Sexual Trauma Therapy

Sexual Trauma Therapy in Florida

Updated Last June 1, 2024
Published By: Facility Staff

If you or a loved one is currently living with the devastating after-effects of sexual abuse or trauma, know that you are not alone and these issues are sadly all too common. 

With up to 25% of women and 3% of men experiencing some form of sexual assault in their lifetime, a large portion of American adults and adolescents could benefit from help for these issues. 

One of the most evidence-based treatments after a sexual traumatic event comes in the form of therapy, with a number of specialized types that focus on surviving trauma. 

Read on to learn more about the mental health services and therapies that we offer for survivors of sexual assault at Mark Behavioral Health.

About Sexual Abuse Therapy in Mental Health Programs

Sexual abuse therapy is an essential component of a quality mental health program, as sexual trauma can be debilitating and make everyday functioning difficult for many survivors. 

This type of therapy can be incorporated into either outpatient or inpatient programs, the latter of which requires a person to stay onsite for an extended period while going through treatment. 

Oftentimes, sexual abuse therapy is offered as a component of a larger mental health program through which a person can work on other aspects of their mental health as well, such as depression or substance abuse. 

There is no definitive cure for sexual trauma, but with the right treatment there is hope for healing and living a successful life. 

Key Facts on Sexual Abuse Therapy

  • Types of sexual abuse: rape, incest, elder sexual abuse, child sexual abuse, sexual abuse with the offender in a position of authority or power, stalking, online harassment
  • Potential effects of sexual abuse on mental health: feelings of shame or guilt, isolation and withdrawal, flashbacks, difficulty maintaining relationships, depression and anxiety, problems with sleep, changes in appetite or weight, eating disorders, substance use disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dissociation
  • Ways that sexual abuse therapy can help: helping victims to face their triggers and overcome negative thoughts, addressing feelings of low self-esteem and self-confidence, providing social support through sharing experiences and trauma narratives with others, helping victims to release powerful emotions and learn new coping mechanisms, improved mental health and overall well-being
  • Types of sexual abuse therapy: talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy, prolonged exposure therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy
  • How to pay for sexual abuse therapy: private health insurance, state-funded health insurance, cash, financial assistance, scholarships

Sexual Abuse Therapy at Mark Behavioral Health

If sexual abuse or trauma are left unresolved or untreated, it can hinder a person’s mental health progress as a whole. 

This is why Mark Behavioral Health ensures that all clients who need it have access to sexual abuse therapy during their time with us, as it lends to lasting mental health recovery. 

We offer sexual trauma therapy as part of a multidisciplinary approach that includes several types of therapy, ensuring a well-rounded and comfortable treatment experience for all. 

This type of therapy is always optional to our clients and is available based on each person’s needs and comfort. 

Types of Sexual Assault Therapy and Sexual Abuse Therapy

Sexual assault and sexual abuse are best addressed in individual and group therapy, as well as with other more targeted types of therapy. 

Individual Therapy

The most common type of individual therapy is psychotherapy, sometimes referred to simply as talk therapy. 

In this type of therapy, the individual will work with their therapist by describing their history and experiences, as well as their current related thoughts and emotions. 

Individual talk therapy can help the victims of sexual trauma by allowing them to process what happened to them in a safe environment that offers guidance and understanding, especially if the therapist is trained in trauma-informed care. 

Group Therapy

Group therapy and support groups are also effective for treating survivors of sexual abuse. Receiving therapy as part of a group can help to remind people that they are never alone in what they are going through, especially when it is facilitated by mental health professionals. 

Oftentimes, being able to simply share their trauma and experiences with others who have faced similar situations can be just what someone needs to reduce their symptoms and begin their own healing process. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that has proven to be effective when treating a variety of mental health conditions, including those in survivors of sexual abuse or assault.  

When it comes to treating sexual abuse trauma with CBT, the focus is primarily on identifying the impact the trauma has had psychologically and addressing related harmful beliefs and other negative emotional consequences so the person can start to move forward. 

Prolonged Exposure Therapy

Prolonged exposure therapy is a specific type of psychotherapy that is used with people who have experienced deep trauma, such as sexual trauma. 

This type of therapy exposes people to their triggers over a prolonged period of time so they can learn to adjust to them comfortably instead of constantly having to avoid them.

Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) is a type of CBT therapy that is specifically used with children and adolescents who have experienced trauma, especially any type of sexual abuse or violence. 

This type of therapy is often used in a family therapy format, with either parents or caregivers, as long as the family members who are included are not the offenders of abuse. 

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR therapy is a unique type of therapy in that it does not require the participant to speak about their experiences or feelings. 

Instead, this therapy focuses on tracking the way a person’s eyes move while being exposed to visual stimuli and recalling traumatic memories. 

The idea is that if a person moves their eyes laterally to view the stimulus then the eye movement can ease the intensity of the emotions surrounding the traumatic memories they are asked to recall at the same time. 

Alternative Therapies

There are also alternative therapies available that allow people to explore more holistic or experiential options. 

Some alternative therapies that can be used to treat sexual trauma include animal-assisted therapy, adventure therapy, equine therapy, and art therapy, as well as practices like yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. 

What Types of Sexual Trauma Can Be Treated in Therapy?

Sexual trauma can be the result of any type of sexual act that is unwanted or forceful, and it can happen to anyone at any age. 

Fortunately, most types of sexual trauma can be adequately treated and addressed through therapy. 

Types of sexual trauma that can be treated in therapy include:

  • Rape 
  • Sexual harassment
  • Incest
  • Military sexual trauma
  • Intimate partner sexual violence or domestic violence
  • Childhood sexual abuse
  • Stalking
  • Online sexual harassment or blackmail 
  • Elder abuse
  • Drug-facilitated sexual assault

What to Expect During Sexual Trauma Therapy Sessions

What you can expect during sexual trauma therapy sessions will depend on the type of therapy you are participating in, as well as if you are doing therapy by yourself or with others. 

For example, in a talk therapy sexual trauma session, you may expect to describe your experiences to your therapist, talk about your triggers, and learn healthy coping mechanisms. 

If you are in group therapy, on the other hand, you will likely take turns speaking and sharing experiences with the group as a whole, while the moderator periodically takes a turn to introduce new topics, guide the conversation, or relay information. 

Specialized types of therapy will all vary. One example is in prolonged exposure therapy, which typically lasts around three months and takes place in 90-minute weekly sessions. 

In this therapy, you will start by making a list of things that you have been avoiding, and slowly work your way through the list with your therapist based on a hierarchy that you have established beforehand. 

How Sexual Assault Therapy Impacts Mental Health Recovery

Sexual assault therapy is an important part of a person’s overall mental health recovery, as it works to address the causes or triggers behind their mental health issues. 

In this sense, sexual abuse therapy works to address both issues and symptoms of mental health disorders, as opposed to just treating the disorder itself. 

This comprehensive and integrative treatment approach in turn addresses both the short-term and long-term consequences of sexual abuse, so people can achieve long-term recovery upon returning to their lives. 

More benefits of sexual assault therapy include:

  • Better overall mental health and physical health
  • Reduction of symptoms and other physical sensations related to trauma
  • A release of painful emotions and experiences
  • Learning new coping mechanisms to reduce future symptoms
  • Learning to face and live with triggers rather than having to avoid them

Cost of Sexual Trauma Therapy

The cost of sexual trauma therapy can vary significantly between programs, and is frequently included in the costs as part of a larger overall program. 

For example, at Mark Behavioral Health we offer sexual abuse therapy as part of our residential treatment program

Factors that can affect the cost of sexual trauma therapy include:

  • If you have health care insurance
  • The type of health insurance you have
  • Location of the facility
  • The length of your treatment or stay
  • Whether your treatment is inpatient or outpatient
  • Whether the facility offers any financial assistance

How to Enter Sexual Trauma Therapy in Florida

You have several options when looking for sexual trauma therapy or information if you are a resident of Florida.

Sexual trauma therapy resources in Florida include:

We also invite you to visit us at Mark Behavioral Health, where we offer a wide range of services and treatments that address all areas of mental health. 

Find Healing from Sexual Trauma at Mark Behavioral Health

No matter what type of sexual trauma you are living with, it is never too late to get your life back and begin your healing and recovery journey. 

Our sexual abuse and trauma therapists at Mark Behavioral Health are both experienced and compassionate, and are dedicated to your recovery and healing. 

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you are in need of quality mental health or sexual trauma therapy services in Florida.

Further Reading

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  2. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  3. Grief Therapy
  4. Nutritional Counseling
  5. Psychoeducation
  6. Trauma Informed Care

Sources

Mayo Clinic. “The lingering effects of sexual trauma.” Retrieved from:
https://mcpress.mayoclinic.org/women-health/lingering-effects-of-sexual-trauma/
National Library of Medicine. “Sexual assault victimization and psychopathology: A review and meta-analysis.” Retrieved from:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5576571/
Psychology Today. “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy.” Retrieved from:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/eye-movement-desensitization-and-reprocessing-therapy
Psychology Today. “Prolonged Exposure Therapy.” Retrieved from:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/prolonged-exposure-therapy
Psychology Today. “Sexual Abuse.” Retrieved from:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/sexual-abuse
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). “Types of Sexual Violence.” Retrieved from:
https://www.rainn.org/types-sexual-violence