CONFIDENTIAL AND AFFORDABLE… CALL US FOR AN APPOINTMENT. WE ARE HERE FOR YOU

I've Suffered Sexual Abuse: Can You Help?

 I've Suffered Sexual Abuse: Can You Help?

Sexual abuse has both physical and psychological consequences. When you've been sexually abused — whether you were a child or an adult — the scars remain with you throughout your lifetime.

In the United States, more than half of women and a third of men report having been sexually abused at some point in their lives. One in five women experienced a complete or attempted rape.  

One in three females and one in four males experienced a completed or attempted rape for the first time between the ages of 11 and 17. About 9.2% of children are sexually abused each year. 

You may have been abused by a family member, a teacher, a friend, or a lover. In every case, sexual abuse is a violation of your body and also of your psyche. It affects the way you feel physically, emotionally, and mentally. Sexual abuse can also have consequences such as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), pregnancy (for women), and physical trauma.

A history of sexual abuse may lead you to try to cope with your anger and distress in ways that are hurtful, rather than helpful. It isn’t uncommon for victims of sexual abuse to try to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs, or to engage in risky or impulsive behaviors.

Our team of experts at The Soho Center for Mental Health specialize in helping people of all ages, backgrounds, and genders recover from sexual abuse. At our offices in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York City, and through secure tele-therapy, we customize a treatment plan based on your unique history and needs.

Talk therapy

All sexual abuse is traumatic. But, with help and guidance, you can learn to process the trauma and find new ways of coping that allow you to feel safe in the world again.

Your treatment begins with an in-depth assessment from one of our caring and sensitive counselors. During this consultation, we learn more about you, the events surrounding the abuse or multiple episodes of abuse, and your physical and emotional symptoms.

We discuss how the abuse changed the way you feel about yourself and about the world around you. During a series of weekly sessions, you and your therapist explore your memories, emotions, and symptoms, and how they affect your everyday behaviors and choices. 

You may learn to reframe your thoughts and self-talk through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT teaches you to recognize negative thoughts and replace them with more helpful ones.

Over time, you learn to accept your emotions and make decisions about how to respond to them. You also learn new strategies for coping so that you aren’t at the mercy of your past experiences. 

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a type of CBT that’s especially effective for working through trauma, such as sexual abuse. With DBT, you learn new skills to manage painful emotions and memories. The four skill areas are:

Through DBT, you learn to change from an either-or black-and-white type of thinking to one that’s more balanced. The aim of DBT is to learn both to accept the past and the present and to make changes that benefit you now and in the future.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a unique therapeutic approach that alleviates the psychological distress of trauma through eight phases of treatment. Unlike talk therapies, EMDR is fast-acting. Up to 90% of people who’ve experienced a single trauma no longer have post-traumatic stress disorder after just three 90-minute EMDR sessions. 

With EMDR, you talk through the traumatic event. However, you make distinct eye movements while doing so. The eye movements signal your brain that you’re in a safe environment. The eye movement also coincides with movements your eyes make during rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep, the stage in which you dream and process memories.

Depending on your situation, you may benefit from one or all types of therapies to recover your sense of trust and safety again. Start on your journey toward recovery from sexual abuse by contacting our team for an in-depth consultation and customized treatment today. We’re also pleased to offer teletherapy via a secure online portal.




You Might Also Enjoy...

It's Time to Get Help for My PTSD: Where Do I Start?

If you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you’re caught in the nightmare of your past. Anything from a loud noise to a familiar face triggers an episode in which you relive your trauma. With help, you can leave the past behind you.

How to Treat Pica Eating Disorder

Pica is a rare eating disorder in which you crave and consume non-food items, such as paper, hair, dirt, and plaster. Pregnant women sometimes experience pica, but it’s most common among children. If your child has pica, what can you do?

Understanding the Different Types of Anxiety

Anxiety is a common mental health issue that comes in many forms and affects all ages, genders, and races. Just because anxiety’s common, it doesn’t mean you must tolerate it. You can learn to feel more comfortable, confident, and anxiety-free.

How Family Therapy Can Help with Caring for Elderly Members

Most people would prefer to age in place, surrounded by loving family members. But longer lives come at a cost to those family members, especially when the older loved one has a debilitating physical or mental illness. Family therapy helps you cope.

Understanding the Difference Between Grief and Depression

You lost someone or something you loved, either through death, break-up, or life change. You’re devastated. You can barely function. You cry all the time. Grief is a normal stage of dealing with loss, but if it persists, you may be depressed.

Treating Your Alcoholism with Group Therapy

If you struggle with alcoholism, you may also struggle to maintain positive relationships, leaving you feeling abandoned and hopeless. Group therapy helps break your addiction while it provides a supportive community for healing.