ChicagoCAC’s mental health team and those who provide therapeutic services through our PATHH Collaboration help children heal from the trauma of abuse. Whether onsite at our Family Hope Center, through telehealth, or elsewhere, therapists create a comfortable, safe space for children to tell their stories, identify and overcome challenges, develop positive coping skills and build healthy relationships. In addition to our community partnerships through PATHH, ChicagoCAC is fortunate to have space within our building for therapists to be co-located, thus better serving our children and families.
Because each child responds to trauma differently, our strategies focus on meeting the child where they are, and they provide general guidelines for care through conversation, art or play. Initially, the therapist works with the child and caregiver to identify challenges, which may include nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, dissociation, hypervigilance, self-blame, aggression, low self-esteem, hyperactivity or depression. Through weekly sessions with the child and regular check-ins with the caregiver, the therapist builds a healthy, trusting relationship with the family. They work together to develop ways for the child to overcome the trauma of the abuse they have experienced, including building a positive self-image, learning positive coping skills, learning to control and express emotions, and building healthy relationships.