Sexual abuse can take on many forms: incest, child sexual abuse, stranger, acquaintance or partner rape, sexual exploitation by helping professionals, sexual harassment and others.
It is estimated that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men will be sexually victimized at some point in their lifetime.
The effects of sexual abuse are not only psychological and emotional. A survivor’s ability to enjoy sex and form healthy intimate relationships can also be impaired by these experiences.
Sexual abuse can affect how you feel about sex, your sexual self and your partners. It can interfere with your ability to experience sex in a positive way and keep you from meeting your needs for intimacy and closeness.
If you’re a survivor of sexual abuse, you may be experiencing some of the following sexual symptoms:
- You avoid, fear or lack interest in sex;
- You experience disturbing emotions, physical sensations, thoughts or images during sex;
- Certain forms of touch or specific sexual acts trigger feelings of disgust, shame, guilt or anger;
- Becoming sexually aroused or reaching orgasm is difficult for you;
- You can’t relax during sex because your guard is always up;
- You feel numb or not present during sex;
- You find yourself engaging in unhealthy or compulsive sexual behaviors.
If you’re a male survivor, it may be difficult to reach out and seek help because you’re afraid of being blamed or ridiculed for the abuse. You may also have concerns about your sexual orientation and feel confused about the fact that you became sexually aroused during the assault.
If you’re in a relationship, your spouse may be the one who is hurting most from the lack of physical intimacy between you. It is common for partners to feel rejected, sexually inadequate or frustrated as they struggle to find ways to resolve the sexual issues that are keeping you from enjoying a rich and satisfying sex life together.
My sex therapy services are for male and female survivors and their partners who want to free themselves from the effects of sexual abuse and improve their sex and intimacy experiences. With my help and guidance, you can overcome the harm that’s been done to you and discover that sex can be a safe, healthy and pleasurable experience.
Sex therapy will help you:
- Deepen your understanding of how sexual abuse has affected your sexuality and intimate relationships;
- Modify attitudes and behaviors that are keeping you from wanting and enjoying sex;
- Learn how to manage unwanted feelings and reactions so they no longer interfere with your enjoyment of sex;
- Set the right conditions so you can feel safe and relaxed during sex;
- Stop negative sexual behavior and develop healthy ways to engage sexually with others.
Our work together can take place during individual or couples therapy sessions, whatever you’re most comfortable with.