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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

  • The different types of traumas
  • The effects of trauma in the brain and body
  • What is specific about sexual trauma compared to other traumas
  • How to assess sexual trauma and sexual trauma related symptoms.
Step by Step Practice: 45 minutes
  • The 3 phases of trauma therapy for sexual trauma
  • Phase 1: Stabilisation and emotional regulations
  • Phase 2: Reprocessing. Specific psychotherapeutic tools: CBT, Chairwork, Inner Child, visualisation, somatic trauma therapy.
  • Phase 3: Maintenance and thriving sex.
  • Self-care for therapists working with sexual trauma

Produced in 2020

Silva Neves

Psychotherapist & Sexologist
Lecturer and Supervisor

I am Silva Neves, COSRT, BACP, a qualified, experienced and accredited psychosexual and relationship psychotherapist holding a busy private practice in Central London, UK.

I gained my post-graduate qualification as a psychosexual and relationship psychotherapist with The Middlesex University in 2013. After that, I completed further training in trauma therapy with Babette Rothschild and also EMDR, focusing on sexual trauma. I also did extra training specifically on couples therapy. More recently, I gained a qualification in clinical supervision. I’m an accredited member of COSRT (College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists) and The National Counseling Society. I’m a registered member of BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) and NCP (National Council of Psychotherapists). I’m also a member of UKPTS (UK Psychological Trauma Society) and EMDR Association UK & Ireland. In the last 10 years, I worked in different settings: charity organisations, The National Health Service in the UK (NHS) and in private clinics. I have been working in my own private clinic in Central London for the last 5 years. I also deliver trainings on sexual trauma and other areas of the psychosexual field to various organisations across the UK, as well as speaking at conferences such as the BACP Private Practice Conference, The European Federation of Sexology and EMDR Conference. I’m a columnist for Gay Times and PureEros, writing articles on sex and relationships. I also write articles for psychotherapy journals. Areas of expertise I am particularly specialised and experienced in working with: 1- Sexual Trauma 2- LGBTQ-specific therapy. I employ a humanistic and integrative approach, drawing on many theories and treatment strategies, including Somatic trauma therapy, CBT, Gestalt, Person-centred, Psychodynamic, TA and specific knowledge of human sexuality and sexuality and relationship diversity.




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