Abuse in Childhood
The trauma, and loss and grief associated with childhood abuse and childhood sexual abuse can be immense. Childhood abuse can have far reaching effects throughout adult life, with the degree of difficulties experienced varying from one individual to another. If you were to answer yes to any of the following questions, then the additional information below may be useful to assess the effects of the abuse on your adult life. The assessment could assist you to determine whether psychological therapy could be of benefit to you.
- Have you experienced childhood abuse of a physical, emotional, psychological, or verbal nature?
- Have you experienced childhood sexual abuse where someone older or more powerful than you – either a family member, friend, acquaintance, or stranger – abused their power, betrayed your trust, and involved you in some form of sexual activity?
- Have you kept the childhood abuse – physical, emotional or sexual – a secret?
- Has someone close to you disclosed that they were sexually abused as a child or teenager? Are you finding it difficult dealing with your reactions?
As an adult, do you experience any of the following, which are the range of possible effects of childhood abuse:
- feel confused and overwhelmed by distressing and painful feelings such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks (which come on ‘out of the blue’), anger, fear, powerlessness, or suicidal thoughts?
- have difficulty in identifying what you feel, or managing the intensity of your feelings?
- feel detached from yourself, or numb and unable to express your emotions?
- have intrusive memories, nightmares, or flashbacks where you feel as though you are reliving the trauma, or having sleep difficulties?
- feel a sense of shame or guilt?
- have low self-esteem, feel worthless, think that you are a bad person, or feel bad about your body?
- fear confrontation?
- see the needs of others as more important than your own needs (due to not feeling worthy), seek to please, are “clingy” in relationships, or constantly seek approval from others?
- have a pattern of becoming involved with people who are abusive, depriving, or controlling?
- avoid closeness and/or intimacy?
- find it difficult to trust people, or find yourself repeatedly trusting the ‘wrong’ people?
- have difficulties with sex?
- feel confused about your sexuality?
- engage in self-harming behaviours, or use food, alcohol or drugs (or other addictive or compulsive behaviours), to ‘manage’ painful and distressing feelings and memories?
Psychological Treatment for Abuse in Childhood
As a Clinical Psychologist with extensive experience in working with the effects in adulthood of childhood abuse and childhood sexual abuse, I can assist you in your journey towards creating a more rewarding and happier life. I provide Psychological Therapy (a talking therapy also referred to as psychotherapy) in a safe, supportive and caring environment, utilising a range of evidence-based therapeutic interventions tailored to suit your specific needs. I use an integrative approach and draw on therapy models such as Cognitive-Behavioural, Trauma Focussed, Person-Centered, Humanistic, Psychodynamic, and Interpersonal (amongst others). A major focus of the therapy from the outset will be restoring your sense of safety and control, and building trust.
Benefits of Psychological Treatment for Abuse in Childhood
I can help you to:
- Gain a better understanding of why you behave in specific ways, make particular choices, hold particular beliefs, and experience certain emotions
- Provide psycho-education about the effects of childhood abuse and childhood sexual abuse, and the behaviour of perpetrators
- Learn to feel in control and safe again
- Break the silence around your childhood abuse and/or childhood sexual abuse
- Overcome feelings of shame and guilt – learn that responsibility for the childhood abuse lies with the perpetrator, never the child
- Process emotions and trauma, and grieve the losses associated with childhood abuse and childhood sexual abuse
- Change negative or faulty beliefs and feelings
- Identify and build on your strengths
- Reduce self-harming and destructive behaviours
- Improve your self esteem and self worth, and feel more secure within yourself
- Strengthen your personal boundaries and coping skills, and become more empowered
- Learn how to form satisfying and positive relationships
- Develop hope and more optimism about the future and the world
- Come to terms with your past and increase your trust in people
- For partners, family members and friends of someone who was abused in childhood, I can assist you in working through your reactions to a disclosure of childhood sexual abuse, provide psycho-education about childhood abuse and trauma, deal with any difficulties in your relationship with the person who was abused, and learn how best to support them.
How we can help
- break free from the effects of the past childhood abuse and lead a happier life
- become more empowered and strengthen coping skills
- learn about the patterns of behaviour of child abusers – abuse is never the child’s fault – responsibility always lies with the perpetrator of abuse
- overcome feelings of shame, guilt or self-blame
- change negative or faulty beliefs about yourself and the world
- process the trauma of being abused as a child and reduce your level of distress
- improve self worth and feel more secure
Call 0409 415 323
PENNY JANIS – PSYCHOLOGIST ABUSE IN CHILDHOOD
Contact me to begin your journey of working through the pain of your past and breaking free from the effects of childhood abuse.
Abuse manipulates and twists a child’s natural sense of trust and love. Her innocent feelings are belittled or mocked and she learns to ignore her feelings. She can’t afford to feel the full range of feelings in her body while she’s being abused—pain, outrage, hate, vengeance, confusion, arousal. So she short-circuits them and goes numb. For many children, any expression of feelings, even a single tear, is cause for more severe abuse. Again, the only recourse is to shut down. Feelings go underground.