Recovery from Sexual Abuse

 

Rape, incest, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation all happen in the context of close human relationships. It is therefore crucial that the process of recovery also occurs in the context of a meaningful therapeutic relationship. However, to risk trusting another human being after experiencing a violation of sexual boundaries can be challenging, frightening and overwhelming.

It is for this reason that our work will focus first and foremost on safety, both emotional and physical. Safety and trust cannot be a given, but rather built and earned in the context of a real human relationship over some period of time. We will find out together what makes you feel safe and unsafe, what you can do to increase your sense of safety in interpersonal situations, and use our relationship as a place to “try out” and learn more about your boundaries, needs and wants.

Many survivors, especially of childhood sexual abuse, also struggle with issues of physical safety and managing intense painful emotions. We will work together to help you feel safer in your skin and in the world, and to realistically plan for those times when you are reliving the trauma all over again, so you gradually increase your capacity to take care of yourself during those times.

Ultimately, we will strive together to reconnect and integrate the parts of you that got disconnected or lost when the sexual trauma occurred. This means that over time, we strive together for your feeling like a whole and worthy person again, confident, thriving and able to connect intimately with others.