When someone experiences sexual trauma, it can greatly impact their life. Sexual trauma can affect one’s relationship with themselves and with others, including family members, friends, and intimate partners. This type of trauma can occur anytime in a person’s life, including during childhood, adolescence, or adulthood. However, no matter when it happens, this trauma can affect a person’s life long-term if it isn’t addressed therapeutically.
It is important to reach out and receive services for sexual trauma. Healing from this trauma can improve a person’s relationship with themselves and eventually heal relationships with others. When a person heals from sexual trauma, they can more easily develop healthy sexual habits and healthy relationships. At Roots Recovery, staff members are trained to help clients heal from their sexual traumas. This allows clients to develop a happier and healthier life moving forward.
What Is Sexual Trauma and How Does It Affect One’s Life?
Sexual trauma is when a person has effects from experiencing unwanted sexual contact or behavior by another person. Often this is referred to as sexual assault. This sexual advance can be from a stranger or someone close in a person’s life. This type of incident is fairly common. One in five women and one in 71 men are sexually assaulted at some point.
Often, those who have experienced sexual trauma develop trust issues. It’s common to feel unsafe, especially while alone. It is also common to develop a fear of sexual contact. Seeking help and guidance when coping with sexual trauma is extremely important. All experiences and feelings are valid.
Signs of Sexual Trauma
If someone has experienced sexual assault or trauma, these signs may present themselves:
- Disturbance in sleeping habits, including nightmares
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Digestive problems
- Intense premenstrual symptoms
- Non-epileptic seizures
- Uninvited thoughts or memories
- Having one’s guard up
- Severe trust issues
Effects and Outcomes of Sexual Trauma
Many people who experience sexual trauma have difficulty developing healthy relationships with others. This can be partially because of the effects and outcomes of sexual trauma, which include:
- Increased anxiety, anger, and fear
- Suicidal thoughts
- Relational issues due to trust issues
- Being easily distressed
- Loss of enjoyment and intimacy in sex
- Having multiple sexual partners
- Developing substance addiction problems
- Failing to maintain employment
- Avoiding intimate conversations or any conversation about sexual assault
- Having feelings of shame, fear, guilt, and anxiety at all times
Some clients may also develop mental health disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), from their sexual trauma.
Healing From Sexual Trauma
Sexual trauma should not be perceived as shameful. Recovering from this trauma can often be a painful process. However, it is vital to start the process no matter how long it takes. Healing from sexual trauma helps one regain self-control and a positive self-image. Exposing this trauma to the light can help people heal physically and psychologically.
Many centers have trauma-informed services, which are important in helping heal clients with sexual trauma, violence, or abuse. Coping with sexual trauma can involve emotion-focused coping, avoidant coping, approach coping, social support, understanding the abuse or assault, and self-directed spiritual coping.
Healing From Sexual Trauma at Roots Recovery
Roots Recovery takes a whole-person approach to healing and coping. This whole-person approach helps clients heal themselves internally, repairing the connection between the mind, body, and spirit. This is done through cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), eye movement and desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), spiritual exploration, mindfulness and meditation, and experiential groups such as drumming and art therapies. We also offer somatic experiencing, a body-based form of healing essential in addressing trauma.
A Whole-Person Approach
With our whole-person approach, clients learn to rebuild better relationships with themselves. This helps foster healthier relationships with others. For those with sexual trauma, this approach is significant to their journey. Building a positive relationship with oneself can be an emotional and challenging process. Fortunately, staff at Roots Recovery are trained to help guide and support people on that journey.
In group therapies, clients learn to express themselves nonverbally and gain emotional intelligence with the assistance of others in the group. Through this nonverbal communication and expression, clients gain a deeper understanding of themselves and how their trauma impacts them emotionally.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Sexual Trauma
Through traditional forms of individual therapy, such as CBT, clients verbally express their thoughts and feelings with a therapist to gather more knowledge about their trauma. With this knowledge, clients and their therapists focus on exploring relationships between the client and their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The client and therapist work to uncover unhealthy patterns of thought, connecting them to self-destructive behaviors and beliefs. Afterward, the client works to reconstruct their thinking patterns to produce healthier behaviors and beliefs.
For those with sexual trauma, CBT is beneficial. People come to understand their trauma better and how the trauma influences their lives, including their thoughts and behaviors. Through CBT and other services included in our whole-person approach, clients learn to develop a healthier relationship with themselves and the world around them.
Finding services to help cope with sexual trauma is essential. This help can be significant in repairing one’s life as a whole. At Roots Recovery, our whole-person approach to therapy and treatment can make a huge difference in helping people heal from their past and develop a rewarding life.
Here at Roots Recovery, we have trauma-informed and trained staff members who help clients heal from sexual trauma. Sexual trauma can greatly impact one’s life long-term, especially when not receiving help or services to heal from it. The whole-person approach at Roots Recovery helps people heal their relationship with themselves. By healing their connection between the mind, body, and soul, clients develop healthier habits of living and can repair relationships with others. Fostering healthy relationships with themselves and others encourages clients to heal from sexual trauma and develop a happier life without being bound by the restraints of sexual trauma. To learn more about the services offered with the whole-person approach at Roots Recovery, call (562) 473-0827.