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Eric J. Green, Amie C. Myrick, Patricia Boylen


Intrafamilial trauma (the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse between two or more family members) can render psychologically deleterious effects not only on abused children, but their non-abused sibling(s) as well (Vitale, Squires, Zuckerbraun & Berger 2010). However, non-abused siblings are rarely the participants of trauma treatment or the focus of research, rendering them the ‘forgotten survivors’ of childhood maltreatment (Renner 2012; Tavkar & Hansen 2011). Nevertheless, therapists may encounter these siblings as patients as they too present myriad problematic symptoms and grief-related experiences (McMackin, Newman, Fogler & Keane 2012; Van der Kolk 2014). To assist therapists when counselling non-abused children affected by intrafamilial maltreatment, this article aims to describe the psychosocial impact of intrafamilial childhood trauma on non-abused siblings and to discuss the ways that play-based treatment can be incorporated into an empirically supported trauma treatment approach to meet their needs and grief-based concerns adequately.


siblings; intrafamilial trauma; trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy

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