Treating PTSD in Female Survivors of Sexual Abuse Through Feminist Pastoral Counseling: A Case Study Open Access

Winingder, Jennifer (2015)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/hx11xf751?locale=en
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Abstract

The central underlying question to be explored in this Dissertation is as follows: are current approaches to working with female survivors of childhood sexual abuse adequate and effective? The goals of this case study will be an examination of psychotherapeutic theories of female development, socio-cultural elements that influence a woman's self-identity in modern American society, and pastoral, liberative and narrative therapeutic practices that can help a trauma survivor address past abuse and move towards healing in a healthy, holistic, and empowered manner. In order to understand the effect of childhood sexual abuse on female development and identity, exploration of the effects of trauma on the brain and body was undertaken, and observations were made about the differences between sexual assault and sexual abuse. Comparisons between various forms of therapeutic and spiritual practices currently utilized in mental health and pastoral counseling were made in order to reach helpful conclusions about the particular needs of survivors of sexual abuse in therapy. Through the exploration of available literature on treating PTSD in survivors of childhood sexual abuse, it has become clear that there is a lack of significant resources on working with this particular population of people living with PTSD.

Table of Contents

CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION 13

CHAPTER II: UNDERSTANDING TRAUMA AND PTSD 37

CHAPTER III: REVIEW OF LITERATURE 71

CHAPTER IV: CASE DISCUSSION 138

CHAPTER V: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 201

REFERENCES 220

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