Monthly Archives: July 2012

Finding the Right Counselor

July 30, 2012

After everything is said and done, and the legal fight is over, our clients frequently ask where or how they should find a counselor who can help.
It’s a brave and noble thing to look for child sex abuse counseling, so finding a qualified therapist or counselor is key.
There are certain things to consider.
1. You may be limited to certain types of providers, so check with your health insurance. You can also check The American Psychological Association’s psychologist locator to find professionals near you.

2.If you don’t have insurance, look into social workers and counselors available in your community at community health centers, local non-profits, and organizations that are able to help with the issues you’re facing, or nearby schools and universities. Keep in mind that, while these may be more affordable, their staffs are usually overloaded with cases and there may be long waiting lists before you can see someone.

3. Don’t be discouraged. Broaden your search and treat mental health like any other aspect of health. If you had a physical disease, you wouldn’t stop looking for help just because the doctors in your town were unavailable. The same should be true for mental health. Call them. Make a brief list of counselors, social workers or psychologists you’re thinking of seeing, either based on their proximity to your home or office, their office hours, their compatibility with your health insurance or recommendations by others. You may also be able to give them a general idea of what your concern is and they may be able to tell you if the person you’d like to see is experienced in that matter. If you’re calling a private practice or a counselor who works from a home office, you’ll likely have the opportunity to speak directly to them. Make sure you get the same answers, especially with regard to whether they can work with your insurance and whether they can help with your situation. Don’t forget to ask about the details: the therapist’s education and license, his or her experience and history, and the specialists philosophies toward mental health and illness, specifically what you’re dealing with.

4. Make an educated decision. Once you’ve spoken to a few candidates, weigh your options like you would if you were interviewing someone for a job. After all, you’re about to pay them money to help you with a task you need help with, they should all make you comfortable with the thought of speaking with them and give you an idea whether or not they can help you or see you as often as you’d like.

In some cases, it can come down to word of mouth. If you have friends or family members who has had good experiences with a specific counselor or psychologist, contact them and see if they can assist you. It comes down to you. It’s important to feel comfortable with your counselors so you can get the best out of your time with them.

Penn State Sanctions: Making it Costly to Cover up Pedophilia

July 23, 2012

Most media covering the story of the Penn State football program sanctions seemed, in news industry parlance, to “bury the lede.” In the initial Associated Press report, it required skimming down to the sixth paragraph to find this:
“Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people.”
So said Mark Emmert, former University of Washington president who left in 2010 to become executive director of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

A year into his tenure Emmert had on his doorstep the sordid Jerry Sandusky scandal and, in the views of many, the much more pertinent priority, to wit: Never mind the victims; how would the Sandusky spectacle affect what is sacred in America, an honored college-football program personified by a deity worthy of a seven-foot statue?

Coach Joe Paterno died six months prior to Sandusky’s June conviction on 45 of 48 counts. The 900-pound mound of bronze bearing JoePa’s likeness was summarily taken out of the game, so to speak, and hidden away in storage/shame. Paterno, after all, had exhibited years of less-than-admirable behavior by preferring to sustain the fiction of his gridiron prowess rather than tell authorities about his friend/monster.

Many seem to believe that Emmert and the NCAA did the right thing by dealing Penn State everything short of football’s death penalty. An online unscientific “instant poll” by a reputable news organization revealed minutes after Emmert’s announcement that about half of respondents felt the NCAA refs had the correct call. A quarter felt the death penalty was in order. One in five, hand-wringing about bowl-game bans and lost scholarships, said the NCAA had no business even adjudicating the Sandusky scandal.

Some might be unable to countenance the most important aspect of the breaking story: that Penn State must come up with $60 million as a sustaining fund for abuse victims. Many observers no doubt are lamenting the notion that the NCAA also ruled that Penn State’s on-field victories between 1998 and 2011 would have to be rewritten.

To those who think that the Penn State tragedy is nothing but an overblown football story, here’s something worth contemplating: The abuse victims of Sandusky and countless other predators will never be made whole again by jury awards and NCAA financial penalties.

It’s easy to be smug and wag fingers. We could call upon Penn State to melt down the statue-grade brass from its Joe Paterno statue, commanding a buck a pound on the scrap market, and add it to the proceeds to be paid to victims. Fact is, the $60 million fund is little more than an expensive speeding ticket for this deep-pocketed institution, to be paid during the next five years.

In reality, Penn State is not alone in this problem. I can all but guarantee there are more Penn States out there because it’s a culture that valued power, prestige and protection of reputation over the safety of children. Penn State sanctions will work to the extent they raise public awareness and make it costly to cover up pedophilia. But make no mistake: There are other institutions out there with the same problems. We see it every day in representing our clients.

If someone you know needs help, you can contact us:

Our attorneys are highly experienced in childhood sexual abuse law and offer free initial consultations to potential clients. We are also willing to assist other attorneys in sexual abuse cases. Please call 206-257-3590, or email us directly. Conversations will be kept confidential, and even if you are unsure about a lawsuit, often we can direct you to the assistance you need. You will be treated with compassion and respect.

Toll free: 855-529-4274
Tim Kosnoff, direct: 425-837-9690
Dan Fasy, direct: 206-462-4338
Kosnoff Fasy, Seattle office: 206-257-3590

Boy Scouts Sexual Abuse Files

July 9, 2012

For decades, the Boy Scouts of America kept secret files of accused pedophiles to ban them from volunteering in troops around the country.

An Oregon Supreme Court decision to release 20,000 pages of files about molested Boy Scouts likely will have two effects: First, it will continue to embarrass the 102-year-old Boy Scouts of America, which has worked vigorously to distance itself from a dark chapter in its past.

Second, because the files outline a widespread problem of child sex abuse and the organization’s attempts to cover it up — the ruling could open the floodgates of litigation. Attorneys of men who were abused as Scouts will have precisely the evidence they need to sue the Texas-based youth organization for many millions of dollars in punitive damages, legal experts say.