The emotional aftermath of sexual abuse is painful and can be long-term. Survivors can benefit greatly from counseling, but they may be reluctant to seek professional help.
The following are some ways you might respond to a sexual abuse survivor's concerns about counseling.
|Sexual Abuse Survivor||Supportive Friend/Family Member|
|"So you think I'm crazy?"||"Not at all. I think you are hurting--that's normal because sexual assault is very traumatic. Counseling would help you begin healing emotionally."|
|"But I already spoke with an advocate the night of thecrisis intervention, because it continues over a longer assault."||"I'm glad you did. But, counseling is different from period of time."|
|"I just want to put this behind me and get on with my life."||"I know you do. Unfortunately, even if you try your best to block it out, I think this will continue to upset you. I Care about you and want you to have lots of support."|
|"Shouldn't I be over this by now?"||"Please don’t give yourself a deadline. You will heal, but it will take time.”|
|"What happens during a counseling session?||"A counselor is someone who will help you identify andexpress your feelings. He/she can help you gain important insights, help you recover from trauma and ask for what you need from your support people.|
|"I wouldn't know where to start."||""There's no one "correct" starting place when talking to a counselor. Your feelings may be unclear to you at first. Just start wherever you feel comfortable."|
|"I can't afford it."||"Seeing a counselor at the UNI Counseling Center for individual and/or group counseling sessions is free because you are a student.|
|"Will my parents find out I'm going there?"||"No. The fact that you have sought counseling and everything that you share during your appointments is confidential."|
|"How long would I see the counselor?"||"That's something that you would decide jointly with your counselor based upon your progress.|