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#3437 - 08/03/04 07:46 PM Which is Better?
Redsongbird Offline

Registered: 12/01/01
Posts: 209
Seeing a counselor who has a "abuse history" themselves or someone who hasn't had one?


#3438 - 08/03/04 08:22 PM Re: Which is Better?
Bill_1965 Offline
Chat Mod Emeritus

Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 1984
Loc: Flint, Michigan
How about one that is experienced in treating abuse survivors, especially males?

I can recommend one not to see - Dr. Steve.

Pain is Temporary; Quitting lasts Forever. - Lance Armstrong

#3439 - 08/03/04 08:54 PM Re: Which is Better?
MrDon Offline

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
If someone has a history of abuse in their past, I would want to make sure they have moved well beyond it in their own healing. Otherwise, it could (possibly) make for an unhealthy situation. On the other hand, they would understand the issue from a different perspective.

I wouldn't make my decision based upon this fact personally. See which one your gut feels or tells you is the one that will help you the most. And go with that one.

I think I've seen Ken put a link up to an article written and on this site somewhere about selecting a therapist. You may want to check that out and I don't know for sure where that article is.


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#3440 - 08/03/04 10:51 PM Re: Which is Better?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
The charity I work for employs about ten therapists and we work solely with sex abuse Survivors.
I have no idea at all if any of the therapists are Survivors.
I don't know if the one I saw was either.

I'm training to become a counsellor at the moment, and I would try not to disclose to any client my history. It's THEIR time, not mine.
Obviously my personal experience will colour the relationship, but hopefully in a positive manner.
Any issues I have I would take to supervision or deal with in my personal therapy.
I wouldn't be strict about disclosing, if it was in the clients best interests I might do it, but not until I had taken the issue to supervision.

A lot of counselors and therapists enter the proffesion because they have experienced the benefits of good help themselves, and if they needed help in the first place they must have had some problems.
Personally I think we as Survivors need someone who really knows about abuse and it's effects.
Who are the experts?


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
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#3441 - 08/04/04 01:18 AM Re: Which is Better?
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
I agree with the idea that the important thing is if the therapist is skilled in treating male survivors of sexual assault. Yoiu might get lucky with someone who has not made that a study. But experience seems to help. Personally, I like female therapists more--but that is my hang up about talking to a guy about waht happened and wondering if he feels superior to me.


If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

#3443 - 08/04/04 01:36 AM Re: Which is Better?
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
From A Consumer's Guide to Therapist Shopping:
Whether or not a particular therapist's experience of personal victimization (that is, whether or not he is a survivor) makes him a more effective helper is questionable. His effectiveness is determined by his skills. Some survivor therapists however, have personal experiences with sexual victimization and that may help them better understand what you went through. Others may be handicapped by their experience and may be less than helpful for you. Non-survivor therapists may be more useful due to their distance and objectivity to the problem. There is no clear rule of thumb whether or not it is better to have therapist who is also a survivor.


Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

#3444 - 08/04/04 12:30 PM Re: Which is Better?
Redsongbird Offline

Registered: 12/01/01
Posts: 209
Thanks all - you said things how I was thinking about it. First of all it is almost immpossible to find someone who has experience dealing with MALES who have had these experiences. I went to one person and they looked like I had come from outer space ...I left before the time was up. I have never tried a female counselor mine have always been male. I want to stick with a male counselor just need to find a good one.


#3445 - 08/04/04 02:43 PM Re: Which is Better?
Dan88 Offline

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 247
Loc: DC
Something you may want to try (if you haven't) is e-mailing Mike Lew or his colleagues. They were able to put me in touch with someone in my area who had experience dealing with male SA survivors. Good luck.

#3446 - 08/04/04 07:52 PM Re: Which is Better?
Leosha Offline

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
That is interesting thinking. I have only had one therapist, and so have nothing for comparing. But yes, I think what is most important is their experience in dealing with us, survivors, specially male survivors.


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