The psychotherapeutic needs of women who have been sexually assaulted

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


PROBLEM. Despite the significant emotional repercussions of sexual assault, women survivors often avoid formal mental health treatment. Little is known about why survivors are reluctant to use professional services to facilitate recovery. METHODS. A descriptive study used content analysis to describe the therapy experiences and self-perceived psychotherapeutic needs of 33 women who survived sexual assault by male intimates. FINDINGS. With regard to professional services, the participants were most concerned about the quality of the therapeutic relationship and advised clinicians to appreciate the strengths and resources women bring to their own recovery. The participants' specific psychotherapeutic needs were influenced by the pervasiveness of the violence in their lives. CONCLUSIONS. Clinicians should not focus exclusively on the amelioration of symptoms but should provide support, validation, and empowerment for sexual assault survivors who seek treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-28
Number of pages11
JournalPerspectives in Psychiatric Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999


  • Psychotherapy
  • Qualitative studies
  • Rape
  • Sexual abuse
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health

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