Abuse & Trauma
History of Repetitive Abuse or Neglect
Many people who were abused or neglected as children have a difficult time seeing themselves in a positive light and struggle to maintain healthy relationships as adults. If you were a victim of repetitive physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, or neglected as a child, you may be suffering from what is known as "complex trauma". It is considered complex because the abuse most likely occurred more than once, it may have progressed in severity over time, and the abuser/perpetrator may still be present in your life. These compounding factors make the abuse or neglect all the more traumatic.
How Therapy Can Help
Therapy may be the first time a victim has ever talked about the abuse or neglect they experienced. Therapy creates a sacred space that allows a victim of abuse or neglect to share their complete story with no fear of judgment or abandonment. Victims often discuss feelings of loneliness, shame, guilt, despair, and worthlessness, and are able to process and let go of these feelings. Through the use of cognitive behavioral therapy, negative thoughts about oneself are examined and transformed into truthful, positive thoughts. Relational skills are taught and practiced to improve interpersonal relationships, and relaxation techniques are learned to help manage difficult emotions when they do arise.
If you have experienced a highly traumatic event such as a threat to your life, a sexual assault, a tragic accident, a natural disaster, or witnessed any of the above happening to a loved one, it could result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Please see the PTSD section to further understand PTSD and find out how Rachel can help you recover.