Recovery tactic for the mind and spirit after rape
Facing the dark.
One of the most challenging parts of facing sexual assault is that in many cases, the victim knows the offender. I work with clients on facing the reality that what happened to them is not OK. There is no excuse for sexual violence and they are not responsible for being the victim.
The victim of sexual violence is not at fault if their body froze, reacted physically to the abuse or even felt sexually aroused during the attack. These are common physical, somatic and emotional reactions to the touch of highly neural, sensitized organs.
Recovery tactic for the mind after rape
Meditation, as taught by a Master Teacher, has been instrumental for many of our clients in their recovery from sexual violence.
Edmonton has a great 100-year-old Thai Monk named Luang Phor Viriyang who teaches meditation for free through the Willpower Institute. The program is called the Meditation Instructor Course. It is a fully integrated program that includes a textbook, walking and sitting meditation, and learning from both English-speaking teachers and monks who help manage the process of learning.
Psychologically researched processes for recovering from sexual violence
Both CPT (Cognitive Processing Therapy) and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) have been tested extensively for use with childhood sexual assault cases and PTSD cases related to sexual attacks.
Research shows that CPT, followed by EMDR (administered by a trained registered psychologist) is most effective in treating long-term effects of sexual violence.
We recommend a registered psychologist who is trained in trauma, due to the challenging nature of coping mechanisms that victims develop to deal with their experience.
Finding a registered psychologist trained in trauma
In Edmonton, we have a few “trauma specialists” or “specialists in sexual trauma” who are not only unqualified, but detrimental to recovery.
The decision to receive professional guidance from a psychologist can be a long process due to cost and wait times. I would suggest finding a registered psychologist who specializes in trauma. A great resource is https://psychologistsassociation.ab.ca/referrals/.
Make sure whoever you chose is an active member of the College of Alberta Psychologists https://www.cap.ab.ca/member-directory. There is also a referral search on the Psychology Today website.
We recommend meeting with this person for an initial session and researching their education and experience in working with clients who have experienced trauma or sexual violence.
Assure the registered psychologist you choose is licensed to practice in Alberta, has the education needed to help you, and the experience to deal with your specific problem. Find someone who fits with you and use your intuition to determine who will be able to help you to heal.