While talking and facing abuse in a supportive, understanding environment can help, it can also initially feel painful. If you have been going through your days at times feeling numb and detached from your life and from yourself it can be scary to consider talking about it.
It is important to know that there are different ‘types’ of therapy. This can help in choosing a therapist that best fits your needs and allows for a gentle start to your healing. It can and it will get better! Keep that in mind as you choose a therapist.
- Individual Therapy – In the beginning of a crisis Individual therapy is a good place to start. Choose a therapist who is trained and has experience with child sexual abuse. Since offenders are typically family or someone very close, issues of love and loyalties surround this family crisis and a therapist has to understand the dynamics very well.
- Family Therapy – Research shows that the most important predictor of recovery is the support of a primary caretaker. Child sexual abuse is a family crisis. By having the whole family involved in treatment, it shows solidarity, helps establish trust and promotes healing from this trauma. There is also the possibility that other family members may have been abused as well, and can benefit from therapy.
- Group Therapy – may not be what you think! It can be comforting to be with others who have lived with similar circumstances. This alone allows you to feel less isolated and different. Group process does not insist on a member ‘telling it all’. Many members in on-going groups may not contribute for some time. Just listening to those who are willing and able to relate their feelings helps with the process.