I'm going to come in from a completely different direction. I've read your posts in different threads, as well as some of the responses on this thread.
If in fact you are a professional counselor - and you are coming to curezone for an answer to the question that you have raised, there are several things that need to be addressed.
1. Your glaring lack of counseling experience is booming right through your questions - as well as some of your responses.
2. You yourself have professional resources right in your own back yard that you should be contacting instead of a group of non-professionals here on curezone.
3. From within your own resources and your own experiences, if you don't have an answer to this question - then you have no business being a counselor.
I've recovered from sexual abuse PTSD and with more than one counselor I played the role of counselor on many occasions, while they were the client. I felt it many times over and it angered me to no end.
You yourself need professional help!
Well I'll tell you, you've got it backwards about who's dealing with what. I ignored your post about being in "over your head" with a client - just shook my head that a counselor would come to curezone for advice about that. You - if you are licensed, obviously have your own support network or you wouldn't be counseling. If you can't get your answers through your network, I guarantee you that curezone is not an alternative. Then, you post about "Is it right to disclose" and I shook my head again for the same reason - but didn't answer - until - I saw your post on Men Raped. That's when I got burned up and if you don't think that anger is a correct reaction to someone like yourself, you don't know what's going on anywhere. Here's what you said over there:
"7 years, 70 years...when it comes to a violation like this....time seems to stand still. There are times I still feel the burn and pain. The feeling of degradation, hurt, humiliation. But I do have to disagree with needing to forgive......."
That really got to me. This is the remark of a professional counselor whose clientele have been sexually abused???? You still feel the burn and the pain? I have no problem with that statement from someone who has been abused. That’s pretty normal for most anyone. But at the same time it is obviously a statement by someone who has not yet recovered from their abuse – and that’s no problem for me either, until I recognize that the person who has not yet recovered is now out counseling others with similar difficulties. And now you wish to share your details with a client? No way! Not at this point. You want to share your pain with you client because your haven't yet resolved your own. Guess what? You are going to continue to get more and more clients with that type of abuse until you let go of the pain from your own abuse - and then you will really have something.
Then you made another remark on the Men Raped forum that says “But I do have to disagree with needing to forgive. I thought that cliche went out in the 80's……<snip> …To me, apathy is the best way to let go. Not some forced need to forgive. I will leave that to God, the Buddha, or whatever else is the final judge.” I agree that from a counseling point of view there is but one purpose and that is to address the needs of the client. I believe that is the goal of the client, for the one who has been abused - address your own issues first and then see what happens. My own experience has been that as I addressed my issues there within me arose a need to forgive my abuser. Until I did, I wasn't at peace with myself regarding this issue, and being at piece with myself is what life is all about.
years ago I had the good fortune to take a three day seminar at Esalen with an
eminent psychologist, one Edith Eva Eger, a sexual abuse therapist.
Her own story is one of the most amazing that you will ever find.
She was arrested in
can find Edith’s story here: http://www.dredie.com/history.html
and she is still practicing in the
The seminar I took from Eddie was on Forgiveness. This woman learned in her healing process that she had to forgive everyone. She said that she wished she could find that soldier that hit her and thank him. Thank him for what? She said “..because he was supposed to have killed me.” She also said that she had to forgive Hitler. She said that it took a long time and a lot of work to get there, but that was her only path to happiness. Edith now does speeches and seminars to all sorts of groups and her message always is one of love and forgiveness. This woman knows how and spreads it around.
Spraque with a statement like: "There are times I still feel the burn and pain. The feeling of degradation, hurt, humiliation. But I do have to disagree with needing to forgive......." you still have burn, humiliation, pain, and all that goes along with it that needs to still be worked on. There is nothing wrong with that at all. However, until you neutralize it and the burn and pain and degradation are virtually eliminated, I seriously doubt your ability to provide proper support for those who have gone through similar experiences.
I have no idea what you mean about reading a book on counseling - I've read loads of them about the sexual abuse of male children by adults, but where I'm coming from is not what I got out of a book, it's what I've learned from my own self healing process. When the PTSD from sexual abuse as an infant hit me, I moved furniture and a computer into my bedroom and only came out to eat, shop for groceries, and counsel - for a period of six months. I've been through the terror, the 15 to 20 minutes of sleep awakened by the most horrible nightmares one can image, but I got through it, without medication even though I was suicidal and they tried to force me to take it. So I've walked the walk. It was not easy, but I know the route, and I've done a load of forgiveness. I eventually became a volunteer counselor for others who were dealing with significant life issues. What brought on the PTSD was but one of my childhood abuse experiences, and by far my most terrifying, so it wasn't a one item agenda, there were many items. Added to that I have endured the thick of combat as well as an air disaster in which a friend was killed and I survived, but the PTSD and sexual abuse was by far the most terrifying experience of my life.
If you seem to think that a little anger means that I haven't worked through my "issues" - you're sadly mistaken. I can get angry because I've worked through my issues. If you aren't in touch with your feelings you are out of touch with reality and your statement about apathy is a good indication that you are not in touch with your true feelings. Anger is a fantastic healing energy when appropriately used.
Thanks for indicating that you had the good sense to ask your client to move to someone else, because it's my opinion that what you should still have her do.
"One thing I have learned, survivors/victims, whatever term is most agreeable to you is that things can be fine. After years of therapy, working through all the issues, and feeling fine, things can trigger, bringing about old wounds and feelings. I only hope that will never happen to you or anyone you know. But the ordeal she experienced, was a trigger for me. I have talked w/ support providers, getting myself back in order. Am I perfect, I only wish. Will I have other triggers in the future, I pray not, but I may. Other therapists say that this is not uncommon. So I feel inclined to believe them. A person can go years, decades, doing wonderful, then something can be a trigger. So hopefully you are cured, whatever that is, but I discovered I'm not. But I"m also not a wreck, nor helpless. Maybe that is why my clients feel a closeness and safeness with me. They see a strength that is willing to continue the work and fight."
Yes I've run into triggers, but rarely run into them any more. At one time I believed that I would have to live with my terror, but on a less intense level. I've found that not to be the case. You really can heal all the emotions around the incident(s) - and like you, I'm far from perfect but I'd much rather be where I'm at now then say even 5 years ago.
"As for the forgiveness issue. That one that is a personal choice. I would never impose that choice on anyone."
I couldn't agree more in the case of working with someone when they are the client. I wouldn't even bring the topic up. However, for the counselor I believe it is extremely important. Apathy is like death. The two are equal and if you are apathetic about your abuse you are stuck and have stopped healing. I know a man who was abused on about the same level I was and he visited a psychiatrist for over 5 years to get through the issues around it. He was (probably still is) a fantastic guy, but he hates his father and mother with a passion. He wasn't stuck, he had feelings. If he's comfortable with that, that's his choice. (After he grew up, his father was murdered and no one ever caught the murderer. My friend figures that his dad had abused a neighbor boy and that someone got even, and my friend was tickled to death over it.) Yet what I learned after first recognizing the intense hate I had for the individual that caused my PTSD and clearing a lot of that out of me, was the immense love that was underneath it. You don't have hate without love. It took forgiveness and releasing a lot of hate to get to the love, but that alone was worth the process, and I think that's what people who don't wish to or don't consider forgiveness are missing. I don't even think they are aware that love is available beneath all the crud and now one is telling them. That's what I love about Edith Eger. She was filled with love. Getting to the immense love that's within each of us is a process, and it's available to all of us, abused or not.
"How would a victim feel if their counselor was a victim. Would the trust / bond be there and help in the treatment or would it pose problems. Nothing more. So, do I want to hear from a bunch of people who have just read the books and had classes or do I want to hear from the people who lived through it. My thoughts, at this time, are the people who lived through this ordeal, what worked for them, what didnt work for them. I hope this helps clarify."
I understand, though I'm still not in agreement, but at least you know what you were looking for.
I counseled for several months and yet I don't feel that the counselor (considered one of the best in the area) did that much for me, other than to point out things that I never considered abuse were in fact abuse, and rather intense. What I used the weekly counseling sessions for was to gain information and insight and then take it home to my daily meditations. It was my meditations - kundalini meditations, that got me through the first year and what has continued to assist in my healing process. I never believed what I was told when I first learned meditation - a few years before the PTSD, that I had all my own answers within myself. But after almost 30 years of practicing meditation I'm now a firm believer of that truth.