Leahy, Trisha and Pretty, Grace and Tenenbaum, Gershon (2003) Childhood sexual abuse narratives in clinically and non-clinically distress adult survivors. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 34 (6). pp. 657-665. ISSN 0735-7028
Understanding the complex dynamics involved in previous sexual abuse trauma is of central importance to clinicians working with adult survivors of childhood previous sexual abuse.In this study 20 volunteer participants formed 2 gender-balanced groups differentiated by clinical (vs. nonclinical) levels of distress. A negative case analysis revealed group differences in participants' perceptions of the impact of the abuse, meaning attributions for the abuse and social support experiences. Resolving traumatic attachment to the perpetrator may be the core therapeutic task complicating the process of reclaiming trust, expressing grief and anger, and developing empowered meaning attributions. Successful negotiation of the complex pathways to recovery requires a therapeutic environment free from countertransferential errors.
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