Seeking Therapy As The Victim Of Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is a trauma that nobody should ever have to suffer. But unfortunately, it is quite common. If you have been the victim of sexual assault, you can greatly benefit from enrolling in therapy to work through the trauma and develop strategies for moving forward. Here are some tips to help ensure your experience in therapy is a beneficial one.
1. Seek a sex-positive therapist.
Attitudes about sex are varied and often confusing. When you have been assaulted, feelings of shame can creep in and make it hard for you to pursue sexual relationships in the future. To break free of these thoughts, you often have to reframe your feelings about sex and reclaim your identity. Working with a therapist who advertises themselves as taking a sex-positive approach is usually best. Such a therapist will tend to be more open to allowing you to fully discuss your feelings about sex and your assault. Someone with a more traditional or religious approach may not be as open about these matters and may even unintentionally make you feel worse about what has happened to you.
2. Feel free to visit several therapists.
You will be discussing very private matters with your therapist, so it is important that you find someone you feel comfortable around. Visit a couple of therapists for trial sessions before you commit to working with one individual person. You'll know quickly which therapist is the right one for you. When you sit down in their chair and they start talking to you, feelings of comfort and ease will set in promptly.
3. Be honest with your therapist.
Everyone has to address this trauma at their own pace. It is important to be honest with your therapist about how you are feeling at each stage. Don't say you're feeling okay with something if it is still bothering you. If a certain step seems too big and overwhelming, tell your therapist you're not ready. If you take on too much all at once, you may miss important steps along the healing journey, and those things you missed might come back to bother you later on in a relationship or when dating.
The trauma of sexual assault can be overwhelming, but it does not have to last a lifetime. Visit a few therapists, and find one who is willing to work with you at your own pace to address your feelings. Talk to sex-positive therapists to learn more.