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The ASCA Program

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Askios meetings follow the US-based ASCA Self-Help Program for adult survivors of childhood sexual, physical and/or emotional abuse.

This page last updated on 28 July 2007

What is ASCA?

ASCA (Adult Survivors of Child Abuse) is a self-help program created in 1993 by The Morris Center, a USA-based nonprofit service organization. Today, there are ASCA chapters around the USA, as well as in South Africa. Through the Askios meetings, the ASCA program has now come to India.

Is it therapy?

No, it is a psychologically based support programme. Some elements are drawn from the recovery movement (programmes such as Alcoholics Anonymous). It emphasises recognising and resolving past pain, identifying maladaptive coping behaviors and developing new skills that foster self-esteem and healthy relationships.

What can ASCA do for me?

ASCA's website provides full details on starting a group, including guidelines, scripts and plans. The website also has a lot of good reading material, a regular newsletter, and an online support group.

How does the Program work?

ASCA takes you through a recovery programme of 21 steps. It's organised so that you don't get overwhelmed by the whole process of recovery. The idea is to explore in a focused manner the issues presented by a particular step, without confusing these issues with other issues related to other steps.

The steps are a statement of the tasks and issues that most adult survivors face during their recovery from child abuse.They're divided into three stages of seven steps each.

Stage One is concerned with the memories of childhood abuse, and acknowledging the past before moving forward in recovery.

Stage Two examines adult behavior, connecting present strengths and weaknesses to the abuse suffered and the coping mechanisms adopted, and allowing the child within to grieve the aspects of childhood that never existed.

Stage Three consolidates new, healthier feelings, behaviours, and goals into a new sense of self and then going out and "practising" this new self in the world.

Click here to go to the ASCA website