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Guidelines for sex abuse counsellors released

Monday, June 23, 2008
Guidelines for sex abuse counsellors released

New guidelines for the treatment of survivors of sexual abuse, developed by Massey University psychologists, have been released today.

Sexual Abuse and Mental Injury: Practice Guidelines for Aotearoa New Zealand was commissioned by the Accident Compensation Corporation. The corporation provides counselling and sometimes compensation to people who have been sexually abused.

The Director of the University’s Psychology Clinic, Cheryl Woolley, says the guidelines will be a practical reference tool based on best practice principles.

“The guidelines are important because practitioners from a number of disciplines counsel survivors of sexual abuse,” Mrs Woolley says.

“Counsellors, psychotherapists, social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists are all involved. It’s not an academic tome, but rather a product designed to help practitioners make decisions in the context of daily practice.”

The guidelines include sections on working with victims of all ages and cultures.

Mrs Woolley says the guidelines went through a rigorous peer review process by international and national experts.

Mrs Woolley and her team, along with representatives from ACC, are embarking this week on a national road show to introduce and discuss the guidelines with counsellors. They will visit Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington and Christchurch during the week.


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