Therapy for Childhood Sexual Abuse
It takes immense courage and vulnerability to reach out for support when you’ve experienced childhood sexual abuse. We do not take that courage and vulnerability lightly and appreciate that in your journey there have likely been times when it didn’t feel safe enough to speak up or when you spoke up and didn’t receive the support you needed or deserved. The clinical team at New Moon Psychotherapy has specialized training in supporting survivors of childhood sexual abuse and we can promise you that we believe you, we hear you, and we understand the pain, confusion, and suffering you’ve endured.
You are not alone and you do not have to continue suffering in silence.
One of the most common experiences of childhood sexual abuse is isolation. When the abuse was happening, the perpetrator told you or implied that this was a secret, that no one would believe you or that something bad would happen to you or others if you spoke up – forcing you to carry this alone for years.
Another common experience is confusion – maybe it doesn’t seem like it was that bad, maybe you enjoyed it, and maybe you didn’t know it was wrong. This doesn’t make the trauma or your pain any less significant or valid. No matter the circumstance, no matter how you responded, no matter what you said or did, no matter whether you liked it or asked for it, no matter whether you told anyone or tried to make it stop, no matter whether the abuser is still in your life or not, there is not a single ounce of responsibility on you. You were a child. You might not believe me now and that’s okay – it’s part of the process and we can still help.
How can New Moon Psychotherapy help?
Therapy can help you process what has happened to you and find freedom from the impact of childhood sexual abuse – you are not defined by the things that happened to you and you are able to live a life without symptoms of your past.
Childhood Sexual Abuse is wide reaching and its impact is experienced long after the abuse stops. Here are some ways that childhood sexual abuse impacts survivors – this list does not include each and every symptom.
Therapy can help you regulate your emotions, stabilize your nervous system, and develop and establish your boundaries so that you can begin creating a meaningful and fulfilling life.
What forms of therapy do you offer?
Healing from childhood sexual abuse can take time, however, there are evidence-based therapies, ones that research shows work for the difficulties that you’re experiencing. At New Moon Psychotherapy, our highly trained, passionate, and committed staff will tailor your treatment using these approaches in order to give you the results that you want to see. Our goal is to help you crate a life that is free from symptoms of childhood sexual abuse.
Ultimately, each treatment plan will be unique and will draw on various therapies to meet your specific needs.
Therapy for PTSD/Complex PTSD
Many survivors of childhood sexual abuse experience symptoms of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) or Complex PTSD (PTSD stemming from recurring traumas). If these symptoms are present, a PTSD focused therapy is essential. The evidence-based psychotherapies that we specialize in are:
- Cognitive Processing Therapy
- Prolonged Exposure
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy for PTSD (DBT-PTSD)
Body Focused Therapies
There is growing evidence in the field of trauma showing that trauma is not only experienced by the mind, but also by the body – the body truly does keep the score. Our team utilizes these body focused therapies
- Integrative Trauma and Attachment Model
- Somatic Psychotherapy
- Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
- Experiential Therapies
- Mindfulness Based Therapies
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
The reality is that trauma is isolating and that in order to combat the shame and isolation that it brings, we need to connect with others. This is incredibly difficult for survivors of childhood sexual abuse and yet the impact can be astounding.
New Moon Psychotherapy regularly offers therapeutic support groups for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Topics include groups focused on developing strategies to calm the nervous system and manage symptoms of trauma and workshops focused on reclaiming your sexuality after sexual abuse.
Check out our Group Therapy page or contact us today to learn about our current offerings and to learn more about our group therapy and workshops.
Couples and Family Therapy
Some survivors find it helpful to involve their partners and/or families in treatment. For example, some survivors ask their partners to meet with a therapist so that the partner can learn to understand the impact of childhood sexual abuse and how to support the survivor.
Couples therapy can be helpful when there are triggers within the relationship or when the survivor would like to implement boundaries as part of their recovery. Family therapy can also be helpful for these reasons as well as for moving forward after a disclosure has been made.
It is common for family members and couples to seek support – for this reason we offer a 4-week support group for family members and care givers.
Regardless of whether you choose to work with a therapist from New Moon Psychotherapy, please ensure that the clinician who you decide to work with specializes in childhood sexual abuse and is trained in evidence-based therapies. This is essential and will ensure that you are receiving the therapy that is indicated for what you are experiencing.