If you have been the victim of sexual abuse and need to process then please contact me for help.
Through counselling survivors of childhood trauma and sexual abuse can begin to examine and process past experiences. They will begin to identify and challenge unhelpful thinking styles and behaviour patterns and replace these with more healthy and supportive patterns.
While there has been much debate about the official definition of childhood trauma and sexual abuse, one definition I like is “psychological trauma is the unique individual experience of an event or enduring conditions in which: The individual’s ability to integrate his/her emotional experience is overwhelmed or the individual experiences (subjectively) a threat to life, bodily integrity, or sanity.”
Trauma can be physical, sexual or emotional or a combination of any of these. While the experience of childhood trauma does not guarantee a person will have difficulties later in life, research has shown that it does increase the likelihood that a person may develop later problems.
Some of the common problems among survivors of abuse are:
- Alcohol and drug misuse
- Eating disorders
- Self harming behaviours and/or suicidal ideation
- Social withdrawal, shyness, lack of self confidence.
- Poor anger management.
- Anxieties and fears.
- Depression, hopelessness and helplessness.
- Guilt and shame.
Survivors of abuse may also have problems in relationships due to difficulty trusting others or in developing intimacy. It can also affect their belief system and the way they view themselves, others and the future. These beliefs affect every thought, feeling and action.
Many people may not even realise that their current difficulties are linked to past trauma’s and abuse, and those that do have an understanding, may not know how to deal with these.
While we cannot change our past, we don’t need to be defined by it, be limited because of it or live in pain. Although it may not be an easy road to go down, the process of recovery is worthwhile and rewarding. There are countless examples that have shown survivors of trauma and abuse can go on to lead happy lives and enjoy healthy relationships.
Read about how one of my previous clients used counselling to help overcome her issues with sexual abuse and childhood trauma.