I could cope with it no longer. Every part of me – eyelids, throat, bowels – everything was clenched tight in a ball of furious unbearability. This feeling – such a feeling! – loomed up over me like some prehistoric sea-monster, ready to snap me up and devour me, ready to pilfer my bones and pick apart my brain. This feeling was too much.
EMDR psychotherapy is an information processing therapy and uses an eight phase approach to address the experiential contributors of a wide range of pathologies. It attends to the past experiences that have set the groundwork for pathology, the current situations that trigger dysfunctional emotions, beliefs and sensations, and the positive experience needed to enhance future adaptive behaviours and mental health.
‘Child grooming’ refers to a series of actions deliberately undertaken in order to develop an emotional bond with a child in order to sexually abuse them. Grooming increases the availability of the victim for abuse whilst decreasing the likelihood of detection for the abuser.
Starting with her very first dissociative client, in this article sensorimotor psychotherapist Margaret Collingwood talks about her journey of working with clients with dissociative identity disorder and how she has learned to understand their parts in terms of their survival function.
When we have dissociative identity disorder, the problem is not always simply that we have dissociated parts of the personality. The problem more often is in the hatred we can feel for these disavowed parts: 'She is the hated child'. How do we heal the trauma of self-rejection and develop compassion for even the most traumatised and alienated parts of ourselves?
‘Dissociative parts of the personality’ grabbed the headlines, but my inability to set boundaries was the silent assassin destroying me from the inside… I said yes to everyone else, and no to myself. Other people mattered; I did not. And so, breakdown.
Understanding the dynamics around child sexual abuse, who the perpetrators are, how they achieve their ends, the impacts of abuse on us – all of this knowledge, this ‘psychoeducation’ has aided my recovery. And so these are ten of the many things that I have learned about child sexual abuse, some of the insights that have begun to heal my shame.
Duncan Craig is the founder of Survivors Manchester. In this powerful article he examines the impact of sexual abuse on men.
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