• Healing from sexual abuse often requires dedicated effort and time, but at Thriveworks, clients receive professional support throughout their recovery process.
  • Trauma-informed counseling services for sexual abuse offer relief and a faster recovery compared to navigating it alone.
  • Sexual abuse encompasses unwanted sexual contact, occurring once or chronically, and requires professional counseling for healing, which can take years.
  • Various forms of sexual abuse include rape, sexual assault, incest, and others, leading to harmful emotional and psychological impacts.
  • Recovery from sexual and emotional abuse involves personalized counseling approaches, medication management, and building supportive networks, facilitated by Thriveworks’ trained therapists specializing in trauma.

Whether it’s a one-time traumatic experience, or a multitude, healing from sexual abuse can take time and dedicated effort for many survivors. Thankfully, at Thriveworks, it’s an experience that clients don’t have to endure alone—because we offer professional support during your recovery process.

Sexual abuse support, through trauma-informed counseling services, can offer relief and a speedier recovery than going it alone. With this in mind, learn more in the article below about how we define sexual abuse, the different types, and how Thriveworks can help treat its effects.

What Is Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse is a form of abuse that involves, in its most simplistic form, unwanted contact of a sexual nature to its victims. Sexual abuse can happen once, or it can happen chronically over a long period. 

Sexual abuse can also take many different types of forms and severities and is often categorized as a traumatic experience for the victim. Sexual abuse is often something that requires professional counseling to heal and treatment can sometimes take many years to reach a full recovery. However, the recovery process is unique for everyone—and that’s ok.

What Are the Four Kinds of Sexual Victimization?

There are not 4 specific kinds of sexual victimization, as sexual victimization unfortunately takes many different forms though there are 4 common types/kinds of sexual victimization: 

These are not strictly defined or mutually exclusive categories and many forms of sexual victimization can overlap with each other. For example, rape is a form of sexual abuse. 

Sexual abuse tends to be an umbrella term while rape, for example, is a specific sexually abusive act.

Recognizing Different Forms of Sexual Abuse

There are many different forms of sexual abuse and while it’s impossible to recognize all of them, it’s important to identify many common forms such as:

  • Rape
  • sexual assault
  • incest
  • child sexual assault
  • indecent exposure
  • assault by penetration
  • unwanted digital solicitation (e.g. photos of genitals)
  • genital mutilation 

It’s important to note that often, unfortunately, survivors of sexual abuse will have endured more than one form of sexual abuse, whether, in the same instance or multiple episodes of abuse, which can make the recovery process longer. There are many harmful emotional and psychological impacts of sexual abuse. Many victims suffer from:

Further, this impact is dependent upon the level of the abuse event(s) and the access the survivor has to trauma-informed professional counseling services. 

How Do You Recover from Sexual and Emotional Abuse?

Recovering from sexual and emotional abuse at Thriveworks involves personalized counseling approaches, and sometimes assistance from a psychiatric nurse practitioner via medication management options.

Concerning therapeutic techniques, our therapists may use techniques like: 

Alongside therapy, building a supportive network, open communication, and engaging in healthy outlets are vital steps toward recovery. Trust in your therapist and the process is key as you navigate your path to healing.

The techniques above are techniques that can be invaluable for creating a personal narrative and focusing on the idea of reclaiming your personal power and personal narrative. Power and autonomy are commonly lost for survivors of abuse of any form.

Sexual Abuse Therapy Online

For those who are interested in our online therapy options, Thriveworks also offers the same healing and recovery opportunities in virtual sessions, as well. When selecting a therapist for our online therapy services (and all other forms of treatment) it’s important to make sure that your chosen provider has a background and training in the area that applies to you. 

In this case, sexual abuse recovery experience and trauma-informed care approaches could be most beneficial—and we make it easy to find the perfect provider with our personalized search results available here.

Thriveworks’ Approach to Healing and Recovery

Thriveworks offers a safe, secure environment for survivors of sexual abuse and assault to begin their healing journey with highly trained and well-equipped therapists. Thriveworks therapists focus on a combination of psychoeducational evidence-based approaches to healing and combine those with compassionate approaches. 

Many therapists at Thriveworks who work with survivors of sexual abuse will focus on giving survivors validation and knowledge to be able to identify what happened, tools to manage and regulate experienced emotions as a result, and strategies to continue to live a fulfilling life that has personal meaning.

Expert Counselors Specializing in Trauma

If you’re looking for a counselor who specializes in trauma, you might want to look for the following terms or words in our profiles listed for Thriveworks providers: 

  • EMDR-certified
  • PTSD/trauma specialist 
  • Veteran-focused 
  • Trauma-informed care
  • Domestic violence/sexual assault specialist/survivor

Providers who list working with any of these people groups or who have any of these certifications are likely to be equipped to help you process and begin to heal from your trauma event(s) and equip you with tools to build resiliency and effectively regulate moods and emotions. 

Tailored Therapeutic Techniques for Healing At Thriveworks

It’s important to also remember that during your professional counseling sessions, your therapist will tailor each specific session to meet your individual needs and will use each therapeutic intervention in an individualized way. If you notice your therapist is not doing this, it might be time to bring this up and/or look for another therapist. 

The most effective therapeutic techniques are those that are individualized to the client. That’s something we offer for every Thriveworks client, as we take great care to match you with a therapist or nurse practitioner who can fortify your strengths and help you incorporate new coping techniques and tools easily and effectively.

Disclaimer: The information on this page is not intended to replace assistance, diagnosis, or treatment from a clinical or medical professional. Readers are urged to seek professional help if they are struggling with a mental health condition or another health concern. 
If you’re in a crisis, do not use this site. Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 — they’re available 24/7 and operated by RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. Or, use these resources to get immediate help.