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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 127782 Find in a Library
Title: Counseling Women With Histories of Incest
Journal: Women and Therapy  Volume:2  Issue:4  Dated:(Winter 1983)  Pages:17-31
Author(s): E Westerlund
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 15
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Because incest appears to be such a prevalent experience, counselors of women especially should be prepared to deal with it and related issues and should routinely ask about sexually abusive experiences, information which the client may not volunteer.
Abstract: This information pertains mostly to female victims of adult male offenders. Incest, like rape, is an act of aggression in which the offender takes out his distress on his victim. Females with a history of family sexual abuse are often more vulnerable to sexual abuse by other males, repeated pregnancies, rape, and sexual exploitation. Incest victims may engage in acts of self-mutilation, attempt suicide, run away from home, or engage in various delinquent activities. Some of the issues confronting therapists of incest victims include guilt, low self-esteem, isolation, sexual problems, confusion about sexual orientation, difficulties in intimacy in non-sexual relationships, and difficulties in family relationships. Counselors need to confront their own sexual attitudes, power issues, and sexism. Group therapy, whether in led groups or self-help groups, is essential for any incest client. Counselors working with incest victims should not hesitate to ask for support from peers and supervisors in working through some of the issues and emotions they will experience. 7 references
Main Term(s): Incest treatment
Index Term(s): Counseling techniques; Group therapy; Psychological victimization effects
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