Sexual Abuse Therapy

Is A History Of Sexual Trauma Preventing You From Becoming Vulnerable?

As a survivor of sexual abuse, do you have a hard time maintaining safe, healthy connections with others?

Are feelings of numbness, clinginess, and detachment leading to confusion and discord in your relationships?

Do you carry shame or a sense of unworthiness, making it difficult to receive love?

Living with the trauma of sexual abuse is a heavy burden. It’s understandable that you often feel sad, lonely, and angry about what happened. Especially if someone close to you perpetuated the abuse, you probably find it difficult to trust others. This has likely impacted your ability to build intimacy and closeness in your relationships.

How Has Unresolved Sexual Trauma Affected Your Spirit, Mind, And Body?

Emotional vulnerability tends to be a challenge for survivors. We may withdraw from relationships out of fear of being rejected or hurt again. Feelings of shame and guilt may prevent us from speaking openly about our experiences, which furthers the mindset that we are somehow broken, unlovable, or to blame for what happened.

Alongside putting barriers up, survivors of sexual abuse often struggle to create healthy, meaningful boundaries. We often don’t talk about what happened out of a desire to keep the peace. Wanting to please others, we may not know how to fully verbalize our needs or establish firm limits in our relationships. This can be particularly difficult if a family member that we are still in contact with—whether out of choice or circumstance—is the perpetrator.

Sexual trauma survivors experience physical symptoms in addition to emotional and relational challenges. We may often feel “disconnected” from our bodies or struggle with medically unexplained pain, especially in the areas surrounding the pelvis, stomach, and chest.

As a therapist specializing in relational trauma—specifically sexual abuse—I am here to tell you that what happened is not your fault; there is a way out of this turmoil. Working together in counseling, we can enhance feelings of safety and connection in your life to help you see that healthy, secure relationships are possible.

Sexual Trauma Alters The Way We See Ourselves And The People Around Us

sexual abuse counselingBecause most traumas involve people hurting other people, it makes sense that survivors of sexual abuse feel generally weary about others. As much as we want to trust the good intentions of friends, family members, peers, and partners, we may be living with a conditioned trauma response that tells us to protect ourselves by putting up walls.

Over time, this response intensifies the confusion we feel. Our bodies and minds may respond with fear despite rationally understanding that we are safe in a vulnerable situation—such as meeting someone new or becoming intimate with a partner. It becomes increasingly hard to differentiate between safe touch and harmful touch, causing us to feel triggered by normal sensations of arousal and desire. Carrying around so much shame and discomfort, it’s likely we will get caught up in unhealthy relationship patterns.

But the wounds that were created in an unsafe relationship can only be healed in a safe one. By working with a gentle, experience counselor in therapy for sexual abuse, you can have new experiences that will ultimately help you reset your nervous system and feel safe again.

Sexual Abuse Treatment At Centering Healing

As a survivor of sexual abuse, you may have been living life feeling betrayed by your body, especially if the abuse took place in childhood. Therapy allows you to befriend and trust your body so you can be more tuned in to what it’s trying to tell you. In repairing your connection to yourself, you will be able to change the way you approach other relationships in your life.

What To Expect

writing notes on a notepadI work with sexual trauma survivors from all backgrounds. Whether you sustained sexual abuse as a child or your experience is more recent, I will tailor the treatment process to meet your needs. Furthermore, I am one of few therapists who specializes in mother-daughter sexual abuse.

My approach to sexual abuse treatment draws from attachment theory, body-based (or somatic) techniques, and Bruce Perry’s Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT). These methods allow us to actually change the brain’s stress response and meaningfully resolve stored trauma.

Once I have a sense of your history (as much of it as you feel comfortable sharing), we will work in counseling to explore how certain behaviors developed. Through this process, I will empower you to find your own voice and make choices that serve you and enhance your well-being.

Increased awareness of your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and sensations allows you to develop a more secure attachment style. The more you trust yourself, the more you can trust your choices. Not only will therapy for sexual abuse help you to feel safer in all of your relationships—it will help you feel more comfortable in your own skin, knowing that you are worthy of love.

Still Not Sure If Therapy Can Help You?

I have a long history of trauma/sexual abuse and other therapists haven’t been able to help me. How is treatment with you different?

Unlike a lot of therapists, I don’t use a one-size-fits-all treatment approach in therapy for sexual abuse—I tailor the counseling process to meet your specific objectives. I will partner with you and stay invested in your unique goals as we develop an actionable plan to help you work toward them.

In all of my years of counseling, I have never had a client not meet their goals.

Will you actually be able to handle what I bring to you or will you reject me? A lot of people in my life seem to leave once I tell them the whole story. 

There is absolutely nothing you could tell me in therapy that would make me judge you or deter me from treating you. The horrors you experienced are heavy, but they are not too much. I’ve found that sometimes the most essential part of the healing process is having a therapist bear witness to a client’s deepest, most painful experiences, like sexual abuse, and not run away.

Furthermore, survivors often don’t share their experiences fully out of fear that they will not be believed. As your therapist, I will believe you and do everything in my power not to re-traumatize you. I am committed to making therapy for sexual abuse a safe, healing experience where you can feel free to be your most authentic self.

How long will I have to be in sexual abuse treatment before I start feeling better?

Everyone’s experience in therapy is different—some people begin to see positive results after a few sessions, while others may need to spend more time in counseling to process their pain. Time spent in therapy will depend on a variety of factors, including the complexity of your sexual abuse trauma, any previous treatment history, and how long it takes for you to feel secure in the counselor-client relationship.

You are likely to see that as you feel increasingly safe and supported, you can relax and develop new ways of approaching stress and obstacles. Instead of automatically going into shame mode, therapy for sexual abuse can help you befriend your body and feel more empowered in your autonomy.

You Are Not Broken

If you experienced sexual abuse, therapy can help you overcome feelings of confusion, shame, and isolation. For more information about my counseling specializations in childhood trauma and sexual abuse, contact me. Treatment is available to residents in California, Florida, and Israel.

Have any questions? Send me a message!

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