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Problems Related to Child Abuse

“Out of suffering emerge the strongest of souls.” ~ Kahlil Gibhran

Problems Related to Child Abuse

Therapy for problems resulting from child abuse is available for adult survivors of childhood sexual and physical abuse. Child abuse is a deeply hurtful and potentially damaging experience. The harmful aftereffects can influence the life of an abuse survivor for years and decades after its occurrence. The coping methods required to handle the abuse can, later on, interfere with the ability to develop a satisfying lifestyle. Also, the relational patterns set up in childhood, in response to the trauma, can interfere with success in present-day relationships.

Effective treatment addresses both symptoms and relational difficulties that are a result of the traumatic stresses. Some of the difficulties that treatment can effectively address are:

  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Intrusive thoughts, images, feelings, and nightmares related to the abuse.
  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • Difficulty tolerating feelings and/or conflicts.
  • A pattern of out of control and self-injurious behavior.
  • Intense self-blame and feelings of worthlessness.
  • Relational difficulties.
  • Dissociative experiences (see Problems with Dissociation).

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Problems with Dissociation

The term dissociation refers to a range of experiences related to helping someone cope with overwhelmingly painful and stressful situations, allowing someone to escape from or block out the resulting distress. Dissociative experiences are common among those coping with sexual and physical abuse. It is not uncommon for abuse survivors to view these experiences as bizarre, resulting in hesitancy to discuss these experiences.

Examples of dissociation include:

  • Extensive forgetting and significant gaps in memory unable to be explained by “normal” forgetfulness.
  • Feeling of being unreal or robot like.
  • Sense of detachment from your emotions.
  • Sense that what is happening is not real.
  • Confusion about one’s identity.
  • Feeling as if there are different people within oneself who influence your mood and behavior.

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For more information about traumatic stress therapy contact me today at (585) 262-4070 for a free 20 minute phone consultation.


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