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Q. The therapist wants to reintroduce the abuser to my child. Is this standard protocol?

Answered by
Dr. Vishal Anilkumar Gandhi
and medically reviewed by Dr.Sowmiya
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 02, 2017 and last reviewed on: Feb 11, 2022

Hello doctor,

I have a child who was severely abused (physical, domestic, verbal, and emotional abuse) from birth to age 5 by their biological father. At age 5, their biological father was not allowed to see our child and it remained that way for about seven years. My child is 12 now and has been diagnosed with PTSD, and has only had a few visits with a therapist. The sessions consisted of my child, husband, and myself discussing treatment. Our therapist never asked my child how he felt, or what he remembered. Questions were mostly directed to my husband and I. Our therapist decided that he would like to bring the biological father into the same room as my child and reintroduce them. Is this a standard, safe, form of PTSD treatment? I can understand the therapist having sessions with my child, recalling events, but not directly introducing them to the person that abused them. I have been trying to find specific studies that state this treatment but have not found anything involving direct reintroduction to an abuser.

Thank you for your input.

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Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Yes, your therapist is doing it correctly. It can be part of the management, but I would like to suggest that it will be better first to introduce pictures of the biological father or his accessories and observe your child's reaction. Then, in the follow-up session, you can plan to introduce the biological father in person. It is known as exposure and response prevention.

Regards.


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