Intrafamilial Sexual and Physical Abuse

Sometimes it seems as though every day we read in the news about some form of emotional, verbal, sexual and/or physical abuse. Sometimes the abuse has been active and sometimes it has been passive (neglect). But reading about it is not the same as knowing that it is happening in our homes or next door. Often we are afraid to talk about the times when it is happening to us or to others. We may be told by the person doing it or by others that it will never happen again and that things will be different. Each time, though, things are the same. We might have told people (parents, doctors, teachers) and they did not believe us, or we might have kept it inside-sometimes for years.

  • Experiences like these can lead to many symptoms that include these and others:
  • Lack of trust (since those closest to us hurt us, we are unable to trust others around us now)
  • Relationship difficulties (not knowing what is healthy in a relationship)
  • Continuing negative feelings (guilt, self-blame, feeling worthless or damaged-we were told so many times that we were no good that we now believe this)
  • Intrusive experiences (nightmares, insomnia, flashbacks)
  • Sensitivity to things that cause us to think or be reminded of the abuse (objects, places, smells)
  • Trouble regulating emotions (feeling like we are on an emotional roller coaster)

Treatment is a complex process. It begins with a call. Psychological HealthCare offers several modalities of psychological treatment that have demonstrated positive benefits for victims of abuse. These include individual psychotherapy, group-based psychotherapy, and treatments that may involve the entire family.