• Trish French, MSW, CAP, LCSW


With the #MeToo Movement our society has become aware of sexual abuse, addressing it as a global epidemic. The unfortunate truth is, unavoidable lockdowns worldwide have caused millions of sexual abuse survivors to suffer from increased anxiety, fear & depression. With 1 in 4 Females and 1 in 6 Males experiencing sexual abuse, it’s been a silent battle for many loved ones.


If you look at the way we are currently approaching mental health care, it lacks the pace and focus needed to fully recover from traumatic events. On average, a client will be seen twice a month. It’s not a time sensitive approach, but what other options have been available? Clinically, it can take up to five years or more. It’s simply an outdated treatment, one that has been set in place for decades and the real cost is to the patient.


In other words, traditional therapy still plays an important role. It’s needed for many issues related to mental health and I encourage others to always seek help; however, with sexual abuse survivors, they do not receive the focus, accountability or attention needed to fully heal. It takes daily check-ins, weekly assignments and lessons that promote growth and healthy routines.


We will look at the facts in this article to discuss the available treatment options for survivors. You will gain a better understanding of why these outdated methods only provide temporary relief. We will explore our modern solution to show how our clients are healing within months, in the comfort and privacy of their homes.


THE OLD WAY | TREATING SEXUAL TRAUMA


The first issue with recovery is we have a lack of experts specializing in sexual trauma. Most people are seeking help with generalized therapists without being aware there is a better option for healing.


The misconception with therapy is that you need to attend long-term. I see clients that have invested 5-7 years in therapy sessions and never dealt with their underlying issues of childhood trauma.


Seeking help 2 times per month, for 45-minute sessions is not going to allow you to dig deep. This is not something I would recommend if you are trying to recover from sexual abuse.


I empathize with survivors because therapy is the only resource we’ve had in the United States for mental health, still the same process today. It’s not effective or efficient. I know this personally, because I've worked in the field for 13 years and saw a need for change.


The fact is, you are investing in a system that takes 3-10 years, with no guarantee of “fixing” your trauma. Realistically, you may make progress in the short-term, but this only provides temporary relief.


What I have seen to be true, is our current mental health system keeps you dependent on therapists, feeling like you can’t handle situations on your own. They don’t provide a long-term plan or timeframe for healing.

You may receive free sessions through your insurance or have a small copay, but you are losing the most valuable resource you have, Time. No one wants to take a gamble of 5-7 years in therapy to possibly heal or have temporary relief. Time is invaluable; we can’t get it back. So while you may be saving on finances, you are losing something much more precious, your life.


If you've been in therapy long term, you might find it difficult to apply habits and routines with the lack of daily check-ins. Seeing a therapist twice per month does not provide the accountability needed to make permanent changes. You need consistency for success. For example, if you had a goal to exercise, lose weight and gain muscle tone, yet you only worked out twice per month, you won’t achieve results. This is why traditional therapy is an outdated method in our modern world. Without daily accountability, life gets in the way and you get distracted.


Therapy offers time restrictive sessions, lasting 45-60 minutes. This allows you to vent about your daily struggles, but not sufficient time to dig deep into your trauma. You are not in control of your success because you're at the whim of the therapist and their limited time. Even worse, some therapists allow their clients to just talk about what they want in sessions, giving no real direction or clarity. There’s no guidance.


If you’re not in therapy or seeking treatment of any kind, you are at risk.


You may be numbing yourself with alcohol, drugs, emotional eating, impulsive buying or sex addiction. This is a clear sign that you are avoiding your trauma and numbing your pain.


You may be distracting yourself with work, avoiding your personal life. People use their addiction to avoid thinking about their past pain or dealing with their abuse.


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) (hypnosis therapy) is a common technique used on survivors, but this only helps for a limited time. People tend to have temporary relief from their trauma after hypnosis therapy, but do not sustain long-term resolution.


These methods are outdated and slow-paced, providing a patch fix for short-term relief. Traditional therapy does provide relief for your everyday problems but is not geared toward those who are dealing with deeper issues. Sexual abuse survivors don’t need a series of slow-paced sessions that provide band aids.


The real reason you are being held back, checked out and depressed is because you haven’t been given proper guidance. You don’t know how to cope or navigate your feelings.


Let's look at the costs, not only on an emotional level but financially as well. Most who attend therapy do so for an average of 5-7 years spending around $150 per session, totaling $54,000 or more.


If you are relying on low copays and free sessions, I'll say it again, you are still losing precious time. Your trauma will still be there, mainly because traditional therapy is not as effective and it will cost you, one way or another.


The only other clinical option would be to seek an inpatient treatment center. I will start by saying, even the high profile trauma treatment centers on the market today have a high relapse rate.


It's a very clear problem in today's world. People are walking around with unresolved issues and have little direction, resources or the time to heal.


Those who choose inpatient treatment will end up staying 30-90 days at a center. The national average is to return to treatment 3-8 times. This means you'll likely spend upwards of $90,000-$400,000. You could end up in debt or worse, losing relationships, stability and jobs.


Could you imagine spending even the lowest amount, $90,000, and not having guaranteed results? Having a high percentage of relapsing and spiraling back into old habits, painful emotions and destructive behaviors?


If you are not familiar with treatment centers, do not expect privacy. You will work in groups, so it’s not individualized treatment.


You will have to travel to the facility and share space with others. I know survivors prefer privacy and confidentiality.



THE MODERN SOLUTION | TREATING SEXUAL TRAUMA


My childhood is the main reason why I made it my purpose to heal childhood trauma. I’ve seen, first hand, loved ones around me suffering from mental health issues, as well as the impact it creates and what can be lost when it declines.


My mother was a trauma survivor and spent her life grappling for control and dealing with anxiety; this stunted her communication, relationships and opportunities. She only had the best of intentions, but that was often overshadowed by fear and stress. Not to misrepresent, I had a good upbringing, I have loving parents; however, over time, I noticed the patterns of her lashing out, which I now know is due to past sexual abuse. It affected me for decades, affecting her marriage with my father and caused them to divorce. It stole so much from our family. I have witnessed the monumental struggle survivors encounter every day, which is why I do my best to pull others out of that suffering. Nonetheless, I must show deep gratitude to my mother for doing the best that she could, given such a difficult past and the sexual abuse she experienced.


I felt an overwhelming urge to widen my point of view after college, and traveled the world to understand mental health through different cultures. Traveling has carved a new path for me; it pushes me to ask bigger questions.


Why do some countries experience a higher quality of life? Even countries that have fewer resources, food and safety? How do they prioritize happiness and joy? What motivates them? In comparison, why are many people in our society unhappy? With all the luxuries, wealth and conveniences, they still feel life is not worth living.

The answer is simple and powerful. Without purpose and passion, your life becomes meaningless.


Most survivors lack these two important traits when they come to us. Trauma creates a mental limitation that affects the body, overriding your drive, passion and joy. Survivors need more than what our current mental health care system can offer. This created a sense of drive and motivation within myself to find a better way to heal survivors. I was tired of seeing loved ones suffer, losing time, energy and ultimately, their life.


The fact is, therapy hasn’t evolved in over 30 years. So, realizing this, my mission was to create a modern solution to healing childhood sexual abuse, in the comfort and privacy of your home. You don’t need to stop your life or be away from your family or job.


It’s a unique benefit, being able to access clinical information, twenty four hours a day, compared to being on a therapist’s limited schedule. Having flexibility is crucial. Virtual treatment gives the client reasonable control of their recovery, creating increased confidence and independence; I’m pushing to stay on the cutting edge.


Our company has had wonderful results, since launching our 8-week trauma program. I have since helped transform over 400 sexual abuse survivors, nationwide. The next step is laying groundwork to reach a global scale. I know that sexual abuse is not just limited to the boundaries of the United States, but rather a global issue, and we plan on building support in other areas of the world.


It’s about having access to treating your mental health, from the privacy and comfort of your home. That should be a human right. Mental health is not an expense or inconvenience; it is the deciding factor in our happiness.


Quite frankly, it takes focus and dedication to work through traumatic events in life. You need more than what our current mental health care system can offer. You need an expert, someone who specializes in childhood sexual abuse.


To gain a better understanding, let me use a physical injury as an example. Let's say someone was very careless and hit you with their car. They broke your leg and now you need urgent care. We can all agree it wouldn't be your fault, but this wouldn't stop you from seeking treatment. If you refuse surgery, the injury would worsen and cause intense pain. The outcome would likely be a physical deformity, daily suffering and depression.


However, when it comes to dealing with emotional pain and mental health, we stay silent, refusing to prioritize and heal an injury that will cause mental breakdowns, irrational behaviors, and anxiety. The fact is, mental health is essential. It's a top priority, on the same level, if not more important, than your physical health.



HOW MENTAL HEALTH AFFECTS THE BODY


I’ve heard misconceptions in our society, that if we are excelling in our career, then we are “successful.” This is the furthest thing from the truth. Success comes when you have the strength and courage to look at all components of your life and admit your weaknesses (i.e. personal self-care, having a passionate marriage, pursuing hobbies, chasing your dream job, being there for your family). It’s important to be honest with yourself, taking an inventory of which areas of your life need improvement. Without a doubt, having discipline and balance is key.


We see many professionals that are 100% capable of functioning physically, but struggle mentally. You hardly have the energy to take care of yourself or interact with loved ones. You are “physically” here, but are mentally checked out and withdrawn from life.


Trauma creates a mental limitation that affects the body, overriding your drive, passion and joy.


Your mental health determines how you feel and act each day, what you think about yourself. This is not something that you can ignore or push back. It is just as deadly as any physical injury, probably worse, as you suffer over a longer period in silence… 30 or even 40 years.


Let's be honest, not a single person would prefer to take 30 years to heal from a broken leg. Same with childhood sexual abuse. If you're not seeking help for your issues, it's like limping around on broken bones, requiring surgery. You need an expert that can reset your life, just like a surgeon can reset your leg. Now the main question, who would you want operating on you? It matters who you work with. Very few professionals specialize in childhood sexual abuse.


Invest in an expert, the same reason why you would need an orthopedic surgeon to operate and heal your leg. It's a specialty, a specific type of pain and suffering I can heal. When you work with us, you get compassion, focus and expertise. We don't waste time; we are here to help you break free from your trauma, build powerful routines and transform your life.


At the end of the day, I know more than anything that you just want to feel in control and at peace.

  • What would it mean to you, having stability in your life right now?

  • What could you achieve

  • What relationships would you fix and focus on?


It's never a "too late" scenario. It will take work, drive and commitment. If you are ready to heal your past abuse, schedule a call with us to start healing today.