Are You Struggling In The Wake Of Sexual Abuse Or Assault?
If you have been sexually abused or assaulted in some way, either during childhood or as an adult, you may be harboring persistent feelings of shame, blame, or guilt. Moreover, you may fear that if you're honest about your experience, you might not be believed. In some cases, particularly with child abuse, these fears and emotions have the potential to evolve into PTSD, depression, anxiety, and chronic illness if left unaddressed.
Victims of abuse often feel:
Broken or damaged, wondering if there is something fundamentally wrong with them
That they’re at fault, as if they did something to cause or deserve the abuse
Easily triggered and struggle with anxiety, depression, as well as eating and sleeping issues
As though maintaining and nourishing relationships are particularly challenging
Incapable of connecting to others or engaging in physical and emotional intimacy
A lack of confidence, or a sense of self-loathing, low self-esteem, and self-worth.
Living with the aftereffects of sexual trauma can be a confusing and deeply isolating experience. Feeling as though you are damaged in some way is a common response to an unwanted sexual encounter. You may feel constrained by your history and not know how to be in—or even what constitutes—a healthy relationship. You might feel powerless, used, abused, and objectified although you desperately want to feel confident, loved, and nourished in relationships.
You Are Not Alone In Your Experience
One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18, and one in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives.
Until recently—beginning with the #metoo movement—sexual abuse and sexual violence have not been widely discussed in our culture although sexual abuse is and has been pervasive in our society and comes in many forms. It happens across all genders, cultures, economic classes, and backgrounds. It's often generational, and people who perpetrate incest or other forms of childhood sexual abuse were often abused themselves as children.
After a long wait, the landscape around sexual abuse and violence is shifting. Public conversations about the issue have begun and change is happening. Both women and men who have been assaulted are beginning to feel more empowered to speak out, and people of all genders are recognizing the need to be more mindful when it comes to appropriate sexual conduct.
Victims of sexual assault, abuse, violence, and misconduct are starting to share their stories and are finding that just naming the experience to a trusted person can bring about significant relief and assist in the process of healing. Therapy also opens the door to the end of generational abuse and shame and gives people the space, tools, and support needed to stop the cycle of abuse.
Sexual Abuse Counseling Provides You With A Safe And Supportive Space To Heal
Counseling for sexual abuse gives you another lens through which to view yourself and your experience. You can give voice to what happened, which can immediately lessen the power that the experience has held over you.
Our sessions are a place for you to share anything and everything. We'll move at a comfortable pace and can begin by exploring pressing concerns and challenges that may or may not be related to the abuse. I understand that everyone experiences and heals from trauma differently, which is why we develop a trauma therapy strategy that best addresses, supports, and values your unique experience, needs, and therapy goals.
In sessions, we can also address and work through feelings of depression, anxiety, and interpersonal relationship issues, which are extremely common following sexual trauma. I can help you identify and mitigate triggers, develop healthy coping skills and challenge and reframe negative thoughts. Using mindfulness techniques, you can also begin to feel safe in the present moment and increase your capacity for self-compassion.
You are not alone, and I believe that you have an inherent capacity for healing. In working as a sexual abuse counselor for over a decade, I've helped many people work through their pain and have witnessed remarkable healing. With help and support, it is possible to tap into your innate resiliency and set and reach important personal goals. You can use your voice, develop and maintain healthy relationships, and engage in a wonderful process of self-discovery and self-love.
You might still wonder if sexual trauma counseling is right for you...
I'm afraid that talking about what happened will make it feel more real and that I'll feel even worse.
In sessions, you don't have to talk about the trauma until you feel ready. Sessions are 100 percent dedicated to providing a safe place for you to talk about anything that is coming up in the moment. Once—and if—you feel ready, we can work through the trauma in a way that you can safely tolerate. This work may be difficult at first, but much relief can come from sharing your experience with a skilled and compassionate professional. I am warm, easy to talk to, and will do my best to help you feel supported and cared for so you can heal and step into your personal power and light.
I tried counseling for sexual abuse in the past and it didn't help much.
There are many reasons why therapy may not have worked in the past. It might not have been the right time or the right therapist for you. Healing from sexual abuse trauma is possible; you just need to figure out what works specifically for you. There are many paths to healing, and in sessions, we can work together and draw from a variety of approaches to uncover what it is that you need to feel healthy, happy and whole.
I thought I made peace with this years ago, but suddenly old feelings are resurfacing
Trauma is incredibly nuanced and can live in the body through cellular memory until it is properly resolved. Triggers can come up at the most unlikely times and literally make us feel like we've been knocked over. And, when that happens, it's an indication that it's time to seek help. Trauma therapy sessions are a safe place for you to talk about what is coming up now and explore why.
You Can Feel Empowered, Vibrant And Whole
If you're in the Hamptons, North Fork, South Fork, or surrounding areas and are looking to embark on a path of self-discovery, growth, and healing, I invite you to call my office at 212-888-2888 for a free phone consultation. I'm happy to discuss your specific needs and answer any questions you have about sexual abuse therapy and my practice.