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Downtown Businesses, Health & Wellness

Let’s Face It: There Is Life After Childhood Sexual Abuse

Re-Discover Washington aims to be informative and fun, and one of the purposes of the blog is to familiarize you with the new and existing businesses in town. It is not a secret that I love the Washington Healing Arts Center and what they do. A holistic approach to healing makes the most sense to me, since mind and body are intricately connected and mutually dependant on each other. This week I had the opportunity to meet with a new therapist in town, Yael DiPlacido, who is facilitating a group therapy for adult survivors of childhood abuse.  We are what we think, and our childhood models of thinking determine who we are as grown ups. Unfortunately, not everyone has been lucky enough to grow up in a sound family, surrounded by support, encouragement and love. Childhood sexual abuse is a fact of life, and the best way to deal with it is to accept it, instead of denying it.

Yael DiPlacido, the face of Life Balance Counseling, is part of the Healing Arts Center. Yeal provides Individual, couples, family and group therapy.

Yael DiPlacido is licensed as a Clinical Social Worker in the State of Missouri. She holds a  Bachelor of  Science in Social Work, a Master Degree of Social Work  and Certification in Clinical Social Work with Families from St. Louis University. She recently moved to Washington and she is really pleasant to talk to. Yael has worked extensively with survivors of sexual abuse and interpersonal violence, as well as with people struggling with substance abuse and dependency. These are topics that people usually avoid to talk about due to fear, embarrassment or lack of understanding. Did you know that one out of three to four women has experienced sexual assault? Sexual abuse affects every area of a person’s life. Physical effects such as headaches, back pain, migraines are not uncommon. Avoiding to deal with the painful memories can also cause a lot of mental damage, such as anxiety, depression, anger.

Did You Know?

  • One out of four girls and one out of six boys are sexually abused before age 18.
  • There are an estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in America today.
  • The median age for reported abuse is nine years old.
  • More than 20 percent of children are sexually abused before the age of eight.
  • Healing from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse is possible.
[Source: http://www.dcrcc.org/support_counseling/adult_survivors_of_child_sexual_abuse/C121/]

Don’t let painful past experiences ruin your present and future. Seek help.

Most sexual abuse happens by people you know: somebody in the family, a close friend, babysitters. Usually the abusers make the victim feel like they deserve it, that they caused it to happen. Abused children are forced to do what the adult abuser wants. The adult’s wants come before the child’s needs. Sometimes the child has also been charged with keeping the abuse a secret, at their own expense, to protect their family. As a result of this kind of abuse, adult survivors may feel they have to put the needs of others above their own by feeling protective of others, and over-responsible. In relationships, the survivor may have problems asserting themselves. This may be with friends, partners, relatives, or people at work. Anger is another outcome of childhood sexual abuse. Adult survivors may feel angry with themselves for not being able to stop the abuse, angry with the abuser, or angry with parents or care givers for not protecting them. In the future, Yeal will be forming an anger management group that will focus on tracing the source of the anger and finding a way to accept it, deal with it, and make it a thing of the past.

Fear, guilt, shame, embarrassment, anger – let it all out. Start living again.

Avoiding the problem does not make it disappear. For many victims coming to terms with the abuse is difficult, almost impossible, and they choose to suppress it deep within themselves. However, it always manages to resurface in one way or another, causing physical or psychological issues. That’s where the group therapy comes in place, giving you a safe place to share what you feel and the comfort that you are not alone in this. It’s much scarier to prepare to do the work, than to do the work. Once you take the first step and face your fear, you will be halfway there. Dealing with childhood sexual abuse is a painful process, and this is the reason why Yeal is offering the support group. Through psychoeducational therapy the participants will be able to revisit the hidden memories inside, release the feelings of guilt, shame and anger, and move forward as confident adults capable of leading a fulfilling life.

The Group Therapy for Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse will run on Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Washington Healing Arts Center. Registration and Assessment are required. The group will be facilitated by Yael DiPlacido, MSW, LCSW, Licenced Clinical Social Worker, specializing in sexual abuse. Sliding Scale Fees based on income and family size.  You can reach Yael at 314.660.7473 or lifebalancemo@gmail.com. Visit her website hereLife Balance Counseling is part of the Washington Healing Arts Center. Yael also provides Individual, couples, family and group therapy.

About Slava

I am a twenty-something Bulgarian girl in the USA, re-discovering the world through the lens.


One Response to “Let’s Face It: There Is Life After Childhood Sexual Abuse”

  1. Excellent post. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse myself, I know that this is a much needed group. It is not easy to move through life having this be part on ones past. I know one can move through and past the issues that come with childhood sexual abuse, because I have done a lot of that work personally. I have considered this group, but have yet to make the commitment.

    Posted by Amy | May 10, 2012, 7:25 pm

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