Many women and men who have been raped turn to counseling for help in getting past the trauma of their event and feel disappointed in the results. This is mainly due to the fact that most counselors–even those who advertise as “Rape Counselors”–do not have the qualifications. To be able to help a rape victim heal, the counselor must have the following:

1. Personal identification with and the ability to work with feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and despair. These three emotions are the end result of rape and counselors who do not fully understand the dynamics of the three in this order are unable to lead a rape victim through the healing process. The counselor is also unable to manage suicidal or homicidal ideations so often associated with rape trauma. People in general as a rule–counselors being no exception–will do anything not to experience feelings of helplessness or hopelessness and certainly never despair. A large part of my training has been to immerse myself in each emotion, with helpless, hopeless, despair and shame being the worst of all of them.

2. Personal identification with and the ability to work with feelings of shame. Few counselors are brave enough to face feelings of shame in themselves and therefore make the client uncomfortable when trying to talk about her or his shame caused by rape.

3. An understanding of the dynamics of PTSD, trauma and rape in order to know the questions that must be asked and the sensitivity to know when to ask them. Rape victims usually get stuck in relating the telling of their event to others and cannot move beyond these “sticking points” even when seeking self-discovery through reassessment of the events. Even the best counselors can lose clients by asking the right question at the wrong time.

4. The patience to listen, listen, listen during the process of healing, which in most victims  can take years. Too many counselors try to rush the process, especially by assuring the client of the counselor’s knowledge and experience on the subject. Being in counseling brings to the memory exactly what the client is trying to forget and she or he will spend an immense amount of time in the presence of the counselor silently reassessing and re-evaluating those painful memories.

If you have been raped, you are not alone. Millions of women and men across the Globe have suffered much of the same trauma as you and each works through that experience in his or her own way. They say that “time heals all” but too many after 10 or 50 years experience daily the f eelings just as they did during the rape. Life is too short to waste it trying to get past the rape by yourself. Whereas  the majority of counselors are unqualified to help in the healing of rape, plenty of us do exist. If you live around Atlanta, GA and wish to talk to me or meet for a free consultation to discuss counseling, please email me at lanestokes18@yahoo.com or lane.stokes@fortheunderdog.com. If you prefer calling, you may reach me or my answering machine at 770-458-5797.

Lane

 

Leave a Reply