Healing Sexual Trauma
what is sexual trauma?
Sexual trauma has been defined in myriad ways, inflected by different identities, time periods, cultures and political perspectives.
My definition is:
A felt sense of sexual boundary violation that persists long after the originating violation(s) occurred.
Sexual boundary violation can occur physically, emotionally or otherwise. It can take place in a personal context, a family context, an institutional, medical, political, cultural, spiritual or any other social context.
It cannot be qualified by other people’s opinions. It is a felt experience - like pain, joy, grief, relief - and you alone are the authority on what you feel.
What is your definition?
your healing journey
Any kind of traumatic violation involves a loss of autonomy and choice. • Healing trauma involves restoring autonomy and choice.
Particular to sexual trauma is a historically and culturally reinforced shroud of secrecy and shame that may isolate one from community acknowledgement, solidarity, support, connection and resources for healing. • Elements that contribute to healing include breaking the silence, receiving empathetic acknowledgment and support, and learning self-compassion and self-acceptance.
Coping responses to sexual trauma may include fragmenting and compartmentalizing aspects of the self, disassociating from a felt sense of the body, an avoidant or compulsive relationship to sex, denial or minimization of painful experiences, learned helplessness, a loss of trust in the self. • Healing may involve re-integrating parts of the self; re-embodiment of the felt senses; acknowledging, expressing, and releasing painful experiences; learning to assert needs and set boundaries; rebuilding trust in self.
Healing work is challenging, but many find that it is well worth the rewards. Benefits of doing this work may include: restoring fun and pleasure to your life, feeling more present and self-connected, forming healthier relationships with others, feeling more empowered in your work life, developing a relationship to sex that is guided by your authentic desires and choices.
Most important, healing is about honoring your voice, your choice, and your pace. You are not alone, but your healing path is uniquely your own.
curious about working with me?
Click below to set up a free 15-minute phone consultation and find out if working with me feels right for you. I look forward to hearing from you.