Child Stress and Trauma, Sexual Assault Counsellors

Child Stress and Trauma, Sexual Assault

Children today are exposed to much more trauma than we were twenty or thirty years ago, and that's why child trauma counselling is such an important tool to help them cope. Once off events, such as sexual abuse, domestic violence, bullying, life-threatening illnesses, natural disasters, or war can leave a child scarred for life.

Long-term exposure to poverty, verbal abuse or milder types of abuse are traumatic too, in fact that can be as devastating to a child as a single catastrophic event.

As with adults, every child has a different way of dealing with similar circumstances or events. Not every person who experiences the same event will become traumatized, but exposure to trauma can result in a variety of symptoms including nightmares, bedwetting, anxiety, depression, disdain for authority, poor grades, moodswings, substance abuse, and self-harm.

Both cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and a range of other therapies can be helpful in treating children who have been exposed to short term trauma. Therapists will usually work with the child on a one-on-one basis to help the child restructure negative thought patterns and self esteem (in the case of abuse, etc.) before calling in the family for family counselling. Family counselling is a great way for the family to find common ground, build problem-solving skills and to help the parents to re-establish themselves as the authority figures in the home.

If you are looking for a counsellor or psychologist with specialized traing in trauma counselling for children you may want to search the directory to find a professional whose approach will suit you best.

Sexual assault or abuse in childhood often causes psychological and emotional difficulties as the victim grows up. A child who is abused by a parent, is likely to suffer from severe anxiety, low self-esteem, uncontrollable anger, depression and intimacy issues. However, sexual assault is not limited to children, and it can harm an adult emotionally too.

Immediately after sexual assault, a person may not immediately experience pain or fear. They may even experience moments of pleasure, which can cause a lot of confusion and inner turmoil. They may feel betrayed if the abuser is a relative or acquaintance, but at the same time, feel guilty for reporting the sexual assault and getting the abuser in trouble. Abusers often lie to their victims, or reward them, and threats can deepen the emotional trauma.

A victim of sexual assault will often have trouble coping with relationships that are growing close, or with people physically touching them. When starting a relationship, memories will start to occur and they will cause trouble with intimacy in the relationship. Some people who have experienced sexual assault will become promiscuous, which can cause even more guilt.

It is essential for sexual assault survivors to receive counselling from a professional psychologist who is experienced in sexual assault. A therapist will help the victim to work through emotions and help clarify his or her choices. Working through the emotions of anger, guilt and shame will help to facilitate emotional healing. EMDR has been proven a very effective treatment for post traumatic stress disorder in sexual assault victims.

If you are looking for a counsellor or psychologist who offers sexual assault counselling to address your emotional healing issues you may want to search the directory to find a professional whose approach will suit you best.

Note: You may narrow your search by selecting more than one filter below.

Jill Parker

M.Ed., RSW
***Due to the Covid-19 circumstances I will be doing telephone and video counselling only.  I will resume in-person sessions when the situation settles down.  Thanks for your understanding.  Warm regards... Read more