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Healing Sexual Trauma: a step by step approach for therapists (Part 1 & 2)

1h 31m

Silva Neves

Psychotherapist & Sexologist

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Content and aim: Sexual trauma is mostly caused by sexual violence, which is any sexual act or attempt to obtain a sexual act by violence or coercion. It includes unwanted sexual comments, advances or acts directed against a person’s sexuality, regardless of the relationship to the victim. It is widespread and is considered to be one of the most traumatic, pervasive, and most common human rights violations. Patients will often present with trauma from childhood sexual abuse, which is a complex trauma to treat as it involves a traumatic breach to their physical and sexual integrity but also is an attachment wound, as the perpetrators are often people who created a bond with their victims. Sexual trauma also includes invasive surgery in the genital areas or other parts of the body that are associated with sexuality. Sexual trauma has tremendous long-term emotional, psychological, sexual and relational effects on the survivor. The impact of sexual trauma on survivors are:
    • Low self-esteem
    • Depression
    • Guilt, shame and blame
    • Sleep disturbance
    • Lack of trust for anyone
    • Re-victimisation
    • Flashbacks, dissociation and other PTSD symptoms
    • Sexual and intimacy problems
    • Complex grieving
    • Alcohol and drug abuse
    • Eating disorders
    • Self-harm
Learning objectives: Theories: 45 minutes
  1. The different types of traumas
  2. The effects of trauma in the brain and body
  3. What is specific about sexual trauma compared to other traumas
  4. How to assess sexual trauma and sexual trauma related symptoms
Step by Step Practice: 45 minutes
  1. The 3 phases of trauma therapy for sexual trauma
  2. Phase 1: Stabilisation and emotional regulations
  3. Phase 2: Reprocessing. Specific psychotherapeutic tools: CBT, Chairwork, Inner Child, visualisation, somatic trauma therapy
  4. Phase 3: Maintenance and thriving sex.
  5. Self-care for therapists working with sexual trauma
Produced in 2020

Silva Neves

Psychotherapist & Sexologist
Lecturer and Supervisor

I am Silva Neves, an experienced, accredited psychosexual and relationship psychotherapist, trauma therapist, trainer, and author, holding a busy private practice in Central London, UK.

I gained my post-graduate qualification as a psychosexual and relationship psychotherapist with LDPRT (Middlesex University) in 2013. After that, I completed further training in somatic trauma therapy with Babette Rothschild and also EMDR, focusing on sexual trauma. I also did an extra training specifically on couples therapy. I gained my qualification in clinical supervision in 2017.
I’m an accredited member of COSRT (College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists), and registered with UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy), NCP (National Counselling Society), UKPTS (UK Psychological Trauma Society), EMDR Association UK, and I am a Clinical Associate with Pink Therapy.
In the last 10 years I worked in various settings: charity organisations, NHS (National Health Service in the UK), private clinics and in my own private practice. I regularly deliver clinical trainings on sexual trauma and sexology to diverse organisations across the UK and internationally. I also speak at international conferences. I am a Course Director for CICS (Contemporary Institute of Clinical Sexology). I’m also an accreditation assessor for COSRT.
I am the author of Compulsive Sexual behaviours, A Psycho-Sexual Treatment Guide for Clinicians (Routledge, 2021), and a forthcoming book: Sexology: The Basics, due to be released in November 2022. I regularly write articles for Psychology Today and therapy magazines/ journals. I am a member of the editorial board for the leading international journal Sex and Relationship Therapy.
I am particularly experienced in working with: 1- sexual trauma, 2-LGBTQ-specific therapy, 3- compulsive sexual behaviours. I employ a humanistic and integrative approach, drawing on many theories and treatment strategies, including somatic trauma therapy, CBT, ACT, Gestalt, Person-centred, Psychodynamic, TA and specific knowledge in sexology and intimate relationships.


English, French


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