This paper reports preliminary data on a sample of therapists with memory of childhood sexual abuse. Therapists who reported experiencing childhood sexual abuse (CSA, n = 131) were compared with therapists who suspected sexual abuse but had no memories (n = 24) on variables related to abuse characteristics, outcomes, and perceived difficulties working with clients with a CSA history. Therapists who suspected abuse, in contrast to those who made definite reports, were more likely to report that the perpetrator was a family member, that their CSA did not involve physical contact, that there was alcoholism in their families of origin, and that the CSA had negative effects on their relationships with their own children, ability to trust others, sexual satisfaction, and work life. Therapists who suspected abuse also reported more difficulty treating CSA clients because of interpersonal pulls during sessions, arousal without memories of abuse, and some countertransferential behaviors. These findings indicate that issues related to personal trauma should be addressed during training and practice.
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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