Approaches To Healing
Healing from the effects of sexual trauma is possible, and you may want to explore many different healing practices along your journey. Seeking the help of a specially trained counsellor is one of many ways to heal from the effects of sexual assault or childhood sexual abuse. Counselling can help you to manage the impact the trauma has in your life. There are other ways to heal that can be useful as well. You may want to try:
- Learning and practicing good self care (exercising, eating well, getting enough sleep, and doing things that are fun or pleasurable)
- Reading books about sexual abuse and healing
- Listening to audio or video tapes that are designed to increase your self-esteem or belief in your own potential or worth
- Being creative. Painting and sculpting can be ways of working through and expressing emotions and of gaining insight and self-awareness
- Seeking the support of caring friends or family members
- Doing the self-awareness and skill development exercises in any of the various work books and self-help publications written for survivors
- Writing in a journal (this can be a great outlet for emotions and can increase self-awareness and understanding)
- Learning or developing life skills in areas that may have been impacted (i.e., communication, assertiveness, effective parenting)
- Attending short workshops on topics that interest you (Boundaries, Understanding Feelings)
- Give yourself permission to do nothing- there may be times when the healthiest thing you can do is nothing- put the healing on hold and lay low. Time outs can be just as legitimate as active steps
- Developing and following a regular spiritual practice (Yoga, meditation, daily prayer, whatever fits your beliefs)
- In times of emotional crisis or upset, ask for help. Call the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre’s 24 hour crisis and information line (250-383-3232) or look in the front of your phone book for a crisis line in your area.
You are encouraged to do what works best for you. Remember you are in charge of your own healing process.