Domestic and Sexual Abuse
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Jenny Rees Davies MBACP (Snr Accred), UKRC, Post Grad Dip Couns
4th November, 2009
This takes many forms including physical violence, threatening behaviour, verbal and sexual abuse and all forms of bullying. Levels of anxiety are heightened and a disposition towards anxiety and depression is common.
When counselling adult survivors, many feelings that were never processed in childhood have to be dealt with and an atmosphere of trust and absolute confidentiality is essential. As children (with one in three girls and one in seven boys being sexually abused by the age of eighteen), survivors have to defend themselves so much on a daily basis that they frequently have difficulty with trusting others in their adult lives.
Ways of dealing with the difficult feelings – whether conscious or unconscious – can result in behaviours such as eating disorders, self-harm, addictions and problems with anger. Understanding how the past affects the present is an essential part of the therapeutic work, with counselling offering emotional support to those wanting to stop the cycle of unhelpful ways of coping with the trauma.
Related articles from our experts
- A brief neuropsychology of PTSD
Justin Lee Slaughter. Humanistic Integrative Counsellor. MBACP (Reg)8th August, 2017
- When the world spins
Jacqueline Karaca M.Sc. Hons Counselling Psych; MBACP Reg.12th July, 2017
- Understanding and working with spiritual abuse
Dr Kathryn Kinmond CPsychol; CSci; AFBPsS; Reg MBACP (Accred)8th July, 2017
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.