Counseling is crucial for survivors of sexual trauma and emotional abuse and it is an important step in helping people process emotions from abuse. Unfortunately, many victims of sexual abuse avoid help for years, and many may never get help. The therapeutic steps offered during counseling help survivors of trauma handle the painful emotions that may surface at any point during their lives.
Participation in a Shelter from the Storm© support group is not a replacement for professional counseling. Most sexual abuse victims experience profound emotional problems. They become easy targets for Gaslighters and other Perpetrators that pride themselves on victimizing others. In our opinion, all sexual abuse survivors and survivors of gaslighting could benefit from professional care. Since sexual abuse is the most personal and damaging form of betrayal, recovery from sexual abuse can be the most intense and emotionally challenging form of recovery. Survivors of sexual abuse often struggle with powerful issues such as shame, thoughts of suicide, addictions, and even dissociation. Additionally, gaslighting is an extreme case of abuse. According to Robin Stern, PhD, "the danger of letting go of your reality is pretty extreme." Gaslighting can happen in personal relationships, by bosses, and even by public figures.
For these reasons, it is strongly recommended that participants begin the recovery process with a professional evaluation. Subsequently, they are required to connect with a professional counselor on a weekly basis. This person should be trained in working with survivors of sexual abuse and emotional abuse to monitor the participants progress while participating in the sexual abuse recovery group.
PATCH, Inc. will provide you with a network of professional counseling centers if you have not already connected with a professional counselor.