While all fears have a rational basis, our response to them is highly emotional as DanBeale pointed out. I know that my fear of the dark is ridiculous and I know why I'm afraid of the dark, but that doesn't stop my heart from racing when I'm in a dark place.
To an adolescent girl, I would focus on letting her talk through her fears and just listening to her. There's nothing wrong with encouraging her to think through her fear rationally, but if she feels like you're not listening to her concerns and worries, it could delay her recovery from the experience. It's not much of a leap in the teenage mind from "my dad wants me to think through my fears rationally" to "my dad is sick of hearing me talk about this and wants me to shut up about it because he doesn't care". I know it sounds extreme, but I've sat in enough meetings with teenagers and their parents to know how quickly they can take things to that extreme. I mean, adolescent girls who haven't been through such a traumatic experience frequently feel like their parents aren't listening to them. Voicing her fears is not an excuse to avoid working through the problem, but, for now, she needs to feel safe and protected.
Is there a reason why you couldn't call her therapist and reschedule her appointment for sooner rather than later? This would seem like a situation that would warrant professional help (I don't know...maybe she all ready has an appointment for next week, but if her appointment isn't for another month or so it might be worth checking in to). Especially if she's all ready being treated for OCD. Some OCD patients will create rituals when they experience traumatic situations and that could set her treatment back dramatically.
Otherwise, here are some other thoughts that might be somewhat helpful since it's not practical to expect you to walk her to school everyday for the rest of the school year:
- Does she have a friend who could walk to school with her? Someone in the neighborhood who could ride with you to work then walk the rest of the way with her to school in the morning? It's not perfect (if her friend is sick from school she's stuck with no one to walk with), but it could provide her with the security she needs to be able to cross the street alone again.
- As Chrys mentioned, getting back on the proverbial horse is half the battle. Perhaps visiting the particular corner she's afraid of at a less-busy time of day would make her feel more comfortable. It might take several visits, but it might help her process her emotions about the incident which probably extend beyond just fear. Or she might only know that she's afraid, but be unable to pinpoint exactly what she's afraid of (Is she afraid of being hurt again? Afraid of being out of control of the situation? Afraid of just crossing the street?).
- Is there an alternate route she can take to school that would allow her to avoid that particular corner for awhile? It might take her a little longer to get to school, but it might be an option for a little while until she feels more comfortable.
I just want to re-iterate something I have to remind my husband of from time-to-time: Sometimes women just want to talk without you trying to fix anything. Sometimes being there and being supportive is the best thing you can do for a little while. A lot of times if I'm talking about things like that, it's because I'm trying to figure something out about it. If, after a couple of weeks she's not improving with just you listening, you might very gently tell her, "Sweetie, I love you and I will always be here to listen if you need to talk. I want to help you work through this so you can feel comfortable crossing streets and parking lots again. What can I do to help you?" You don't even have to mention that you won't be around to hold her hand forever because she can fill in the blank on her own.
Bless all your hearts! I cannot imagine getting that kind of phone call about either of my kids. I'm glad she's physically safe and I'm going to hope she gets through this (relatively) psychologically unscathed!