What is sexual abuse?
Whenever a child or young person is groomed, tricked, bribed, forced, or threatened into taking part in or witnessing any sexual behaviours, it is Child Sexual Abuse.
Why do I need a therapist to talk to?
Anyone who has had this type of experience deserves special attention to help them deal with the confused and painful feelings this has caused. Sexually Abused children often feel alone and mistakenly feel they are to blame this makes it extremely hard for them to get their feelings sorted out all by themselves. Therapists can help your life get better; they can help you get your life back on track.
Why can’t I just talk to my friends and family?
It’s great to have friends to talk to but they may not understand how personal this information is and feel the need to talk to others about it. Your family may find it difficult and upsetting to listen to. Your therapist is different from your friends and family as they have talked with many young people who have been abused. They will have answers to your questions and will make your session private and confidential in order to keep your thoughts and feelings safe.
But I’d rather not talk at all….
And that’s how you may have coped for a long time but it does not go away. Because you may have never really talked about it, the relief you might feel by letting it all out with your therapist might help you understand your feelings and stop some of the bad feelings (like memories of the abuse, not being able to sleep, feeling angry). Remember it will take time and talking about the abuse may help make life less confusing, lonely and painful.
What should therapy feel like?
Therapy should feel safe; you will be able to say or feel anything and the therapist will be able to handle it. They will not be embarrassed, surprised or shocked. But feeling safe is not always the same as feeling comfortable. You might feel uncomfortable sometimes, or even dread going to therapy because it could be hard, but even then, you will be safe. It is important to understand that sometimes you will feel worse before you feel better. Your therapist will really listen and pay attention to you. As therapists we’ll help you with the feelings you have about the abuse. You can ask questions you may not have wanted to ask your friends or family. Your therapist should be able to answer these questions. After a short time therapy will probably be a place you look forward to going to.