Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
Treating Victims of Sexual Abuse or Sexual Exploitation
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

Saving this for later? Get the SlideShare app to save on your phone or tablet. Read anywhere, anytime – even offline.
Text the download link to your phone
Standard text messaging rates apply

Treating Victims of Sexual Abuse or Sexual Exploitation


Published on

by Gary Schoener

by Gary Schoener

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

No notes for slide


  • 1. Treating Victims of Sexual Abuse or Exploitation By Religious or Health Care Professionals
    • Gary R. Schoener
    • Licensed Psychologist & Executive Director
    • Walk-In Counseling Center
    • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 2. What Do These Victims Have in Common?
    • We are dealing with men and women, abused as children or exploited as adults;
    • Obviously dealing with a young person vs. someone who is 50+ who was abused years ago leads to great variation;
    • But, all have had their trust betrayed and thus have difficulty trusting any helper;
    • All are confronted with confused feelings and often inclarity about what they need to do
  • 3. Complicating Issues
    • Advocacy vs. Therapy
    • Are there legal issues? In the US & Canada these are complications
    • Reporting issues
    • By definition these are atypical cases and situations
    • If there is any legal action this gets complicated
  • 4. Wheel of Options Schoener (1989) Psychotherapists’ sexual involvement with Clients: Intervention & Prevention
  • 5. Establishing Trust and Safety
    • Have a clear therapy contract
    • Your ability to listen to complaints and anger about therapists or clergy
    • Maintain clear boundaries
    • Do not push for trust in you
    • Allow patient to withhold information
  • 6. Some General Rules
    • Explore how patient feels about seeing you – does gender matter?
    • Focus on crisis first – health and safety are first concern
    • Be clear on what patient wants from you – his/her goals
    • Clarify current status of relationship with offender – any communication
  • 7.
    • Don’t assume what “sex” is
    • Don’t assume gender of offender
    • Don’t make assumptions about the impact of the sex
    • Identify patient’s remaining issues
    • Don’t focus on the abuse or exploitation as opposed to other issues
  • 8.
    • Provide or refer for advocacy
    • Writing journals or letters helps some patients
    • Use of reading or the internet for education of patient
    • Internet support groups
    • Face to face support groups
    • Processing sessions
  • 9. Outcome predictors
    • Outcome is highly variable and depends a good deal on personal adjustment, social & family supports
    • Outcome seems to be better if patient can assign blame to offender
    • Outcome not as good if patient is rageful on a long term basis
  • 10. What helps the most?
    • Talk with other victims is often cited as the most important help – the more similar the experience the better
    • Taking action , even if justice is not done, often seems very helpful
    • Reading materials can be very helpful
  • 11. Secondary/Associate victims
    • Anger towards spouse & offender
    • Distrust professionals
    • Impatient with recovery & remedy
    • Helpless & feel excluded
    • Experience feelings of loss, grief, ambivalence, confusion
  • 12. The Family Meeting
    • Meet the “ghost”
    • Meet the helpers
    • Clarify needs & roles
    • Information about the process
    • Help in dealing with expanded caregiving role (with children)
  • 13. Group Approaches
    • Our model – short term groups
    • Ongoing groups
    • Consumer-led groups
    • Internet support groups – Hope Talk at
    • Workshops – evening or day long
  • 14. Errors in Treatment
    • Failure to warn about limits of confidentiality – reporting
    • Setting limits on “legal involvement”
    • Pressuring to file complaint
    • Bending rules for client
    • Undue focus on client’s anger
  • 15. Caution regarding confidentiality
    • These patients are inquisitive – be aware of your internet presence ( google yourself)
    • Cautious in obtaining consultation – listserves not that secure
    • It is not easy to disguise cases
    • Beware of mistaken assumptions
  • 16. [email_address]