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929 Kenmore Dr.
Evansville, IN 47714

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Laura Ellsworths Book
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My book, “Choosing to Heal” focuses on the treatment and impact of child sexual abuse. It is recommended to clinicians, teachers, medical professionals, legal service providers, parents and sexual abuse survivors. I am dedicated to helping children, families and adults heal from a crime against their dignity, self-respect and that robs them of an innocence that cannot be replaced. What can occur through healing is the understanding that they can lead normal, happy and productive lives if they choose. I have witnessed people making decisions to thrive and no longer be held captive by their fears, negative self-beliefs or self-damaging behavior choices. I do not judge a person’s attempt to heal; I believe everyone does the best they can at any given time. What I am willing to do is help people determine what they want different in their lives and develop a plan to create new ways of coping. This goal also applies to my therapeutic work with other issues involving relationships, self-esteem and parenting.
The number of sexual abuse disclosures by children has been increasing at a steady rate. Therapists are faced with the dilemma of limited resources and training to help them best serve this vulnerable population. Choosing to Heal is the first resource to use Reality Therapy and Choice Theory as the foundation for treatment with sexually abused children. It focuses on helping clients learn they did not have a choice about the abuse but they do have choices about how to cope. This book tackles issues many therapists are uncomfortable with because of a lack of training and/or knowledge. Some of these issues include self-injury, suicide, sexual acting out, attachment problems, social skills development, sex offenders and how to respond to children's disclosures during treatment.
Mental health professionals are provided with numerous techniques and strategies to utilize during the treatment process. Parents, caretakers, teachers and anyone helping children heal from sexual abuse can obtain an understanding of the process in simple and understandable language. The strategies and coping mechanisms provided can also be applied to Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse. My therapeutic work with child sexual abuse has been extensive and has included therapy groups and education in the following areas.

  • Sexually Abused Children
  • Sexual Acting Out Behaviors
  • Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
  • Partners of Sexual Abuse Survivors
  • Caretakers/Non-Offending Parents of Sexually Abused Children
  • Sexually Reactive Children
  • Adult Sex Offenders

Expert Reviews for "Choosing to Heal"

"I have worked extensively with children and adolescents for over fifty years, but I have never specifically addressed the problems that Laura Ellsworth covers so thoroughly in this outstanding book. If you are involved with this growing population as a counselor, teacher, parent, child protection worker or concerned citizen, this long needed book is a must read."
-William Glasser, M.D., Developer of Reality Therapy and Choice Theory.

"Laura Ellsworth provides a positive and practical approach to helping children who have been violated. Rooted in William Glasser's Choice Theory, these ideas make it possible to help children choose empowering and healing actions. I highly recommend it for everyone who works with this population."
-John Carlson Psy.D., Ed.D., ABPP,Distinguished Professor, Governors State University

"Laura Ellsworth has written an insightful, yet practically focused book. It not only provides an excellent Choice Theory/Reality Therapy perspective on child sexual abuse, but it also, and most importantly, offer therapists and other mental health professionals a wide range of strategies and techniques they can implement immediately. . ."
-John Brickell DC., Director of Centre for Reality Therapy UK



I have traveled all over the country training psychologists, medical professionals, social workers, educators and other mental health providers about the impact of child sexual abuse, it’s long-term effects and how to address it with their clients, students and in supervision/training with their own staff. The information that is provided in my seminars is intended to give attendees insight, techniques and easy to use tools when they return to their employment settings.
I am available for private agencies or community training. Most attendees can receive 6-7 CEU Credits for attending.
Please feel free to contact me regarding cost and with specific questions about the content. A sample outline would be:

  1. Statistics Re:  Child Sexual Abuse & Sexual Offenders
  2. Normal Sexual Behaviors of Children
  3. Concerns With Children’s Sexual Behaviors
    1. Boundaries
    2. Exhibitionism
    3. Self-Stimulation
    4. Sexual Intrusiveness
  4. Sexual Behaviors Between Children
    1. Criteria For Assessing Sexual Play
    2. Helping Parents Respond to Child Sexual Behavior
  5. Sexual Reactivity in Young Children
  6. Sexual Acting out in Adolescents
  7. Assessing Trauma in the Sexual Abuse Victim
    1.  Criteria Used in Assessing Trauma
    2. How Trauma Affects Brain Functioning
  8. Coping Skills of Sexual Abuse Victims
  9. Self Injury
    1. Types of Self Injury
    2. Interventions For Self Injury
  10. Impact of Sexual Abuse on Self Esteem & Self Worth
    1. Assessment Tools
    2. Confirmations/Empowerment
  11. Educating Kids & Parents About Sexual Abuse


 Participants will learn how to identify and assess sexual behaviors in children, and how to provide psychotherapeutic services to children who self-injure and have been sexually abused.


  1. Participants will learn how to use five criteria to assess sexual behavior in children.
  2. Participants will learn how to assess sexual reactivity in children and assess children who molest.
  3. Participants will learn how to provide psychotherapeutic services with clients who self-injure.
  4. Participants will learn how to develop safety plans for children and create techniques for encouraging sexual abuse awareness.

 Methods:  Lecture, handouts, power point presentation, case presentation, case discussion.