Therapy for Sexual Assault Survivors—Counseling in Beverly Hills, MI
#metoo is a short hashtag, but it means so much to so many people. A number of high-profile celebrities spoke up about sexual violence, but most people who participated in the social media movement were ordinary, regular people. The movement showed how sexual violence is a far too common occurrence. Whether it is rape, sexual assault, or sexual harassment, it is often a traumatic experience. Along with highlight the problem, the movement has also shown a way for healing. More and more, survivors are learning important truths like… the violence was not your fault… you did not provoke it or deserve it… healing is hard, but it is possible. More and more, survivors are being connected to the resources they need to recovery from the assault—physically and emotionally. One of those resources is often counseling. Skilled therapists can often help people who have survived sexual violence process what has happened to them and find the healing they need and deserve.
“I can be changed by what happens to me,
but I refuse to be reduced by it.”
— Maya Angelou
If you have been sexually assaulted, raped, or sexually harassed, know that it was not your fault. Know that what happened to you does not define you. Know that help is available. Thriveworks Beverly Hills has worked with many survivors of sexual violence, and we are ready to work with you.
Injuries from Sexual Violence
Sexual violence is a particularly difficult kind of violence. It can leave behind a number of injuries that are both visible and invisible. Not all wounds bruise and bleed, but some do. Sexual violence is often a violating experience that is both physical and emotional. It can leave people traumatized. Each instance of sexual violence is different, and each individual will respond in their own way. However, when victims share about the injuries they sustained during the violence, they often speak about similar themes. Here are just a few of the psychological/emotional and physical injuries people may sustain during an act of sexual violence.
- Psychological and Emotional Injuries. Sexual violence can harm an individual’s body but also their soul. Many victims describe the psychological and emotional impact of surviving rape, sexual assault, and more. They often describe feeling great shame and feeling worthless—as an object to be used instead of as a person to be valued. Survivors may experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and its symptoms such as flashbacks, hyper-vigilance, the inability to relax, nightmares, distorted beliefs, panic attacks, and more. Survivors often have difficulty sleeping and eating. They may develop a depressive disorder or an eating disorder. Self-harm and suicide ideation are also common wounds that survivors of sexual assault experience.
- Physical Injuries. It is not uncommon for victims of sexual assault to sustain physical injuries as well. The assault may leave them with cuts, bruises, broken bones, and other physical ailments. Survivors may also be exposed to sexually transmitted diseases, or they may become impregnated.
Finding Safety: Healing from Sexual Violence
One of the more difficult aspects of sexual violence can be the deep shame it often piles upon a victim. This shame often shows up in the form of lies that swirl around a victim’s head, lies such as… you provoked it and you deserved it… you could have stopped it if you had done something differently… you are not tainted… it was your fault… you cannot speak about what happened to you. These lies can keep people stuck in the violence. Healing often requires people to come to a place where they know and feel the truth, truth such as… it was not your fault… you did not provoke it or deserve it… there was nothing you could have done… you are brave and strong and kind. Survivors of sexual violence did not deserve what happened to them. They deserve healing and safety. Often, survivors find these through working with a therapist.
Sexual violence can take many different forms, and each individual’s experiences will be unique in terms of the trauma they experience and also in terms of their healing journey. Skilled therapists can often guide people toward the right healing path for them. Survivors do not need generic treatment, but they need someone to attend to their unique injuries. Experienced mental health professionals can do just that. Here are a few tips for finding a counselor for your unique needs…
- When calling to get more information about a specific therapists, ask about their past experiences working with victims of sexual violence. How long have they helped people recover from sexual assault? What therapeutic methods do they use? What do those methods entail? Medical doctors have specialties, and so do mental health professionals. It is reasonable to expect your therapist to have training and experience in helping victims of sexual violence.
- If you decide to schedule an appointment, know that the rapport between you and the therapist is important. Therapy itself may be hard work, but you should feel safe and comfortable in the process. It is ok to switch therapists if you do not feel safe with an individual.
Appointments for Sexual Assault Victims at Thriveworks Beverly Hills
If you have survived sexual violence and are ready to meet with a counselor, know that Thriveworks Beverly Hills is ready to walk with you as you heal. We offer evening and weekend appointment, and we accept many different insurance plans. New clients often have their first appointment within 24 hours of their first call. Let’s get started. Call today.