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J Sex Marital Ther. 1997 Summer;23(2):118-25.

Therapeutic and iatrogenic interventions with adults who were sexually abused as children.

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Department of Psychology, American University, Washington, DC 20016-8602, USA.


The field of sexual victimization and trauma has generated incompatible paradigms that confuse conceptualization, assessment, and treatment for adult survivors of child sexual abuse. It is crucial to be aware of potential iatrogenic concepts and interventions, especially those involving litigation, obscessing about past trauma, self-esteem as a victim, quest for external validation, identification with the victim movement, exploration of repressed memories as a goal in itself, and focus on the past at the expense of being a survivor in the present. Core therapeutic concepts are accepting oneself as a survivor; experiencing adult sexuality as voluntary, mutual, and pleasure-oriented, and feeling deserving of healthy sexuality; and focusing on living well in personal, sexual, marital, and parenting roles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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