Are you having a difficult time living life because of the impact of childhood incest? Are you unsure on how to go about in recovering from childhood incest? To help understand what victims of child incest typically experience and for recovery tips ideas, I have interviewed therapist Brenda Thompson.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I am a psychotherapist with a private practice located in Arvada, CO. I have an MA degree in Counseling and Education from the University of Northern Iowa. During my 20+ year career I have held a number of titles: educator, school counselor, mental health consultant, counseling services director, as well as licensed professional counselor. One of the more rewarding learning experiences I’ve had involves my work as psychotherapist at a rape crisis center where I provided individual and group therapy for victims of sexual assault and childhood incest. During this period, I attended numerous trainings at the Midwest Conference on Childhood Sexual Abuse, in Madison, WI. I was privileged to train with many renowned experts in the field of childhood incest an abuse.
Currently in my private practice I see individual clients and couples and I address a wide spectrum of mental health concerns. I continue to treat crime victims for sexual assault, domestic violence and incest as well as other crimes. I also provide EAP services for the Mines Employee Assistance program and Worker’s Compensation counseling services.”
What type of impact can child incest have on someone’s adult life?
“The impact of childhood incest on a person’s life has very many far-reaching possible negative effects of varying degrees and intensity, some of which are the following: low self-esteem, inability to trust others, personal boundary issues,
underlying depression or anxiety, alcohol /drug abuse, sexual dysfunction, PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) including symptoms of hypervigilence, nightmares or flashbacks, and emotional numbing. In more severe cases there is also the likelihood of
dissociation, identity confusion and or a full blown manifestation of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), previously known as multiple personality disorder. Each individual is impacted differently, depending on personal circumstances, including intensity,
length of time and the age they were victimized.”
What are some recovery tips you can give for someone who has experienced child incest?
“Please consider getting professional therapy and guidance from a well-trained, experienced psychotherapist or psychologist who is familiar with trauma and its aftermath. These issues are complex and people are commonly misdiagnosed. In addition if you are able and choose to do so, tell your story to a trusted friend or companion, as it is detrimental to keep these secrets locked inside yourself. Always know that the incest is not your fault and it is your decision alone as to whom you wish to share the details of your story. Remember to be gentle with yourself and respect your need to take the time necessary for healing and recovery.”
What type of professional help is available for someone who is trying to recover from child incest?
“There are a number of well-trained psychotherapists or psychologists who provide services (myself included). When making a call, speak to them regarding their experience in dealing with trauma issues. I would suggest a Masters degree level therapist or P.H.D. Seek out an M.D. or psychiatrist if there is a concern regarding the need for medication for depression or anxiety. A combination of a therapeutic intervention and medication is often very beneficial.”
What last advice would you like to leave for someone who is working on recovering from child incest?
“Believe in yourself, identify your strengths, and acknowledge your inherent goodness and birthright to a healthy and happy life ahead of you. Go for it!”
Thank you Brenda for doing the interview on recovering from child incest. For more information on Brenda Thompson or her work you can check out her website at www.freetobetherapy.com.
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