Therapy Following Sexual Trauma
Healing, Setting Boundaries & Experiencing Intimacy & Love on Your Terms
For those who’ve experienced sexual trauma, a fulfilling sex life and intimacy with partners may seem like things you can’t experience anymore. These aspects of romantic relationships can be triggering for men and women who have experienced sexual trauma, but there are ways to heal and reclaim sex and intimacy on your terms, and for many, that means working with a therapist. If you’re interested in learning more, you can explore the basics on this page. You can also reach out to schedule a therapy session with me. I’m Dr. Michael Stokes, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist. I can work with you at Rhode Island Sex Therapy to heal, set boundaries, feel safer in your sexual relationships, and experience greater intimacy.
What Is Sexual Trauma?
Most people think of sexual trauma as being associated with rape and molestation. These are certainly traumatic sexual experiences. However, individuals may have symptoms of sexual trauma if they witness sexual violence or are sexually harassed or subjected to viewing pornography or listening to sexual discussions against their will. The root of sexual trauma, like all forms of trauma, is a loss of safety and control in an experience. Trauma to the mind, like the body, leaves a wound. Without healing this psychological wound, side effects will occur, including difficult engaging in sex, lack of interest in sex, and loss of sexual enjoyment. There are other side effects of this condition as well, including changes in hygiene, difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much, eating more or less than usual, experiencing mood swings, and even engaging in unhealthy coping mechanisms like drug and alcohol usage.
I’ve Been to Therapy in the Past, Will it Actually Help this Time?
Like physical injuries, the wounds of sexual trauma will heal differently for each person. Some people are able to quickly heal and move forward. Others can struggle for years and even develop symptoms of a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis. Therapy is an essential support resource in healing from sexual trauma. During sex therapy sessions, I can help survivors of sexual trauma to address the way their experience is impacting their daily lives. There are many therapy approaches that may be beneficial in processing traumatic memories, images, and the ongoing effects they have on the mind and body. I work with clients to find the right approach to ensure they heal and reclaim the sense of control and safety they have lost. In addition to individual therapy sessions, it may be beneficial to schedule sessions with sexual partners to help them understand your experience. During these relationship counseling sessions, clients can set goals together, and partners can better understand the sexual trauma survivor’s needs and boundaries.
How Do I Get Started?
Healing from sexual trauma is difficult enough. Scheduling a therapy session shouldn’t have to be another challenge. That’s why I offer several options to get in touch with me at Rhode Island Sex Therapy. If you want to schedule a sex therapy session, give me a call (401) 236-5021, email DrMichaelStokes@gmail.com, or use our contact form. I look forward to hearing from you soon.