Surviving & Thriving: Healing Sexual Trauma
To learn more about this ongoing weekly psychotherapy group for survivors check out my Surviving and Thriving Group page.
If you are a survivor of assault, sexual assault, sexual abuse, rape, or incest I understand it may be difficult to reach out for help. Clients seldom tell me in an initial intake or first session that they are survivors, although I usually sense if this is the case. Often individuals have buried the memory deep inside because they have not had the resources available to safely process the violation/s and begin to heal. As a trained therapist working with survivors in San Francisco, it is important to me that you help determine when you are ready to begin working with the trauma, that you help to set the pace, and most importantly that you feel safe enough for healing to take place.
All sexual trauma involves violation, a rupture of personal, emotional, sexual, and energetic boundaries. Whether you experienced sexual violence recently or many years ago you may not realize that the symptoms and issues you're struggling with now are related to the traumatic event. Symptoms of sexual assault may be psychological, emotional, and physical, and can include but are not limited to the following:
Depression, Anxiety, and Social Anxiety
A sense of being frozen or shut down
Unexplained feelings of shame or guilt
Overwhelming emotions such as rage, hate, and terror
Difficulty forming deep, sustaining relationships
Feelings of disconnection and extreme isolation
I am a Somatically trained psychotherapist, this is significant when it comes to working with sexual violations and the resulting trauma which robs us of our body sense. Healing trauma is primarily a bodily or biological process frequently accompanied by psychological effects. This is especially true when the trauma involved betrayal by someone we trusted, or someone who was supposed to protect us. Successful healing of these unseen yet deeply felt wounds involves using methods that establish a connection to our body.
As with the symptoms, the length of time and the process of recovery is different for each individual. A gentle and gradual approach is important so that ones nervous system is not overwhelmed. Again, this is something that you will help to determine.
Sexual trauma can rob us of so much: our health, vitality, our ability to feel in connection with others, and to feel safe in our own skin. I am here to help you deal with the challenges you may be facing, to reclaim lost resources, to gain greater self-agency, and to grow the future you desire for yourself.
Resources for Survivors:
Trauma and rape treatment www.traumarecoverycenter.org For adult survivors of trauma, violence and loss 415.437.3000
Woman Against Rape www.SFWAR.org 415.647.7273____24 Hour Line
St James Infirmary - healthcare and social services for current or former Sex Workers www.stjamesinfirmary.org 415.554.8494 Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network www.rainn.org 1.800.656.HOPE____National Sexual Assault 24 Hour Hotline 1.800.656.4673
Domestic Violence/ Interpersonal Violence, W.O.M.A.N. Inc. www.womaninc.org
877.384.3578____24 Hour Line
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1.800.273.8255____24 Hour Line
Male Survivor www.malesurvivor.org Overcoming Sexual Victimization of Boys & Men
Community United Against Violence LGBT services www.cuav.org
Statewide California Coalition for Battered Women www.sccbw.org
California Coalition Against Sexual Assault www.calcasa.org
Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board www.boc.ca.gov
Office for Victims of Crime www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc
National Center for Victims of Crime www.victimsofcrime.org
Resource and Advocacy Organization 202.467.8700