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Multi Dimensional Model 

our road to recovery

we each have our own unique road to recovery.

this section looks at what we might find as we walk along our road to recovery

the disclosure

our first disclosure

sexual assault counselling

I was grateful to the sexual assault counsellor

   who first saw me

and answered my first question.

immediately I saw huge potential

   of sexual assault counselling.

however I have since learnt that

the training is only eight weeks.


to be the one stop

  place of referal

 and counseling


Sexual Assault Counseling should be a Masters Degree

    or a Graduate Diploma Course.


Support services

The archieved site of the

Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse

    has a list of Australian Support Services.

most support services have articles

    to read

however most don't acknowledge sources.

    I think the reason is that one very quickly becomes

    overwhelmed with the results of Google searches

    and I find I end up writing up my impression

       when I need to give references

          for further reading.



Narative therapy

basically talking it out

narative therapy helps us to be heard

to feel better about ourselves


however recently I felt on it's own

  it is inadequate


I find it's helpful when questions or issues


   or comes to the surface.


but when "our time is up"

   I feel frustrated

   a week is too long to wait. 


also often issues arise which is outside

 the psychologists or counselor's expertise

                                                      or training.


hence my proposal for sexual assault counselling

   to be an interdisciplinary post graduate degree.



Google searches

ok  we need to be aware that not all results are reliable

Who wrote it?

What is their level of expertise?


Do I need to adapt a concept to my recovery?


I find it's helpful to do searches

    as topics or questions arise.


it can be a wealth of informations


I like to discussx my findings with my therapist

   or put it on a survivor's forum

     to get feedback

      and discuss the material

from a victim to a survivor

we were the victim at the time of

   the sexual abuse.


the legal term is victim of a crime


we started out victims


then we  strategised to survive

we lived

from surviving to thriving

we started as victims 

we became survivors

    sometime bearely surviving

    other times surviving as in we survived  

    we prevailed.


we are survivors


Mike Lew wrote a book

 "Victims no longer"


now we are progressing towards thriving.



Recovering what we lost.

 I apologise for not having his name in front of me

but I recall a Jewish survivor when testifying

   to the Royal Commission said

"I want to recover what was taken from me"


I agree,

Click to go to Aussie Survivors

Issues which randomly surface

usually issues are triggered - the trigger varies

often being intrusive to our present situation - a destraction.

often being an issue we worked on which resurfaces.

     I look at it that I started to resolve it

          now it's time to do more work.

other times we see it as a source of frustration.


see my first version of  Grid of Issues

overcomming denial

overcomming my denial

was one of my first steps

    and one of the hardest.


I find  I keep hitting

   the barier of denial.


I remember one night

    just pulling down the walls.


I found I needed to build inner strength

      to undertake this journey


many find secular methods best

some find strength through God

or a higher power (as in the AA model)


our difficulty is to release eachother

        to pursue our choice


bearing in mind one survivor's source of help

is another's source of triggered memories


depending who the abuser was

who was our protector - if we had one

who was supportive


from time to time

often seemingly out of no where

our memories are triggered

    by sight, a sound, a smell ... anything that takes us back there.


I call it

being retraumatised.


1. the first rule in learning to swim in the surf ids

  don't panic.

 stay calm


 2.  If I am safe now

       ringing a support service may help

        acknowledging the original memory  

            I let my adult self rescue the little boy within

            or give the little boy a strategy.

     sometimes I  use my triggered memory to advocate for others

3. If not safe now

      work out defenceive moved

    or how to go to a safe place


4. your response


5.  don't panic.

      in many jobs staff are trained not to panic.


6. if you are panicked

       try a trauma release therapy of your choice .  

accesing the emotion

please take care

a fairly advanced therapy

I was supported one night

  when I accessed the emotions

    I didn't want to face

      eg repressed anger

one must be in a safe place

one counsellor suggested

  hitting a thick phone book

   with a small piece of hose

hitting a punching bag

   wearing gloves

please take care


unless invited do not

    release anger with a therapist

   most do not like it

Note: it is ok not to want to access

    the stored up emotoons


only if

  • you want to
  • you are strongly motovated
  • you have safe strategies
  • you are in a safe place
  • prayer or meditation helpful
  • talking with other survivors

                 who have done it.



     many dangers

preparation needed


original memory

when a word or sound or

      any of the five senses

trigger us

  it is reminding us

or taping into

 the original memory


sometimes talking with a survivors

    help line can help

     depending on the counsellor

sometimes akknowledging it I find

   can release the trigger


there are therapies which access original memories

   if one finds a trained therapist.


some psychologists avoid this.


I found it left me abandonded

    and frustrated

 but I anted to accces it


there are dangers


often trauma is attached

   to the original memories


I use trauma release therapies


guess after years of "practice"

   it comes naturally to me.


other survivors may be advised to leave alone.


sometimes a wound just needs to be cleaned


   healing balm applied

 and the wound bandaged.


early childhood csa

   left me with issues

  other survivors don't have.

verbal abuse

some studies ( yes source needed)

suggest verbal abuse is as bad as

  physical abuse.


emotional abuse hurts too.


in many cases sexual abuse

was accompanied by

    physical abuse

    verbal abuse

    emotional abuse

Intrusive thoughts

intrusive or triggered memories

 can be destracting


for some it's like being taken back

   to the original abuse

or something in the present

  taps into the memory

     or emotions felt


I need to cite references

sometimes the mind attempts

  to re enact the traumatic event

   in an attempt to find resolution.

physical pain

I have experienced trauma induced

   physical pain

and used trauma release techniques.


many survivors talk of "pain"

 if you experience this pain

 you are not alone

survivors employ many strategies



sometimes abusers give victims




which can produce an adiction

    but not always.


some survivors use substances

    or over eating

to numb the pain

such an addiction is a symptom

   or a strategy

What would be healthier strategies?


most  experiaments

   or surveys

used in psychology

look at the correlation between

    two factors

or to suggest a corelation does not exist.

lets say the result is a 75% corelation.


What about the 25%  who are not part of the corelation

    when therapy is based on the 75% ?


as a survivor I find I am often part of the 25%

even the 5%


one of my primary aims here

is to validate the exceptions


especially as many studies exclude

    sexual trauma


eg university surveys during the 2020

   pandemic restrictions  impacts.


of 5 surveys not one asked if one had

experienced domestic violance

   or domestic sexual abuse

 by being told to "stay home"


and yet survivor services

  reported significant increased calls


under construction


many survivors report  being dismissed

  when making disclosures



Mandatory Reporting was introduced

  to require most professionals

     to report disclosures of sexual abuse.


In NSW it is a crime for a person in authority

  to conceil abuse


I have experienced enablers

    being dismissive too.



institutons are natorious for

     employing defence baristers

    and / or "expert witnesses"

    to discredit survivors


particularly to avoid compensation

regardless of how great the losses

    of a survivor.

I have experienced this myself.  

imposed therapies

I have experienced the frustration

of cognative therapists

imposing therapy which is not helpful


  • it's the therapy they were trained to do
  • it  is their standard therapy
  • they read about it 
  •     or attended a seminar

  which I have found do not address

    the issue or need I am there to address

      or resolve.


(cognative = psychological or mental )


sometimes trauma release

  non cognative therapies are the best fit

  I have found.