One of the biggest predictors of mental health issues in later life is childhood trauma. Childhood sexual abuse being one of the biggest of all.
The go to Interventions recommended, and proscribed, to survivors are the sort of psychological interventions typified by CBT. These are all based ok the idea that we can change what and how we think by changes inour conscious thoughts and behaviours.
Now there is some evidence that this is true, that our conscious thoughts and behaviours can impact our underlying thought processes, but, and its a big but, can we really expect a dozen or so sessions with a therapist helping us to manage our conscious thought processes really change underlying beliefs, thoughts and mental structures developed and reinforced during the most important developmental phases, childhood?
Well from personal experence i can tell you no, these simple interventions just do not address the underlying issues. So the survivor is left fighting a loosjng battle trying to control his thoughts while all the time the thoughts, feelings, terrors and fears seep round the edges of our consciousness, our adult self forming a wave which overwhelms us sinking us, our conscious self, in a sea of viscous, and visceral, emotions.
Expecting a survivor of child abuse to respond positivity to simple, symptomatic responses such as CBT is not far from simply telling them to ‘pull themselves together’ and Man Up. Its telling survivors that its our own fault for the mental health issues we experence.