chapter  7
23 Pages

Adults Who Were Traumatized as Children

ByDiana Sullivan Everstine, Louis Everstine

This chapter begins with a description of how some adults who were sexually assaulted as children find their way into treatment. It focuses on helping a therapist to identify the previously “silent” victim of childhood sexual trauma. The chapter provides therapists with a clinical picture of the characteristics of adults who were abused as children or adolescents. The clinician’s initial approach of cautious observation is a critical step because several forces are at work simultaneously in the cases. Apart from the obvious repression, a client may also have diminished the intensity of the event by some form of the dissociative process. The clinician asked the client how capable the little girl was, whether or not there was anything sexual about a child of that age, and if a child of that age should be left unattended for long periods of time.