Therapy for Sexual Assault Survivors


“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”
– Carl Jung

You feel violated in an indescribable way and don’t even know how talking about it with a therapist could help.

If only things could go back to “normal”.

You feel like you’re all alone. After all, you don’t know who you can trust anymore.

You’ve tried to deal with your pain on your own, but the memories are so devastating that you can’t anymore.

You don’t want to think about being sexually assaulted, but you can’t stop. It keeps replaying in your mind over and over.

How do people often respond after sexual assault?

Regardless of when you were sexually assaulted, the pain you feel affects your mental health and overall wellbeing in a profound way. You may be experiencing some or many of the following:

Young, depressed woman holding her hair and looking distressed after sexual assault in Baltimore, MD 21210. Read for common symptoms of sexual assault and get treatment for sexual assault or therapy for sexual assault at New Connections Counseling Center.

Sexual assault can affect you for years after the abuse stops. Childhood sexual abuse and sexual assault as an adult can both affect your physical health and relationships. This violence is damaging to your body, your relationships, and your life as a whole. Fortunately, it does not have to control your life forever. Therapy can help you find peace.

Counseling for Sexual Assault Can Help You Find the Strength and Power to Take Back Control of Your Life

Talking about the time or times you were sexually assaulted is such a scary thing. Therefore, reaching out and contacting a therapist is often the hardest part of treatment. At our counseling center in Baltimore, MD we understand how hard it is to open up and tell someone what happened to you. So, when we meet, our first priority is to build trust. We start where you are and how you feel right now. Then, we will work together to build a step-by-step treatment plan that walks you through the process of treatment for sexual assault.

Our Compassionate Therapists are Trained to Help Survivors of Sexual Violence Heal

The first priority for our therapy team is to build trust with someone who has been dealing with sexual assault. Our therapists want to do the best we can for you. In order to support you after an assault, we help in the following ways:

Safety Immediately After an Assault

  • Encouraging any needed medical treatment
  • Helping weigh the pros/cons of reporting the assault
  • Ongoing support for victims/survivors though any legal decision-making process

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Sexual Assault

  • Exploring ways the trauma has impacted the survivor’s life
    • Who is safe? Where is it safe to go? What is an assault vs. what is normal sex?
  • Challenging the negative thoughts that many trauma survivors have after being sexually assaulted.
    • For example, most survivors believe the assault was their fault that keep survivors feeling ashamed and isolated
  • Understanding why you reacted the way you did during the assault and immediately after
  • Helping survivors develop healthy coping skills and how to manage PTSD symptoms
  • Understanding mental health symptoms happening as a result of being sexually abused or assaulted
    • Some symptoms such as cutting, dissociation, or alcohol abuse may have been what you did to survive the pain you feel from the memories of what happened to you.
  • Helping survivors develop empathy for who you were at the time of the assault and who you are now

Emotionally Focused Therapy After Rape and Sexual Violence

African american woman sitting hugging her knees ourside | therapy for sexual assault survivors | rape counseling | Baltimore, MDIt is very common to avoid thinking about a prior assault and even more common to avoid feeling the related emotions. We help clients re-connect with their emotions. Then, we help them slowly begin to talk about their negative feelings so they don’t become overwhelmed. In therapy, clients learn to “own” their feelings.

The longer you keep the pain yourself, the harder it is to make it go away.

Definitions of Terms Often Used to Discuss Sexual Assault

First, we want to make it clear that you get to define what has happened to you however you want to. We will not talk you into or out of any specific label on your trauma.

Often, people we speak with want to know what specific terms mean. Especially, when considering legal recourse or some other type of judicial process. So, here are a few of the most common terms used to discuss sexual assault and an informal definition of what they mean.

Sexual Assault

A broad term that refers to any unwanted sexual contact or attention achieved by force, threats, manipulation, deception, pressure, tricks, or violence.

Young hispanic woman looking at camera | date rape | acquaintance rape | therapy for sexual assault in Baltimore 21210

Rape

Some people define rape as forced intercourse (vaginal, anal and/or oral), without clear, freely given consent. Remember, a person who is intoxicated by alcohol or other drugs is legally incapable of giving consent.

Sometimes, people use terms like “date rape” and “acquaintance rape” to talk about what happened to them.

Effective Consent

Consent is informed, freely and actively given. This means that both partners understand and are willing to participate in sexual activity. Technically, a person cannot freely give consent if they felt pressured to have sex in any way. Therefore, if they were threatened or coerced to have sex with force, physical violence, or intimidation, they did not give consent.

How long will I be in therapy for sexual assault?

Some people are concerned that starting therapy means entering into a lifelong contract. That isn’t usually the case. The therapist doesn’t decide how long you need therapy, you get to decide. There is no timeline for recovering from sexual assault or abuse. But, you may be surprised to learn that therapy doesn’t have to go on for a long time. You may able to work with a therapist for a shorter amount of time and still learn new to heal from sexual assault. The most important part of trauma treatment is your comfort and healing. Together, we will determine a course of treatment that will meet your needs and stop seeing each other when you are ready.

Begin Therapy for Sexual Assault Survivors in Baltimore

If you have survived a sexual assault, it is never too early or too late to begin therapy. Our compassionate counselors are here to help you find strength and resiliency after experiencing trauma. To begin therapy at our counseling clinic in Baltimore, MD please follow these three steps:

  1. Contact us to schedule a free consultation call to discuss your needs,
  2. Meet with our caring therapists who are trained to help survivors of sexual assault,
  3. Begin to cope with the pain of the assault and finally regain control of your life.

Other Mental Health Services Offered at New Connections Counseling Center

Young professional Asian woman wearing headphones in the city of Baltimore, MD | Treatment for Sexual Assault | Therapy for Sexual Assault | Counseling | Mental health help 21210

In addition to treatment for sexual assault, our therapists offer a variety of other mental health & counseling services at our therapy office in Baltimore, MD. Ultimately, our goal is not only to help you feel better but help you live better. Therefore, our services include therapy for depression, treatment for anxiety, counseling for grief and loss, alcohol abuse treatment, therapy for college students, counseling for life transitionsindividual counseling for relationship issuestherapy for women, and therapy for men. Call today to learn more about the many ways we can help you live the life you want to live.



600 Wyndhurst Ave. Ste 307A
Baltimore, MD 21210

info@newconnectionscounselingcenter.com
410-801-9700

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