Sexual Assault Treatment: Therapy for Trauma Healing

Read about therapy for trauma received during a sexual assault. Trusted info on sexual assault treatment and trauma healing for adult survivors.

Sexual assault treatment, including therapy for trauma, is critical following this violent crime.

After reporting the sexual assault to the authorities and obtaining medical attention that includes a forensic examination and preventive treatments, all victims of sexual assault should seek therapy for trauma. The health care provider that performs your medical examination and law enforcement officials you speak to during the reporting process can give you a list of nearby sexual assault treatment centers.

Therapy for Trauma After Sexual Assault

When seeking therapy for trauma after sexual assault, look for a facility with licensed counselors who have experience treating sexual assault victims. The counseling center should provide a safe and supportive environment to augment the process of healing from the sexual assault

Most of these centers have professional counselors that can offer therapy for trauma received from childhood sexual assault or adult survivors of sexual violence. Many even offer services that aim to help friends and family cope with the sexual assault of a loved one. Various types of psychotherapy and cognitive processing therapies are offered to assist the victim in the trauma healing process.

If you need medication to assist in trauma healing, certain licensed providers may have the ability to prescribe it for you. Others may need to refer you to a psychiatrist or other physician with prescribing rights. They may prescribe antidepressants for the first six to 12 months after the occurrence of the sexual assault. These medicines can help with intrusive thoughts, sleep problems, flashbacks, and anxiety.

Sexual Assault Treatment

Some counseling techniques involve role-playing, group sharing (moderated by a licensed therapist), and individual sexual assault treatment sessions. Your counselor may ask you to keep a thought and dream journal where you record any thoughts that come up about the sexual assault during your everyday activities. He or she may also want you to record:

  • time of day
  • what you were doing at the time
  • who was around
  • any television shows you watched or music you heard

This is because certain environmental triggers can set off the negative thought patterns associated with the trauma of sexual assault. By reviewing your journal, the therapist can gain insight into these triggers and develop a strategy to remove their detrimental effect on your thought patterns.

Many sexual assault treatment counselors and therapists were once victims of sexual assault themselves. By seeking help and healing your emotional wounds, the effects of sexual assault won't play a prominent role in your life. You may also find you're able to provide this priceless help to another victim of sexual assault. (See: Sexual Assault Support: Why You Need It, Where to Find It)

article references

APA Reference
Gluck, S. (2021, December 17). Sexual Assault Treatment: Therapy for Trauma Healing, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Last Updated: January 2, 2022

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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