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Child psychologists say recovery is possible for Jayme Closs

BARRON (WKOW) — As new details arise, describing Jayme Closs’s kidnapping and captivity, more of her trauma is becoming public. Still, despite everything the thirteen year old has gone through, psychologists say recovery is possible if she is given good conditions for recovery.

With the details of the criminal complaint now public, the happy homecoming celebration is giving way to the harsh reality of Jayme’s experience. That’s why therapist Lee Shipway said Jayme needs space to escape from this story and time to heal.

“She’s been kidnapped and held captive for three months. That alone is traumatic,” Shipway said. “Even though now, happily she’s been found, it’s going to be a long road to recovery.”

Shipway has been a therapist for 36 years and said in her experience bouncing back from this kind of trauma is possible. She said it will take a lot of support from those who love her as she processes everything that happened.

As for the public, Alicia Kozakiewicz, a kidnapping survivor herself and now a child advocate, said the public needs to take care what it does with the details of Jayme’s story.

“You don’t want to absolutely terrify your kids,” she said. “You don’t want to make it so they’re afraid to go outside or be inside in this case and be afraid for you.”

Kozakiewicz now tours the country sharing her personal story with parents and children to raise awareness of missing and exploited children but also teaching children how to keep themselves safe.

She said if children do want to discuss Jayme’s story parents should listen first and acknowledge their fears.

“Don’t just start talking at them,” Kozakiewicz said. “Have an open conversation with them.”

Still, she wants to remind parents and children that cases like Jayme’s and her own are rare.

She said one of the scariest things about Jayme’s story is the fact that it seems she and her family were targeted at random. That’s even more rare Kozakiewicz said, so it’s important to remind children and parents there are ways to keep themselves safe.

She recommends having open communication with your child so you know where they are at all times and when they’re expected to be home. She also said parents need to be aware of what they and their children post online.

Most of all, Kozakiewicz said the most important thing to take away from Jayme’s story is the outcome, not the trauma she experienced.

“Jayme is safe and that’s what’s important,” she said.

Kevin Millard

Kevin Millard-Social Media Digital Content Manager for WXOW.

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