• Childhood Sexual Abuse

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    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.

    Mental/Physical Health

    • Difficulty Sleeping (nightmares, insomnia)
    • Unexplained illnesses and chronic health conditions
    • Personality disorders (eg. Borderline Personality Disorder) 
    • Anxiety & Mood Disorders (eg. social anxiety, depression)
    Relationships

    • Feeling isolated
    • Difficulty forming and maintaining relationships
    • Fear of intimacy
    • Becoming overly connected or avoiding closeness
    • Inability to trust  self/others
    • Feeling unsafe with others
    Boundaries

    • Overly rigid or loose boundaries
    • Needing to be in control or feeling out of control
    • Compromising your values and beliefs to avoid conflict
    • Difficulty identifying your own needs and feelings
    • Difficulty asking for help
    • Saying more than you would like to
    Thoughts

    • Low self-esteem/self worth
    • Thinking that you are not good enough or like something is wrong with you
    • Flashbacks
    • Lack of empathy for self
    • Suicidal thoughts
    • Taking blame for what happened
    • Blaming someone other than the perpetrator
    Emotions

    • Shame and guilt
    • Fear, anxiety, and worry
    • Sadness, loss, and grief
    • Anger and rage
    • Helplessness and hopelessness
    • Constantly on guard
    • Feeling disconnected from or unable to feel your emotions or feeling them intensely
    Behaviour

    • Self-destructive and self-sabotaging behaviour
    • Addiction/substance abuse
    • Suicide attempts
    • Self-harm/self-injury
    • Restrictive or binge eating
    • Precocious sexual behaviour
    • Acting sexually for others

    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


    Group Therapy

    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 survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Check out our Group Therapy page or contact us today to learn more. 

    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. 

    Ready to get started? Reach out to us today!

    Survivors of childhood sexual abuse often prolong getting help out of worry of how people will react to their disclosures. 

    No matter what you might think, childhood sexual abuse is not a reflection of who you are. It is something that happened to you and you are worthy of healing and support. 

    Life doesn’t have to stay this way. Get in touch to begin your healing journey. 

    Call, text, or email using the information/form below. Our intake coordinator will answer any questions you might have and learn how we can help you.

    You will then be connected with a therapist for a free 15-minute consultation. 

    This is a chance for us to meet the therapist, ask questions and learn about their approach so that you can determine if they’re the right fit for you. 

    Schedule your first therapy appointment and begin your healing journey! 

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