What does therapy at CWVP look like?

CWVP therapeutic services are individualized to meet the unique needs of each family. To begin therapy, a caregiver will work closely with their child’s assigned therapist to complete a comprehensive assessment. This usually occurs over the course of 3-5 one-on-one sessions with the caregiver and the therapist. The goal of this assessment is to gather information about the child, like their strengths, coping skills, and important relationships. Caregivers are also able to discuss their concerns for the child. The child’s assigned therapist collaborates with the caregiver to create customized treatment goals that will then guide the child’s treatment. 

What happens next?

Once the caregiver and therapist complete the assessment phase, therapy for the child will begin. Sometimes, the therapy may be “dyadic,” which means that the child and caregiver participate in the sessions together. Although the therapy is still for the child, the caregiver’s participation is extremely helpful. Caregivers help the therapists build trusting relationships with child clients. Caregivers also provide helpful information that helps the therapist understand each unique child. 

Do therapists ever meet with children one on one?

There are times, particularly when the child is older, that therapy may be one-on-one. This means that the child meets individually with their assigned therapist. Although caregivers do not participate in these sessions, it is still an expectation that the caregivers will be actively involved in their child’s treatment. This engagement often takes the form of regular communication with the child’s assigned therapist either in person or by phone.

Once the child starts therapy, what happens?

At CWVP, therapy usually begins with an acknowledgement of what brings the child in for therapy services (e.g., “You saw something scary happen in your neighborhood.”), although this will be informed through the assessment process with the caregiver. The therapist will use a variety of clinical techniques to build a relationship with the child and work toward their identified treatment goals. Because Child Witness specializes in working with very young children (0-8 years old), most therapy session predominantly utilize play. Play is often considered the “language” of very young children and is a very helpful form of expression for children to “talk” about their experiences.

How long does therapy last?

The length of time a child receives therapy depends on many factors such as the nature of the event(s) bringing the child in for therapy, their past experiences, their age, and the response of their caregivers. For some children, therapy may be brief, lasting only a few sessions. Other children may be in therapy for a longer period of time. CWVP therapists will be in regular communication with caregivers about their child’s progress.

What are the benefits of participating in therapy?

Families have reported several different gains from participating in therapy including:

  • Decreases in their child’s concerning or challenging behaviors,
  • Increases in caregiver’s ability to respond to their child in times of need,
  • Increased child and caregiver understanding about the difficult events that happened,
  • Increased understanding about the child’s thoughts and feelings associated with the experience, and
  • Increased caregiver understanding of child development. 
  • These gains happen as the caregiver, child, and therapist work together to build the family’s support system, identify strengths, and galvanize the child and family’s resiliency. Most of all, therapy is geared to help the child and family recover and heal from the challenging experiences they have been through. 

How much does therapy at CWVP cost?

CWVP’s therapy services are entirely free. These services are funded through the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). A family’s insurance is not billed for therapy services.