Carol Boulware, MFT, Ph.D.
Los Angeles - Santa Monica & Redondo Beach, California
Los Angeles psychotherapist helps with depression, anxiety, panic, stress, anger, sexual problems, sex therapy, communication problems, marriage / relationship difficulties, co-dependency, and adults emotionally, physically or sexually abused as children. Over 20 years counseling & psychology experience. EMDR Certified Therapist-Level II.
Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
What Is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse represents any kind of sexual contact between an adult or older teen and a child. This behavior is used to gain power over the child and often involves a betrayal of the child's trust.
There are many types of sexual abuse, some include physical contact or touching offenses. This includes fondling, touching sexual organs, masturbation, making the child touch the adult sexually, and vaginal or anal penetration with self or objects. Non touching offenses include exposing a child to pornographic material, indecent exposure, leering and deliberately putting the child in the position of having to witness an act of sexual intercourse.
What Kind Of Person Would Victimize A Child?
People who sexually abuse suffer from emotional immaturity, low self-esteem, an inability to see harm in their actions and lack the knowledge to control their impulses. Often the offenders were victims of child sexual abuse themselves. Many abusers are not strangers, they are often people of position or power in our lives, such as, teachers, doctors, baby-sitters, neighbors, parents, peers, siblings, relatives and clergy.
How Common Is Child Sexual Abuse?
Studies suggest that about 10% of children under the age of 18 are sexually abused. By gender, about 11-14% of girls and 4-5% of boys under the age of 18 have been sexually abused. However, these averages are considered conservative since many occurrences of sexual abuse are never reported.
Was I Sexually Abused?
Pay attention to your feelings and follow your gut. A lot of victims of sexual abuse tend to block out memories they have of the incident only to be triggered by painful reminders: specific sounds, smells, words and facial expressions. If you suspect that you were sexually abused, you probably were. Trust you feelings and memories.
What Are The Affects Of Sexual Abuse?
Being in your body
What Problems are Caused by Sexual Abuse?
Major Sexual Symptoms of Sexual Abuse
Major Long-Term Medical Symptoms of Sexual Abuse
Major Long-Term Psychological Symptoms of Sexual Abuse
Why Do I Have To Deal With It Now, If It Happened Back Then?
There are many reasons why children do not deal with the abuse at the time of the incident: unconscious feelings of shame, disbelief, self blame. Abusers may also threaten or bribe children into not speaking up, convincing the child that it is indeed their fault, and that they will never be believed otherwise. These tactics are used to silence the child. Under no circumstances, is the child to blame for the abuse. Although, if the abuse is not dealt with in a therapeutic and healing setting, the effects of past abuse will remain and undermine the victim for years to come.
Does It Get Better?
The worst part, the abuse, is over. Now your next step is to surround yourself with supportive loving people, and focus on the desire you have to heal yourself. This is your process. You must be gentle and patient with yourself as your healing process gently unfolds. You are giving yourself the gift of coming to life, again.
You are not alone, and in fact, in recognizing what has happened to you and speaking about your experience is one of the most vital components in the healing process. You have already taken a giant step. If you think that you have been a victim of sexual abuse, you need to take action immediately so your life will not be undermined by the past one day more. Get help.
EMDR Therapy Offers New Hope!
Patients who have suffered for years from anxiety or distressing memories, nightmares, insomnia from sexual abuse or other traumatic events can now gain relief from a revolutionary new therapy called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing).
Research shows that EMDR is rapid, safe and effective. EMDR does not involve the use of drugs or hypnosis. It is a simple, non-invasive patient-therapist collaboration in which healing can happen effectively.
This powerful short-term therapy is highly effective for a wide range of disorders including recovery from sexual abuse, rape and traumatic incidents, depression, panic attacks, phobias, eating disorders and poor self-image, stress, worry.
Many patients who have made slow progress in the past, or who have not benefited from more traditional therapies say that with EMDR they have finally found something that works for them!
For information about making an In-Office Consultation Appointment or
CALL (310) 395-3351
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Copyright ©1998 - 2006 Carol Boulware, Ph.D.
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