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Violence Intervention Services

Encouraging Counseling

The emotional aftermath of sexual abuse is painful and can be long-term.  Survivors can benefit greatly from counseling, but they may be reluctant to seek professional help. 

The following are some ways you might respond to a sexual abuse survivor's concerns about counseling.

Sexual Abuse Survivor Supportive Friend/Family Member
"So you think I'm crazy?" "Not at all. I think you are hurting--that's normal because sexual assault is very traumatic. Counseling would help you begin healing emotionally."
"But I already spoke  with an advocate the night of thecrisis intervention, because it continues over a longer assault."     "I'm glad you did.  But, counseling is different from period of time."
"I just want to put this behind me and get on with my life."                                                "I know you do.  Unfortunately, even if you try your best to block it out, I think this will continue to upset you. I Care about you and want you to have lots of support."
"Shouldn't I be over this by now?" "Please don’t give yourself a deadline.  You will heal, but it will take time.”     
"What happens during a counseling session? "A counselor is someone who will help you identify andexpress your feelings.  He/she can help you gain important insights, help you recover from trauma and ask for what you need from your support people.
"I wouldn't know where to start."    ""There's no one "correct" starting place when talking to a  counselor. Your feelings may be unclear to you at first. Just start wherever you feel comfortable."
"I can't afford it." "Seeing a counselor at the UNI Counseling Center for individual and/or group counseling sessions is free because you are a student.
"Will my parents find out  I'm going there?"   "No.  The fact that you have sought counseling and everything that you share during your appointments is confidential."
"How long would I see the counselor?" "That's something that you would decide jointly with your counselor based upon your progress.