In this post I seek to explain the causes and treatments for abuse, be that sexual, emotional and or physical.
This is a massive and devastating topic firstly for anyone who has suffered sexual abuse.
Any form of abuse of a child can trigger Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and may be Complex Trauma depending on the severity and duration.
This is what the Bible says covering such topics:
“If anyone causes one of these little ones – who believe in me – to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung round their neck and they were thrown into the sea.”
These are Jesus own words in Mark 9.42.
Childhood sexual abuse it the most devastating experience any child can have. If the perpetrators are in the family, usually the parents are in denial. And commonly the last great taboo is when it’s one of the parents themselves. It’s the ultimate betrayal and so destructive to the individual’s mental health well into adulthood.
Adult sexual abuse is also recognised, producing the same feeling of worthlessness, low self-esteem and shame. However the age at which this happened is a powerful factor due to the plasticity of the young brain.
It’s not uncommon for the individual who has been abused as a child to find they are in abusive relationships as adults. In counselling this is recognised as repetition compulsion, which in therapy can be addressed.
As Christian counsellor my work is tailored to the individual client using a variety of therapeutic modalities. However my core understanding of the client is from a psychodynamic perspective. It’s a profound relationship in the therapeutic alliance, as it develops in the course of therapy. It involves helping the client to understand their story not just subjectively, but also by gaining objectivity as we work together. Donald Winnicott’s term “the good enough mother” is helpful in enabling the client to re-parent the child within.
However clients who have been sexually abused usually present with life issues today. Transactional Analysis is often beneficial in understanding who and how they are relating to the people in their lives today. Melanie Klein’s model of Object Relations helps the client develop a good internal object from the counsellor where it has been missing in early childhood from defective parenting.
The psychological boundaries are usually damaged or missing from those who have been abused, when these boundaries have been destroyed by the abuser. Again this disturbs the attachment issues.
Neuroscience also helps the healing process as we do some rewiring in therapy.
In conclusion may I say that one form of abuse usually comes with other forms too.
For those reading this suffering today, take heart at Jesus’s words in John 14.27.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
All Bible quotations are from the NIV.
Copyright © 2019 Susie Scott Kydd.