This approach enables clients to find relief from symptoms stemming from or related to the sexual abuse, to alter feelings associated with memories of trauma so that flashbacks become less intrusive, and to develop a positive, practical, and healthy future orientation. In short, clients experience healing and begin to live satisfying lives.
Yvonne Dolan works from the assumption that, despite the traumas they have endured, clients have the inner resources to create uniquely effective solutions to their problems. Both solution-oriented and hypnotic techniques are used to tap those resources in the context of a safe, respectful relationship. Clients are encouraged to trust themselves, to move at their own right pace, and to recognize and build on tiny signs of healing.
Ericksonian techniques are particularly powerful in enabling clients to resolve dissociated traumatic experiences, experience corrective development learnings, and turn the symptom of dissociation into a resource for healing. Solution-focused therapy ensures that clients not only resolve past sexual abuse but also form a clear map of functional behaviors and perceptions to replace trauma-based ones. Specific strategies are offered for treatment of post-traumatic amnesia, self-mutilation, sexual dysfunctions, memory problems, and a multitude of other symptoms.
While the treatment is primarily individual, supportive family members and friends are invited to sessions, where they learn to assist survivors in ways that are comforting and healing. Rather than obsessively going over the traumatic events of the past, both clients and supportive family members are guided to notice signs of improvement, to identify actions and words that are helpful, and to do more of what works. In addition, the therapist and client plan strategies for dealing with nonsupportive family members and with perpetrators.
In effect, Resolving Sexual Abuse shows therapists and clients how to imagine a healthy, satisfying future-and then move toward it with confidence and success.
About the Author:
Yvonne M. Dolan, M.A., a psychotherapist and consultant with a private practice in Denver, conducts training in the use of Ericksonian hypnosis and solution-focused therapy for treatment of sexual abuse throughout the United States. She is the author of A Path With a Heart: Ericksonian Utilization With Resistant and Chronic Clients.