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Healing the Emotional Harm of Sexual Harassment and Assault

Posted on 07 November 2017

None of us can have missed the storm around sexual harassment and assault going on at the moment. I know that there will be many people out there who turn on the news and find that what they are watching brings back old memories and painful feelings related to something bad which happened to them. Times like this can be both terrible and liberating if you are one of those people.

If you have experienced sexual assault or harassment these times can be highly difficult because you might be reliving things you would rather forget, you may be experiencing very unpleasant symptoms and emotions such as flashbacks, becoming nervous or tearful and not being able to sleep. But periods like this can also be liberating because you realise that you are not the only one who has suffered - feeling isolated is a very common response after an unwanted sexual experience.

There is an even more important way that times like this can liberate you, with everything swirling around in the media, it can be the time you decide to take control and do something to rid yourself of the impact of the unwanted sexual experience.

A lot of my time is spent dealing with the effects of sexual assault and harassment. Sometimes the people who come to see me do not actually come to deal with this problem. They come to my Harley Street anxiety for hypnotherapy clinic with a whole range of issues: anxiety, post-traumatic stress, depression, or just a general feeling that things are not right for them -- they seek help from me because there is something in their life that they want to be free of.

Perhaps they are having trouble in a relationship, or they may find that they lack confidence to get to where they want to in life. The presenting issues are many and varied, but sometimes these cannot be resolved unless we look deeper.

I estimate that about 25 percent of the clients I see have had an unwanted sexual experience in their background which is still affecting them and causing damage. Often, my client will think they have dealt with what happened, and it is no longer a problem. But often, as I ask the client about their history and how they view their life, it becomes obvious that the experience is still impacting.

My aim is to help anyone out there who has been a victim of unwanted sexual attention, from unwanted comments through to rape, and feels that it is impacting on or damaging their life.

Over the next few days I am going to be here offering some help and support. Specifically, I am going to:

Explain why sexual harassment can be so damaging and how it can ‘lurk’ in the unconscious affecting your happiness and wellbeing for years into the future.

Advise against certain sorts of treatment, indeed some forms of counselling may actually make the problem worse.

Help you to select good therapists by asking some incisive questions and looking out for certain expertise.

So, check back here soon for the first of these posts. Contact me if you feel you want to talk now and please be assured that there is help and support out there.


Fiona Nicolson on Google+

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