Sexual abuse can be defined as an adult involving a child in any activity that gives the adult sexual arousal or pleasure.
Often it is a member of the close family who commits the abuse. Sometimes the abuser is someone in authority such as a teacher.
The abuse could be a one off case, or continue over a number of years.
In order to deal with the abuse a child has to find ways of dissociating him/herself, so that he/she can numb the feelings as best he/she can – and often bury the experience so that he/she does not remember it later in life.
Many adults who have experienced sexual abuse as children are anxious, depressed, have difficulty with their sexuality, confuse ill treatment with love, are not sure what is acceptable in a relationship, and have low self esteem, to mention just some of the ongoing problems that can be experienced.
In general, I hope to achieve a situation where you, the patient have dealt with what are often traumatic negative emotions, have rid yourself of any feelings of personal responsibility for what happened, feel better about yourself – more confident and resourceful, and are able to look to the future with hope.