There is a broad variety of practical, cultural, individual and family-related barriers that restrict initialization and adherence to therapy and counselling. It takes a lot of courage for the survivors of sexual abuse to take the first step towards healing. However, when they garner the courage, their stories offer hope and inspiration to many others to come forward.
At the heart of the therapeutic work with trauma victims in Arpan is building long-term, trusting relationships which requires time and flexible models of engagement and treatment. So far we have supported the healing journey of 14,148 children, adolescents, adult survivors and their caregivers. We work at various levels to create a safe and supportive environment for the individuals who have faced sexual abuse. Counselling at Arpan focusses on:
- Stabilization which is the preliminary phase giving individuals an opportunity to improve their affect regulation and coping skills. Affect regulation refers to ability to maintain or increase positive feelings and state of mental wellbeing.
- Trauma processing which is directed at decreasing the high intensity emotional association with the traumatic past and creating new meaning. It is not merely talking about the traumatic incident. Processing requires first having established a therapeutic alliance – a trusting counselling relationship.
Reintegration which is directed at the individual finding his/her own way to restore his/her sense of self-worth and a sense of connection with the wider community and society.
Long-term Psychotherapy within institutions
Children, adolescents and adults within residential shelter homes including rescued minors and adult survivors are supported by Arpan through intensive psychotherapeutic services. Since they make a doubly disadvantaged group due to their vulnerable and stigmatized social status, rehabilitation becomes very difficult. Providing adequate care and support to this target group becomes critical to help them overcome the trauma of their past lives, so that they can lead dignified and fulfilling lives. The psychotherapeutic intervention includes group sessions and individual therapy with clients and capacity building sessions with caretakers, institutional staff and teachers to create a trauma-informed institution which will foster children’s overall well-being.
Psychotherapy with children and adult survivors
Mainstream and alternative therapeutic services are provided to children and adult survivors of Child Sexual Abuse through individual therapy and group sessions with an aim to heal the psychological, social, sexual, and physical consequences of the abuse. These services are offered at the Arpan office in Goregaon, Mumbai as well as at the community level with the support of NGOs and social service organizations. Arpan also has partner counsellors who provide counselling to children and adult survivors on behalf of Arpan. They are located in different parts of the city so that individuals have easy access to Arpan’s counselling services.
Psychoeducation with family members
Arpan is cognizant of the emotional crisis that the family of the child who has experienced sexual abuse goes through and, hence, renders its services to the family members to prepare them to respond to the child effectively and create a support network for the child. With family members, Arpan conducts sessions on psychoeducation and joint sessions with the child. The counselling process helps the family members to understand the issue of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), empathize with the child and respond to the child in a positive manner. If you want to know more about mental health services or receive counselling , want us to work in any institution, refer someone you write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +91 98190 86444