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Rape and Abuse If you or someone you know is being abused in any way and you need support or advice, don't hesitate to reach out to us here.

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Getting therapy for past abuse/rape - October 14th 2017, 02:59 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of rape or abuse, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

If this is in the wrong forum, feel free to move.
Hello everyone,
I know that I haven't posted in a while, or a lot on here. I have a regular user account that I often use.
I'm starting therapy to help me over come past sexual abuse and rape that I went through as a child.
My counselor is a male counselor, and he wants to use Prolonged Exposure therapy to treat my PTSD symptoms. I'm so nervous to talk in great detail about the events with a male counselor. Has anyone had a male counselor/therapist and was raped/sexually abused? If so, how did you get over the fear of talking to a male (if you have that fear,) I know that I'm going to need to talk about it to finally heal from the trauma.
   
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Re: Getting therapy for past abuse/rape - October 14th 2017, 05:06 PM

Hey,

If you do not feel comfortable with him. Then you gave a right to ask for a new therapist and tell him that you want/need a girl. I refuse to have a male doctor, therapist or psychiatrist. And they are okay with finding me woman.



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Re: Getting therapy for past abuse/rape - October 14th 2017, 05:30 PM

Hi
Like Essa said, you can always ask for a new therapist. If you don't feel comfortable talking to him about switching, you could talk to the person at the front desk to schedule an appointment with someone new.
After I was raped and went to report it, I had an advocate come to the police department with me. He was a man, and while he was extremely polite and compassionate and didn't make me uncomfortable at all, I still felt like doing actual therapy was something I would want with a female therapist, even though the male advocate did therapy too. When he was telling me that I could do therapy with him, he also mentioned that if I preferred a female I could do that instead.
So they should completely understand and even expect these type of circumstances to come up.

(But as for talking to a male about it, from my experience, when I reported it, I had to report it, in extreme detail, to a male officer and in front of my male advocate, who was in the room with me. Personally I feel like that situation would've been terrible to experience no matter the sex of the people in the room, because talking about your assault is hardly ever a comfortable thing to do. And while I did feel more comfortable with my female therapist, because she could empathize with me and understand, being a rape victim herself. The detective I got for my case was a man, and he actually acted as a second therapist too, and he helped a lot.
It might take a lot, but if you're really set with this therapist, just try reminding yourself of the facts: Your therapist is a man, and the guy who assaulted you is a man. But they are not the same. One is trying to help you, while one wanted to hurt you.
We're all human and I don't think there's a single counselor who would take your experience any less seriously just because they're not the same gender as you.)


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Re: Getting therapy for past abuse/rape - October 14th 2017, 06:52 PM

He did say that if I wanted to switch to a female social worker, that he would see if she would be willing to take over my treatment.
I do want to try and at least attempt to face my fears about this with him. I just don’t want to write him off because of his gender.
   
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Re: Getting therapy for past abuse/rape - October 14th 2017, 07:46 PM

I don't think the gender has to matter. It really is down to the individual therapist, your relationship with them and the therapy that they are offering. If you are comfortable with him, then there is no harm in trying. And if things don't work out then at least you know you tried and instead you can change therapists. The decision is entirely yours


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Re: Getting therapy for past abuse/rape - October 14th 2017, 08:35 PM

We've only had one session so far, so I'm not too sure if I'm comfortable with him just yet.
He said that we could start out with something small that isn't so triggering for me and use the Exposure therapy method to try it out with.
I'm so glad that he's willing to do that for me, that makes me feel so much better now.
   
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Re: Getting therapy for past abuse/rape - October 14th 2017, 10:01 PM

I don't know about anyone else, but I don't think therapy in general is a very comfortable thing, especially not at first. Therapy forces us to come face-to-face with our greatest traumatic experiences and insecurities, and the therapists teach us how to cope with them head on. That's not something we'd often do out of our own free will, so of course it's not the most comfortable thing in the world.
I think it's great that you're willing to give him a chance though, and I do hope it works out for the best for you! Keep us updated.


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Re: Getting therapy for past abuse/rape - October 14th 2017, 10:46 PM

I will keep you guys updated.
   
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Re: Getting therapy for past abuse/rape - October 15th 2017, 02:45 AM

Hey there,

I have worked with both male and female doctors. The first therapist I ever really worked with was male and he was supposed to be one of the best. I kept seeing him because of that but I wasn't really ready or open to therapy. The second therapist I had, I was going through a program with my county and I didn't really have a choice about working with him because he was the only therapist for that particular program. For a long while, I actually got along well with him and we did some good work together. I think one of the reasons I was able to overcome my discomfort with him was by opening up slowly.

The therapist that I worked with on my abuse, primarily, was female and I think there were some things that made talking to her easier. However, I think I would have been able to adjust to a therapist even if they were male. As long as they showed as much kindness and compassion as the female therapist.

There are some people who cannot work with a male therapist. I don't, necessary have that issue but there are things I struggle to talk to a man about. If you want, you can definitely continue going to him. It can take a while to adjust to a therapist. If after a while you still haven't adjusted or don't feel you are getting anything out of therapy then you can talk to him and ask him to find you a female.

There are some really kind and compassionate males out there. My psychiatrist is a male and he is amazing. He is one of the best out there. He is well known all over my state and I have gotten so much help from him. However, for me, having a male psychiatrist is not as hard as having a male therapist can be because you only confide so much in them. You don't really have to get into detail about abuse etc.

I hope that things work out and you are able to figure this out. There is nothing wrong with wanting to work with a female. I refuse to see a male General Practitioner or a male gynecologist.


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Re: Getting therapy for past abuse/rape - October 15th 2017, 01:35 PM

Hey,

I only skimmed through these other replies so hopefully I am not repetitive. I am going to include some personal information here as well.

I have been sexually abused throughout my life and my counselor is a male counselor. I have been with him for a long time now. I was hesitant to talk to him at first because it was hard to talk about sexual things with a male. However, female therapists were not working out for me so I decided to give him a try. I have been with him ever since and I am thankful for him.

You said you've only seen him once before and you seem like you'd like to work through your fears. Working through your fears and developing a therapeutic relationship with this counselor could do you a world of good if you'd like to try it. Maybe you can ask him if you can get to know him and trust him for a little while before you delve too deep into your traumas?


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Re: Getting therapy for past abuse/rape - October 17th 2017, 09:50 PM

We are going to try working through a less triggering trauma that does not involve talking about sexual details using Prolonged exposure therapy first. I asked him if we could start with the easier stuff, and slowly work our way to the harder things to talk about.
This will give me a chance to see if the therapy works, and if I can get comfortable enough to trust him.
   
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Re: Getting therapy for past abuse/rape - October 18th 2017, 10:06 AM

Talking with a male counselor may ultimately help normalize the experience.

As in sure you could talk with a female, but you'd still not be comfortable talking with a male.

This way, if you talk with a male, you're pushing your boundaries, opening up new doors wider, ultimately will be freer, because you've overcome the fear of talking with men about women stuff.

(This of course assumes he'll be a proper open understanding counselor and not a dick. Most are very good. Your unconscious mind will either decide this man is OK and safe to talk to, or it will stay on guard and decide it doesn't want to talk to this man. It will either happen or it won't. Give it time, see if you can spiral inwards towards the central issue. Kind of dance around it, getting closer and closer.)

If it's just not a good match, give up and switch to someone else. Not all matches work out well.
   
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Re: Getting therapy for past abuse/rape - October 19th 2017, 01:34 AM

I'm hoping that I can open up to him about stuff. I'll let you guys know how things go.
Thank you all for your advice, support, and encouragement. That means a lot to me.
   
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