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SEXUAL TRAUMA

Healing and Recovery

Sexual trauma in widespread form of violence that impacts more women, men and children than is commonly understood. In the US, more than 1 in 3 women and almost 1 in 4 men have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime according to the Centers for Disease Control. Far too many lives have been impacted and too much suffering occurs.

Many survivors will develop Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, while others develop a wide variety of concerns including anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, addiction (substances, online shopping, gambling, relationship codependency), and the list goes on. These are human responses to events that are overwhelming, terrifying and confusing and human attempts to cope with the overwhelming emotional pain and should never be judged.

My experience includes nine and a half years as a therapist at the UCLA Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center. First as an on-call counselor, I provided emergency response and crisis intervention in the immediate aftermath of sexual trauma and then as a psychotherapist helping survivors heal from the aftermath of their experience. With extensive training, supervision, and clinical practice, I learned the best practices of trauma treatment and the unique elements of helping sexual trauma survivors heal and thrive in their lives.

From my extensive experience working with survivors of sexual trauma, I have come to see how lonely the healing process can be. Survivors often feel alone and isolated, confused, and deeply in pain. Many worry they are “over reacting” or compare their circumstances to those of others who they think are worse off. Many believe they will never feel better. I walk with patients down a healing path, so to speak, which collaboratively addresses the painful emotions, difficult “symptoms,” and ways that people have unsuccessfully tried to cope. I take seriously my role as an ally and witness in the healing process, while working with clients to heal through specific therapy techniques including EMDR, somatic therapy, mindfulness, and cognitive interventions.