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Trauma Counseling for Sexual Assault Victims

 

Several approaches to trauma counseling have proven effective for victims of sexual assault and other forms of violent crime. TF-CBT, unconditional positive regard, identifying negative feelings, and stress reduction techniques are just a few of them. The victim will also need to evaluate the social, cultural, and religious environment in which they live. Assess whether the culture of the victim’s community and environment encourages or discourages violence, and how much it respects women.

TF-CBT

TF-CBT is a model of psychotherapy incorporating the nonoffending caregiver into the therapy process. The child participates in parallel sessions with the therapist and the caregiver, while the therapist also works with the child to provide support and correct any distortions of the child’s understanding of the assault. It is designed to help children cope with the stress and anxiety associated with their traumatic experiences.

The treatment emphasizes the developmentally appropriate approach to therapy. In this approach, a child learns cognitive coping skills that help him or her handle trauma-related distress and emotional reactions. Exposure-based components of therapy involve the child discussing events surrounding the traumatic event. The trauma narrative is a method of gradually exposing the child to the assault or abuse experience. This helps reduce distress and resolve maladaptive cognitions.
Unconditional positive regard

In 1956, Carl Rogers developed the idea of unconditional positive regard, a concept that is now widely recognized as the foundation of therapy. As defined by Wikipedia, unconditional positive regard refers to accepting a person no matter what he or she does not do. It is not about evaluating, but about believing in the person’s inherent goodness and ability to heal. In our society, positive regard is a rare thing. Social media, our daily lives, and other factors have made it so.

This psychological approach is used for many reasons, including assisting clients with substance abuse. When a client tries to make changes in their behavior, they may feel judged by others. Unconditional positive regard aims to reassure clients that they are loved and deserve to be treated well. The therapist works with the client to accept and understand themselves. Unconditional positive regard can also be a powerful tool for therapists working with an assault victim.

Identifying negative feelings

Identifying negative feelings after an assault is a key step to healing from a traumatic event. Many survivors experience feelings of shame, guilt, confusion, and blame. Many blame themselves for what happened. Some experience flashbacks. People who are assaulted more than once are at higher risk for mental health problems. But by identifying these feelings and working to resolve them, survivors can begin the long road to recovery.

Psychological therapy may help victims cope with their physical and mental reactions to the assault. Cognitive therapy can help victims learn to identify and replace distressing thoughts and behaviors. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) can reduce the effects of trauma by allowing a person to tap his or her eyes or move them from side to side while they talk about their experience. Other forms of therapy may include supportive therapy, which helps clients make sense of their feelings and learn new skills to cope with their symptoms.

Stress reduction techniques

If you have been involved in an assault, you may want to learn stress reduction techniques. Trauma can disrupt our lives for a long time. Sometimes these reactions are triggered by people, places, or things that are associated with the assault. Other times they come out of nowhere. But, in addition to our physical reactions, our brains also respond to stress by exhibiting some common patterns of behavior. Learning to cope with these patterns can help you regain control of your life and move forward.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that focuses on changing thought patterns to reduce stress. Through cognitive therapy, individuals learn to identify their own behaviors and thoughts that contribute to stress and find new ways to cope with them. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) are examples of therapies that promote the practice of mindful awareness and meditation. These techniques may also be combined with traditional talk therapy.