Sexual abuse is a common issue that has only recently started to gain public attention and understanding. Despite its prevalence, it is still a taboo topic that many individuals are hesitant to discuss. This hesitation comes from cultural stigmas and fear of judgment.
Thankfully, sexual abuse therapists have been growing in popularity, providing professional help to those who seek it.
As a team specializing in online mental health reviews, we extensively research and compare different therapy services and providers, including those specializing in sexual abuse therapy. Our goal is to provide informative and empowering guidance to readers who are seeking help and support in their mental health journey.
We understand the importance of finding a qualified and experienced therapist who can help guide survivors of sexual abuse toward healing and are passionate about providing accurate and helpful information on this topic.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of sexual abuse therapy and sexual abuse in general. Furthermore, we will explore why more individuals are turning to therapy to help them address sexual abuse and resulting trauma.
What is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is a form of mistreatment where a person is sexually violated without their consent. This violation can take many forms, including rape, molestation, and sexual harassment.
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), one in every six women has experienced either attempted rape or completed rape in their lifetime. In contrast, one in every ten rape victims is male. These alarming statistics show that sexual abuse is more prevalent than most people realize.
Impact of Sexual Abuse
The impact of sexual abuse can be severe and long-lasting.
Individuals who have experienced sexual abuse typically experience negative physical, emotional, and psychological effects. Some of the most common symptoms include anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and trust issues.
These traumatic experiences can leave a person struggling with their mental health and feeling isolated.
What is Sexual Abuse Therapy?
Sexual abuse therapy is a powerful tool that can help individuals recover from the effects of sexual abuse.
Therapists who specialize in treating survivors of sexual abuse work to help individuals build resilience, coping skills, and self-esteem. These skills are essential for individuals who aim to recover from trauma effectively.
Sexual abuse therapy is not the same as either sexual assault therapy or trauma therapy. While both concepts involve sexual abuse, sexual trauma refers to the aftermath of a sexual assault. On the other hand, sexual abuse therapy is a treatment aimed at helping individuals who have experienced sexual abuse in their past and want to heal.
Therapy sessions may vary depending on the individual’s needs and preferences. However, therapists typically use techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), family therapy, and exposure therapy to help their clients.
These techniques are designed to help individuals manage their thoughts, and emotions, and trigger responses healthily.
Attend Sexual Abuse Therapy Only When You Feel Ready
Attending sexual abuse therapy is an important step in the healing process for survivors of sexual assault and abuse. It can be a difficult decision to make, but it’s important to remember that you should only attend when you feel ready.
It’s normal to feel scared or overwhelmed when considering attending therapy, but it’s important to remember that trained professionals are available to provide confidential support. They can help you process your experiences and provide resources and strategies for managing any symptoms of trauma or distress.
You may also find it helpful to reach out for support from friends and family members who can provide emotional comfort and understanding.
Additionally, there are many online resources available such as the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline (800-656-HOPE) which provides free, confidential support 24/7. This national hotline is part of RAINN, and you can view it online here – https://www.rainn.org/about-national-sexual-assault-telephone-hotline.
No matter what you decide, know that you are not alone in this journey and there is help available if you need it.
Benefits Of Sexual Abuse Counseling
Sexual abuse can have a lasting impact on survivors, but counseling can help.
Counseling provides a safe space for survivors to process their experiences and work through the trauma. It can also help them build strength and resilience.
Counseling can provide many benefits to those who have experienced sexual abuse.
- It can help survivors understand their emotions, gain insight into their behaviors, and learn how to cope with difficult situations.
- Counseling can also help survivors develop healthy relationships and build self-esteem.
- Additionally, it can provide support in navigating the legal system if needed.
Therapy is often tailored to the individual’s needs and may include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), or other evidence-based therapies such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
If you are struggling with mental health issues related to sexual abuse, seeking counseling is an important step toward healing. A trained therapist will be able to provide support in a non-judgmental environment and help you find ways to cope with your experiences.
What Are The Impacts Of Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse can have a devastating impact on an individual’s mental health.
- Victims of sexual abuse may experience a wide range of emotions, such as guilt, shame, fear, and depression.
- They may also experience physical symptoms like headaches, stomachaches, and sleeping problems.
- Long-term effects of sexual abuse can include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
- Victims of sexual abuse may also struggle with self-esteem issues, difficulty trusting others, and relationship problems.
- They may feel disconnected from their family and friends or become isolated from society.
- Additionally, victims of sexual abuse are more likely to engage in risky behavior such as substance use or self-harm.
Victims of sexual abuse need to seek help from a mental health professional as soon as possible to begin the healing process. A therapist can provide support and guidance while helping the individual work through their trauma in a safe environment.
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual abuse, please reach out for help today. There are many resources available to provide support and assistance during this difficult time.
What are the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse?
Childhood sexual abuse can have long-term effects on a person’s mental and physical health.
- Survivors of childhood sexual abuse may experience depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues.
- Physical symptoms such as chronic pain, headaches, digestive problems, and sleep disturbances are also common.
- Survivors of sexual violence may also struggle with relationships and trust issues, low self-esteem, difficulty regulating emotions, and difficulty managing stress.
It is important to remember that everyone responds differently to trauma. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to healing from childhood sexual abuse.
What is the Treatment for Childhood Sexual Abuse?
Childhood sexual abuse is a form of child abuse that involves any type of unwanted sexual contact or activity. It can have long-lasting and devastating effects on the victim’s mental health.
Fortunately, there are treatments available to help survivors of childhood sexual abuse heal from their trauma and lead healthier lives.
- One option is to seek counseling or therapy with a trained professional who specializes in treating victims of childhood sexual abuse. This type of therapy can help survivors process their trauma, learn coping skills, and develop healthy relationships with others.
- Another option is to call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673). Trained staff can provide confidential support and connect you with local resources in your area.
- Finally, it may be helpful to join a support group for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. These groups provide a safe space for survivors to share their stories, receive emotional support from others who understand what they’re going through, and learn new ways to cope with their trauma.
No matter which treatment path you choose, remember that healing takes time and patience. With the right help, you can overcome the pain of your past and build a brighter future for yourself.
Find the Right Therapist for Sexual Abuse or Assault
If you have experienced sexual abuse or assault, it is important to find the right therapist to help you process and heal from the trauma.
- The National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline (800.656.HOPE) can connect you with a local sexual assault service provider in your area who can provide confidential support and resources.
- In addition, many qualified therapists across the country specialize in helping survivors of sexual abuse or assault. You can search for therapists in your state on Psychology Today or other similar websites. When looking for a therapist, make sure they have experience working with survivors of sexual violence survey trauma and that their approach is tailored to your individual needs.
It is also important to consider what type of therapy you would like to pursue. The Sexual Assault Center1 says:
- Trauma-informed therapy services are rooted in the most current research on trauma and can help you cope with past pain and move toward a brighter future.
- Other types of therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) may also be beneficial depending on your individual needs.
Which Therapy Approach for Abuse is the Most Effective?
There are a few different evidence-based treatments for trauma in general, including sexual abuse trauma. The one that is best for you depends on several different factors, such as price, location, and availability.
However, generally speaking, a good place to start is finding an approach that resonates with you and then searching for therapists that are specialists in said approach:
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) – EMDR is an effective emotional trauma therapy. It can treat PTSD in six to twelve sessions, faster than typical therapy. EMDR uses bilateral (both sides of the body) stimulation to activate the brain’s REM sleep biological systems. Using REM while experiencing upsetting trauma memories helps the brain process them organically, allowing the mind to heal.
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy – CBT helps you understand your thoughts and beliefs. Once you identify them, you can determine if there are facts to support them and let them go if not.
- Cognitive Processing Therapy – Trauma survivors can improve symptoms with cognitive processing treatment (CPT).
- Component-Based Psychotherapy – CBP is a novel, evidence-based treatment for adult survivors of complex interpersonal trauma. It helps children who were neglected or abused emotionally.
- DBT-informed individual and group therapy – DBT is modified CBT. It promotes mindfulness, positive coping, and healthy emotion regulation.
- Psychodynamic therapy – Psychodynamic psychotherapy is “talk therapy” for emotional discomfort. It links psychological concerns to underlying reasons and conflicts from childhood or earlier experiences.
- Medications – Sometimes used with therapy. Depending on symptoms, medical problems, and other factors, medication may be indicated.
- Couples or group therapy may also complement these approaches above.
It is important to note that different therapies work differently for different people. It is best to consult a mental health professional who can help you decide which approach would work best for you.
List of Mental Health Resources for Sexual Abuse or Assault
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual abuse or assault, there are several mental health resources available to help.
Here is a list of some of the most helpful:
- National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline: Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be routed to a local sexual assault service provider in your area. Trained staff can provide confidential support and resources. Learn more
- Resources Specific to Victims of Sexual Abuse: This Resource Guide to Trauma-Informed Human Services provides human services leaders at the local, State, Tribal, and Territorial levels with information about how to best serve victims of sexual abuse. Learn more
- Resources for People Who Have Experienced Sexual Trauma: This resource list includes immediate support as well as long-term healing options for those who have experienced sexual trauma including sexual abuse, sexual assault, and rape. Learn more
- Mental Health Support for BIPOC Survivors: For many survivors of sexual violence, finding mental health support is a crucial part of their healing journey, but due to health inequities, it can be difficult for BIPOC survivors to access these resources. Learn more
What to Expect During Sessions for Sexual Abuse or Assault
If you have experienced sexual abuse or assault, seeking help from a mental health professional can be an important part of your healing journey. Sessions with a therapist can provide a safe and supportive space to process your experiences and work through any trauma that may have resulted.
- During sessions, the therapist will likely ask questions about your experience and feelings to gain an understanding of what happened and how it has impacted you.
- They may also use different therapeutic techniques to help you explore your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to the trauma.
- It is important to remember that therapy is meant to be a collaborative process between you and your therapist, so it is okay to speak up if something does not feel right or if you need more time or support.
- Your therapist may also provide education about topics related to sexual abuse or sexual assault victims such as healthy boundaries, coping skills, self-care strategies, and more.
- They can also help connect you with other resources in the community such as support groups or medical services.
It is normal for survivors of sexual abuse or assault to feel scared or overwhelmed when starting therapy. Remember that many professionals are trained in providing compassionate care for survivors of sexual violence. You do not have to go through this alone.
What is the Goal of Therapy in Counselling Abuse Victims?
The goal of therapy in counseling abuse victims is to provide a safe and supportive environment for them to process their trauma.
The therapist’s main focus is on creating an environment where the survivor feels comfortable discussing their experiences and developing new skills for managing difficult emotions.
What is the Behavior of a Sexual Abuser?
Sexual abuse is a form of violence and manipulation that can have devastating effects on its victims. It is important to be aware of the signs and behaviors of sexual abusers to protect yourself and those around you.
Common behaviors of sexual abusers include:
- Grooming, which is manipulating someone into trusting them to gain access to them
- Persistent or obsessive curiosity about sexual intercourse or genitalia beyond what is expected for their age
- Fear of being alone with or sexual attraction to certain people
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Acting younger than their age
- Self-destructive behaviors such as drinking, cutting, or using drugs.
It is also important to be aware of the signs that a child may be experiencing sexual abuse. These signs can include:
- Nightmares or other sleep problems without an explanation
- Seeming distracted or distant at odd times
- Having a sudden change in eating habits
- Displaying knowledge about sexual topics beyond what would be expected for their age
- Exhibiting overly perfect behavior
What is Psychological First Aid in Sexual Assault Cases?
According to research2, Psychological First Aid (PFA) is a crisis intervention designed to help people who have experienced sexual assault.
- It is an evidence-based approach that provides basic and supportive assistance to those in distress.
- PFA helps individuals identify their needs, connect with resources, and develop coping strategies for managing their trauma-related symptoms.
- It also focuses on providing emotional support and helping the individual feel safe and connected.
- PFA can be used in the immediate aftermath of a sexual assault or at any time afterward when someone is struggling with mental health issues related to the experience.
By offering choices, providing information about available resources, and creating a safe environment for the individual to express their feelings, PFA can help reduce the severity and duration of trauma-related distress. It also encourages self-care practices such as relaxation techniques, mindfulness exercises, and other activities that promote healing.
What are the Four Forms of Sexual Abuse?
- Rape: A form of sexual assault where one person forces another to engage in sexual activity without their consent.
- Molestation: Unwanted and inappropriate sexual contact with a minor, usually involving touching or fondling.
- Incest: Sexual relations between family members, often involving an adult and a child.
- Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for the victim. Learn more
Effectiveness of Sexual Abuse Therapy
Sexual abuse therapy can be an effective way to help survivors of sexual assault or abuse.
It is important to find a therapist who is experienced in working with survivors of trauma and understands the unique needs of each individual.
Therapy for sexual abuse survivors may include individual counseling, group therapy, or both.
- Individual counseling provides a safe space for the survivor to talk about their experiences and feelings without judgment.
- Group therapy allows the survivor to connect with others who have gone through similar experiences and gain support from them.
Meta-analysis research on trauma3 has shown that trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) is an effective treatment for children and adolescents who have experienced sexual abuse.
For example, in the above meta-analysis, they note that TF-CBT helps survivors process their traumatic memories, develop positive coping strategies, and improve their overall mental health. Additionally, the study authors state:
“Specific cognitive-behavioral interventions, such as Trauma-Focused CBT, appear especially promising and worthy of further evaluation”.
How to Use Zocdoc to Locate A Sexologist in Any City
Are you looking for an easy way to set up meetings with qualified healthcare workers in your area, or do you want to find a sexologist?
Zocdoc makes it easy to find a doctor, dentist, or other medical professional.
The Zocdoc website has helpful tools like proof of insurance, real-time access, and patient reviews that help you book the right care for your needs.
While Zocdoc is not perfect (see discussion of Zocdoc pros/cons in our Zocdoc review), Zocdoc does however, fit right in with our goal of making it easy for you to find a doctor so you can get the care you need.
- Go to Zocdoc.com and choose “Sexologist” from the list of types of doctors.
- Enter the place or zip code where you want to see a sexologist.
- Have a certain insurance plan? You can narrow your search to only show doctors who take your insurance.
- You can make your search even more specific by the person’s job, gender, the language they speak, and whether or not they are open.
- Certified sexologists have profiles that you can look at to see if they are available when you want to talk to them.
- Look at how other patients have rated each professional, read reviews, and check their credentials to find the one who will work best for your needs.
- Once you know who will give you the best care, you can pick a time that works for you. Zocdoc will tell you about important meetings so you don’t miss any.
Zocdoc knows how hard it can be to find a good doctor, especially one who focuses on mental health.
So, Zocdoc’s job is to make the process of finding a doctor easier.
Sexual Abuse Therapist Conclusion:
Sexual abuse therapy is an important tool for individuals struggling to cope with the aftermath of sexual assault trauma and abuse trauma.
By acknowledging the prevalence and deep impact of sexual abuse, more people are now seeking professional help to address this pervasive issue.
Sexual abuse therapists work tirelessly to help individuals overcome sexual abuse and reclaim their power.
If you or someone you love is struggling with sexual abuse trauma, seeking therapy can be an essential step in the healing process.
Remember to leave a comment, question, or suggestion for what mental health online service or course we should buy, try and review next!
Finally, our team at Online Mental Health Reviews has covered similar topics you may want to explore, such as: why sex counseling becoming more popular, medical doctors of sexuality, the costs of a sexologist, sexual trauma therapy near you, sexual abuse info, the practice of somatic sex therapy, and the importance of sexual therapy.
- Center of Tennessee, S. A. (n.d.). Sexual Assault Center. Sexual Assault Center. https://sacenter.org/heal/types-of-therapy-and-treatment.aspx
- TETİK, S., MUTLU, A., & ÜNLÜBİLGİN, E. (2021, December 25). Psychological First Aid in Sexual Assault Cases. Psikiyatride Guncel Yaklasimlar – Current Approaches in Psychiatry, 13(4), 751–762. https://doi.org/10.18863/pgy.880465
- Trask, E. V., Walsh, K., & DiLillo, D. (2011, January). Treatment effects for common outcomes of child sexual abuse: A current meta-analysis. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 16(1), 6–19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2010.10.001
If You Are In Crisis
In the event of an emergency or crisis, waiting for an online therapy appointment may not be the best course of action. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger or requires urgent assistance, please call 911 or your local emergency number for help.
For those who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, help is available by calling the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. This free and confidential service is available 24/7 to provide assistance and support to individuals in crisis.
Additionally, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline (800-662-HELP) is another valuable resource. This free service operates 24/7, providing confidential support, referrals to mental health or substance abuse treatment, and information to individuals in need.
Remember, there are always resources available for anyone struggling with their mental health. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help when it’s needed.