It is no secret that childhood sexual abuse can have a devastating impact on a young person’s healthy development. However, many people do not realize the degree to which adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse can continue to struggle with the psychological impact of this trauma.
Whether or not an individual received professional help in the immediate aftermath of the abuse, he or she may still be dealing with unresolved trauma or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) years or even decades into adulthood.
The effects of trauma or PTSD can impact an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse in a myriad of ways, including, but by no means limited to, the following:
- Problems forming and maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships
- Substance abuse and addiction
- Insomnia, vivid nightmares, and other sleep problems
- Symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders
If you are adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse, please know that you are not alone and that help is available.
At The Refuge, A Healing Place, we specialize in helping adult men and women whose lives have been impacted by trauma, including childhood sexual abuse. Our experienced and compassionate treatment professionals are uniquely prepared to help you finally experience true healing from the trauma that you experienced in your childhood.
Signs and Symptoms Experienced by Adults Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse may struggle with a wide range of psychological and behavioral symptoms, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Low self-esteem
- Immaturity and regression
- Decreased physical heath
- Digestive and gastrointestinal distress
- Sleep disruptions
- Memory problems
- Dramatic mood swings
- Substance abuse
- Inappropriate sexual behavior
- Sexual promiscuity or refusal
Some of these symptoms may become evident in the immediate aftermath of the sexual assault, while others may not occur until years later.
In order to experience true healing, it is important that you receive treatment at a program that will recognize and address your symptoms in the context of unresolved trauma or PTSD related to childhood sexual abuse.
Treatment at Our Center for Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
At The Refuge, A Healing Place, we are dedicated to providing you with the compassion, guidance, and care that you need in order to finally achieve true healing as an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse.
During your time in our rehab center, you will work in close collaboration with teams of compassionate professionals to restore your hope and help you regain control over your life.
Your personalized care plan will incorporate empirically supported trauma treatments that have been specifically selected for their ability to meet your unique needs. Depending upon those needs, you may benefit from the following techniques and services:
Interpersonal therapy (IPT) can help you repair damaged relationships and reconstruct healthier roles. The strategies you will learn will help you to restore your social network and strengthen bonds with loved ones.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you learn to replace negative thoughts related to your abuse experiences, especially those related to shame, guilt, or self-blame. When you can replace your negative thoughts to see the world in a realistic manner, you will also gain control over your thoughts and the way they impact your emotions and behaviors.
Dialectic behavior therapy (DBT) incorporates treatments from behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and CBT, and can help you learn to balance acceptance of past events with factors you can change in positive ways. We help you discover your inner strengths to help stabilize your emotional experiences.
Intensive family therapy, including our dynamic Family Week, will help you to develop healthier and more productive relationships with the members of your personal support network. These services will also help your loved ones to learn more about how they can best support you as you continue to recover from childhood sexual abuse.
At our adult rehab center, we incorporate a variety of experiential treatment opportunities into the services that we provide to adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Depending upon your specific strengths, needs, and goals, your time in our care may include the following experiential activities:
- Art therapy
- Creative expression
- Dramatic experiencing
- Ropes courses
- Equine therapy
- Somatic experiencing
Continuing Care – What Comes Next?
As we have noted in previous sections of this page, our goal is to provide you with comprehensive services in a personalized manner to ensure that you have the breadth and depth of support that will enable you to achieve true and lasting healing.
At The Refuge, A Healing Place, we realize that your time on our campus will be just one step along your path of recovery. From the day you enter our residential treatment program, we will begin to prepare a thorough plan to guide your continued progress after you have returned home or transitioned to another level of care.
Many adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse choose to participate in step-down levels of care following their completion of residential programming at The Refuge. If you can benefit from such services, our partial hospitalization program (PHP) may be the optimal option for you.
Our PHP services provide you with ongoing structured support during the day, while allowing you to return home or to an alternative residence in the evening. While in PHP, you can begin to take the important first steps towards re-establishing a healthy independent lifestyle, while still engaging in personalized therapeutic services to help you process your experiences, address any concerns or setbacks that may arise, and continue to prepare for long-term success.
If you can benefit from step-down services that are not offered at The Refuge, or if you need to access care in a different geographical area, we will incorporate referrals to such services into your comprehensive discharge plan.
Throughout your time in our care, we will continue to revise and update your discharge plan so that it best reflects the progress you have made with us, and identifies the support services that will help you to achieve and maintain the healthier and happier future that you deserve.
To learn more about the many beneficial services that we provide to adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, or for answers to any questions that you may have about any aspect of treatment at The Refuge, A Healing Place, please feel free to contact us at your convenience. A friendly and knowledgeable member of our team is available to speak with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We look forward to providing you with the details you need to make the most informed decision for yourself or on behalf of a loved one.