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Counselling for Sexual Trauma

The effects of sexual trauma can be devastating with lifelong consequences. We want to help you find peace.

Sexual trauma may result from abuse, rape, molestation, incest, or other forms of non-consensual sexual contact. Even long after the event has occurred, survivors of sexual trauma can experience lasting symptoms. 

 

Many people live with the effects of sexual trauma for years before seeking help. It is common for many survivors to also have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, attachment issues, and addiction. 


If you were exposed to sexual trauma, book a consultation with one of our mental health specialists who can help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

 

What Does Sexual Trauma Feel Like?

Sexual trauma is an extreme form of violation that can shake a person’s sense of safety and well-being. It is common for people who have experienced sexual trauma to experience symptoms such as:

 

  • Avoidance of people, places, or activities that remind you of the trauma

  • Emotional detachment 

  • Panic attacks

  • Outbursts of anger, irritability, or distress

  • Flashbacks

  • Difficulty engaging in healthy sexual activity

  • Nightmares

  • Depression 

  • Thoughts of suicide

  • Low self-esteem or self-loathing 

  • Substance abuse to dull pain

  • Escaping (TV, video games, daydreams)

 

After living through trauma, it is common to experience changes in behaviour. Some people may become more isolated and withdrawn and others may engage in more risk-taking behaviour. Healing from sexual trauma can take a long time but therapy can help you to effectively rebuild your sense of safety, self-worth, and control.

Types of Sexual Trauma

Certain types of sexual trauma are violent or extreme in nature but others may be more subtle. The following are experiences commonly associated with sexual trauma:

  • Rape

  • Child molestation

  • Exposure to sexually explicit materials

  • Sexual harassment in the workplace or classroom

  • Unwanted or unwelcome touching or advances

  • Persistent abusive sexual banter

  • Abusive or violent consensual sexual activity

  • Violation of personal privacy

 

It is common for survivors of sexual trauma to feel guilt about what happened to them. If you have been used by another person for sexual gratification without your consent, you are a victim. 


Experiencing healthy sexual encounters may be difficult as a survivor of sexual trauma. Even meaningful and consensual relationships can trigger anxiety or panic related to the traumatic event you endured. This can be terrifying and make you feel broken. You are not broken and you can find healing through counselling.

 

How is Sexual Trauma Treated?

Sexual trauma can be treated with counselling and in some cases, people may supplement counselling with medications. There are also lifestyle changes that can be made to support your recovery.

Counselling & Therapy for Sexual Trauma 

Your therapist will use techniques to help you cope with feelings of guilt and shame that often accompany sexual trauma. Throughout therapy sessions, you will learn how to reframe difficult thoughts and feelings in a way that can allow you to heal and feel more empowered. 

 

Many people experience flashbacks and difficult memories associated with their trauma. Your therapist will use techniques such as emotional freedom technique (EFT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and relaxation exercises that will allow you to better prepare and cope with difficult memories. These tools can help you regain a sense of power and control over your life. 

 

Ultimately, the goal of therapy will be to support you as you reconnect with your body and feelings. You will learn to manage your pain in healthy ways which will ultimately reduce the emotional turmoil you feel. Your therapist will help you identify which coping mechanisms are best for your symptoms and teach you how to implement them in a way that sets you on a path of healing. 

 

Sexual Trauma can make it difficult to trust the world around you. Working with a therapist is the best way to learn how to manage difficult thoughts, heal traumatic wounds, and regain the feeling that you are whole and safe. 


Reach out today to book a session with one of our therapists and let a trained professional help you navigate your symptoms and achieve control over your life.

Counselling for Sexual Trauma in Vaughan, Woodbridge & Greater Toronto Area

We are the largest counselling service provider in the Vaughan and Woodbridge area with over 15 years of experience helping people work through trauma. If you have experienced sexual trauma, our team of therapists specializes in helping clients identify the roots of their struggles and learn effective tools for overcoming them. We offer cutting edge counselling and coaching to individuals, families, and couples.

 

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© Life in Harmony at Vaughan Counselling Center 2020