Counseling for Survivors of Sexual Assault
As women, we face a unique set of challenges as we make our way in the world. I remember when I lived in New York City, just walking down the street sometimes took all my courage as I navigated cat calling and dark corners.
Some women have faced much scarier moments than those. The work I love to do is to help women find their strength in a world that can be harsh and oftentimes traumatic. Surviving a sexual assault can leave a woman feeling very isolated. It is my job to create a safe place for you to begin to recognize that you still have a place in the world.
The aftermath of sexual assault can create complexities as a survivor begins to explore what has happened to her. Anxiety can be a very real consequence and that anxiety can manifest itself in many ways. Some women experience triggers around anything that reminds them of the event including sights, sounds and smells.
That triggering can feel as though the event is reoccurring and oftentimes places and things that were once benign become suddenly scary and seemingly unsafe.
The anxiety can manifest itself in sleep issues, including debilitating nightmares, insomnia and even a fear of falling asleep. Many women experience sexual difficulties following a rape and find it difficult to talk with anyone about as sex isn’t something we typically discuss.
Many women experience a palpable feeling of shame following a sexual assault.This shame often bleeds into our other relationships and creates inauthentic interactions with coworkers, friends, acquaintances and intimate partners.
Many women blame themselves for what happened and often get stuck in a loop of wondering what they could have done to prevent the assault.
Many times our family and friends, with the best of intentions, make surviving even harder. They ask questions that we are not ready to answer, and in our efforts to be a good friend or family member we comply and end up feeling revictimized.
There is hope. The gift of counseling is the understanding that what you are feeling now is temporary and that with some consistent showing up and a bit of hard work, you can begin to feel better and ultimately return to your old self. The process of recovering from rape is one from which you will develop strengths you never even imagined you possessed.
If you want to learn more about how to feel better about yourself after surviving a sexual assault please call for a free 20 minute phone or video consultation today.
Lydia Kickliter, LPC | Asheville Therapist for Women Survivors
"Freedom lies in being bold."
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In-Person Therapy Services are available in Downtown Asheville, North Carolina.
Online Therapy Services are available in North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Internationally.
56 Clayton Street, Asheville, North Carolina 28801