If there’s one more thing that victims of sexual abuse are afraid of, it is them telling and recounting every painful event that they would never want to experience again. More often than not, these survivors live in silence as they have the thinking that they would be ‘judged’ by anyone who would hear their story. Trust becomes the most difficult issue to deal with when it comes to the victims’ therapy.
“Disclosure of an unspeakable event is beyond what many can do in the immediate aftermath of rape but that need not preclude reaching for help. Often it is in that step towards help that a small re-ordering of life begins,” says Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP.
Can’t I Survive This On My Own?
‘Why do I need other people, a complete stranger, in fact, to heal me and get me back to my normal self?’ This may be the question on a repeat of every abuse victim who is still anxious about getting therapy and counseling.
An abuse victim’s mind is not on the right track with all the feelings of intense guilt, anger, shame, and stress brought about by the act of abuse. The good thing about counseling is that counselors will give the victim another perspective when it comes to facing emotions and feelings. Moreover, the act of opening up about the experience is in itself a way of freeing the victim from the negativities brought about by the sexual abuse.
If there’s a friend, loved one or even yourself who’s currently living in the shadows of sexual abuse, consulting the help of professional counselor will be beneficial not just to continue life, but to move on with life the way it should be enjoyed. “For survivors of sexual assault, talking about your experience may by particularly painful and difficult. For every survivor of sexual violence, there is someone who also shares his or her pain be it a mother, father, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, or child,” according to Hung Tran, Psy.D.
Counseling Will Make You Realize That You Are Not Alone
Hearing the abuse experiences of other victims can bring relief to other sexual abuse survivors. Group counseling allows these victims to heal together as they can find comfort and provide support for each other. This type of counseling can also promote social skills that may help survivors cope with the feeling of isolation.
Counseling Will Stop You From Blaming Yourself
Victims of sexual abuse carry feelings of extreme guilt and shame all the time. These emotions can be a significant factor in his/her future actions and decisions in life.
A highly trained counselor will let the victims see the world in a more optimistic view. He/she will listen to their stories and will never put them to blame. A professional counselor will assess the situation and mental condition. Then, he or she will offer all the appropriate solutions for their healing.
Counseling Will Gear You Away From Self-Destructive Tendencies
Sexual abuse can result in depression, suicidal thoughts, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other serious mental health problems to victims. Other than this fact, sexual abuse victims turn to drugs and alcohol as a form of self-medication.
Through counseling, a psychiatrist can indeed help abuse victims face their fears and deal with their emotions, which in turn, will eventually be the victim’s way to liberate him/herself from the feeling of intense guilt and self-anger. “I encourage survivors of sexual assault to begin writing out their trauma narratives, which occurs in session. Retelling their stories has been empirically proved to decrease the severity of the trauma response. It also allows clients to apply new meaning to their experiences and incorporate new and positive self-views and language,” according to Brooke Bagley and Joel Diambra, licensed professional counselors.
The most important thing for victims of sexual abuse to keep in mind is that counselors are highly and professionally trained in keeping each and every single thing confidential. While it is also advisable to seek support and counseling from close relatives, friends, partner, or members of the family, immediate care of a trained and professional psychiatrist is a must for serious conditions.