ASCA – Style What is ASCA?
As you probably know if you are attending ASCA meetings, ASCA is a
support program with several unique features. First, it is psychologically-based
and was created expressly to address the particular needs of adult survivors of
child abuse. To our knowledge, it is the only program that provides a psychological
framework for the complex process of healing from child abuse and moving on with life.
ASCA combines elements drawn from the recovery movement (programs such as
Alcoholics Anonymous) with a theoretical approach that emphasizes recognizing and
resolving past pain, identifying maladaptive coping behaviors and developing
new skills that foster self-esteem and healthy relationships.
Second, ASCA meetings, which follow carefully scripted meeting formats,
are run by lay facilitators, themselves survivors, who have received training to help
them handle the problems that may arise in meetings and to provide a safe,
structured environment for fellow survivors. Third, ASCA meetings are open to
survivors of all types of child abuse: physical, sexual and emotional. And fourth,
ASCA is the fruit of a collaborative effort between THE MORRIS CENTER,
survivors, volunteers, professionals, community agencies and the community at
large. As such, it benefits from a broad range of experience and skills.
The purpose of ASCA meetings is to allow survivors to share their abuse
and recovery experiences; to receive support and affirmation for their recovery
efforts; to try out new, more adaptive behaviors and, in so doing, to better
understand themselves and their recovery process. As survivors come to terms
with their abuse histories and develop healthier behaviors and relationship
patterns, they are able to test out some of those new patterns. The increased
confidence, mastery and sense of responsibility that survivors build as a result of
participating in ASCA meetings are skills that transfer to the larger world.