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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5334
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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I have a 4.5yo girl who recently admitted that she and a 8

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I have a 4.5yo girl who recently admitted that she and a 8 yo girl cousin were licking each others private parts over the last 2 weeks at her grandparents house. Where do I start for help? There are so many therapies for child. I would like her to see someone who mainly works with children.

Hi! I'll be glad to be of help with this issue.

I can imagine how distressing this situation must be for you. This is perhaps one of the worst situation we as parents imagine. You are a loving and caring parent and you are now facing one of the things that every parent today dreads: that your child has been molested.

You write that she has admitted this has occurred. I don't know if this is the only evidence you have at this time, but it sounds as though you accept that this did indeed occur even though kids her age don't necessarily know when they're saying something has happened to differentiate between what they think they're being led to say vs. what happened. But it sounds like you know this to have happened and I'm so sorry you are going through this; it really is scary and upsetting and so frustrating.

And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. You're right that having her work in therapy is important at this juncture. But there is the added concern here about a therapist's requirement to report the incident to Child Protective Services. This is a difficult and tricky situation. It will not affect your daughter most likely. It may, however, affect the 8 year old cousin and her parents. So I need to alert you to that possibility as you will need to discuss it with the therapist.

It should not, however, deter you from finding a therapist, which you recognize now is important.

Here is the web address for Psychology Today's therapist directory. You can sort by zip codes and when you see someone who seems like they might be helpful (you can see a photo of the therapist) look at the listing and see if they list children as their main population they work with or at least one of them. Speak with the therapist and then make a time to visit the office before committing to working with her/him. You want to make sure there's a place in the office where a 4.5 year old would be okay playing for an hour. And that there are things to play with. Play therapy is the most important part of therapy with kids.

Good Therapy is a non profit directory. Same idea as the one above:

You may also want to have some picture books to use in this. Here are some of the tried and true books to choose from to see which ones you want to use in this project with her. Your goal in these is to slowly (very important to do this slowly) integrate into the playful reading with her that private parts are private:

My Body Is Private by Linda Girard.

The Right Touch: A Read Aloud Book by Sandy Kleven.

Some Parts are not for Sharing by Julie Federico.

Those are My Private Parts by ***** *****sen.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

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Dr. Mark and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
We are sure that the incident happened . So is it better to speak with a psychologist or a social worker ?
No one seems to just see children only.
Hi. I apologize for the delay in my replying. The system somehow didn't alert me you had sent a reply. I only found this now while doing a manual review.

It's true: unless you are dealing with specific issues such as ADHD or Autism Spectrum Disorders you will not find professionals who work exclusively with children.

Therefore, the important part of this is to interview the therapist and get a feeling for their experience and style and if you feel comfortable with communicating with them. That is what will count.

Given that you know this occurred, I am so sorry you're going through this. I know from my experience in my own private practice how hard this is for the family.

All the best to you,

Dr. Mark