“Working with Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse” with Christiane Sanderson on Saturday 3rd February
Recent media attention has focused on historical child sexual abuse (CSA) especially by celebrities, establishment figures or through child sexual exploitation, yet the majority of CSA occurs within the family which is typically under reported.
Current research indicates that only 1 in 8 survivors of CSA in the family report their sexually abusive experiences, often many years later. In addition, survivors and clinicians are often not able to recognise the link between a history of CSA and a range of mental and physical health problem such as emotional dysregulation, addictions, self-harm and suicidal ideation, anxiety disorders, sexual health and relational difficulties, and personality disorders as well as persistent somatic complaints, chronic pain, autoimmune disorders and chronic fatigue syndrome.
The danger of not being able to identify the relationship between CSA and presenting symptoms is that CSA remains undetected which can lead to misdiagnosis and pervasive mental and physical health problems. It is critical that practitioners in a wide range of mental and physical health settings have a good understanding of the impact and long term effects of CSA and how this manifests in a range of clinical settings so that they are able to respond appropriately.
This workshop aims to enhance awareness of CSA, its impact and long term effects on survivors and how to work with them using the principles of safe trauma therapy, psychoeducation and stabilisation to restore control to allow for the processing of the CSA narrative. Using illustrative case examples it will present a range of skills to facilitate right brain engagement as well as emphasising the importance of the therapeutic relationship to build shame resilience and facilitate post traumatic growth.
It will also examine the impact of working with survivors on practitioners and how to minimise vicarious traumatisation and secondary traumatic stress through counsellor self-care. In identifying a range of therapeutic skills and the challenges of working with survivors of CSA, practitioners will feel more equipped when working with survivors and appreciate the transformative effects of post traumatic growth for both client and practitioner. The day will include:
• The nature and dynamics of CSA (grooming process, secrecy & the distortion of reality)
• CSA as trauma and the neurobiological impact
• The psychological impact and long term effects of CSA
• The intergenerational transmission of CSA
• The role of shame and self-blame
• The principles of safe trauma therapy, psychoeducation and stabilisation
• The importance of the therapeutic relationship and right brain based therapeutic skills
• Challenges and impact of working with CSA on practitioners
• Post traumatic growth
Christiane Sanderson (BSc, MSc) is an experienced counselling psychologist, lecturer and trainer in psychology and counselling, with a particular interest in child protection, interpersonal abuse and trauma. She is Lecturer in Psychology at Roehampton University and London University, Birkbeck College, and consultant and trainer to both statutory and voluntary agencies, as well as a practitioner with 25 years’ experience of working with survivors of CSA.
Christiane is author of many publications on safeguarding, child protection and abuse including Counselling Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, 3rd Edition (2006), The Seduction of Children: Empowering Parents and Teachers to protect Children from Child Sexual Abuse (2004), Counselling Survivors of Domestic Abuse (2008), Introduction to Counselling Survivors of Interpersonal Trauma (2010) all published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. She has also written The Warrior Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Childhood Sexual Abuse and Violence and The Spirit Within: A One in Four Handbook on Religious Sexual Abuse across all faiths, both published by One in Four. Her newest book, published in 2013, is Counselling Skills for Working with Trauma: Healing from Child Sexual Abuse, Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse.