Sunday, September 16, 2018

Becoming Me Again: A Workbook for Sexually-Abused Kids and Teens

Sexual abuse of children is a much publicized phenomenon of our time. It can happen to kids and teenagers at any time and any place: A doctor's office, a church, and even in their own home.

If you know anyone who has experienced this challenge, Becoming Me Again: A Workbook for Sexually Abused Kids and Teens, by Dr. Sharon Ridella-Mehlos, can help. This work is not a lengthy scribe of theory. This is a must-use book for parents, family agencies, therapists, children, and teenagers. 

Some teenagers are speaking out about being sexually abused. Unfortunately, some still find it difficult to speak about this painful experience. For those who have yet to find their voice, their negative experiences may influence the way they experience life as adults. 

According to Dr. Ridella-Mehlos, a clinical psychologist, in every classroom are secrets of abuse, even though there may not be any evidence of victimization. Abuse also goes on behind closed doors of a home, making what should be a safe place, a place of dread and fear. So, it is not uncommon for many kids and teenagers to suffer in silence. 

Dr. Ridella-Mehlos dedicated this book to the sexually victimized kids and teens to let them know that they do not have to go through this "very difficult healing process" alone. 

The author writes that she wanted to communicate several basic facts in the workbook:

1. Sexual abuse is not the victim's fault.

2. It is important for an abuse victim to tell an adult that he or she trusts. And, it is important for an adult to take this disclosure seriously and listen carefully.

3. Many children get confused by the process of "grooming" used by some sexual perpetrators. Grooming may consist of various activities that make the child or teen comfortable with the perpetrator, such as:

• Giving compliments that make the child or teen feel good
• Taking the child or teen to places that he or she enjoys
• Buying treats or gifts for the child or teen
• Tickling or wrestling 

Becoming Me Again: A Workbook for Sexually Abused Kids and Teens, presents a story in each chapter followed by an activity for abuse victims. 

For example, one chapter describes inappropriate touching by a neighbor's son. The activity calls for the victim to draw a picture that shows how uncomfortable he or she felt about what happened. The victims are also asked to write an answer to the question: "How do you know when someone is touching you in a bad way?"

According to Dr. Ridella-Mehlos, the experience described in the book are fictional and no particular individuals are named. However, the experience reflects the kinds of issues that are dealt with in therapy sessions. 

Becoming Me Again: A Workbook for Sexually Abused Kids and Teens is meant to be a supplement to the therapy that both parents and the sexual abuse victims will require. Dr.  Ridella-Mehlos writes that the book is a "tool to help children and teens move from victim to survivor."

To learn more about Becoming Me Again: A Workbook for Sexually Abused Kids and Teens, click HERE. 

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