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Andrea Moreno

Andrea Moreno

Psychologist
Child, adolescent and adult therapist
Languages: English and Spanish

Experiencing a Support Group for Survivors of Sexual Abuse: Light in the Dark

“Just like the lotus we too have the ability to rise from the mud, bloom out of the darkness and radiate into the world.”

 

During the last year I´ve had the privilege of leading the first support group for survivors of sexual trauma at Sinews. It was an intense and enriching experience that deeply touched me and I will try to share a little bit of the magical experience with you through this article. I will not only use my own words but also those of some of the participants who sent me their own written accounts of how they experienced the group. I hope that those reading this article will get a feel for what we shared every Tuesday evening.

 

To start off, I think it would be helpful to really understand what sexual abuse or trauma is, this way we can understand to whom this group is directed. Sexual abuse refers to a sexual act forced upon a woman, man or child without their consent, it is an act of violence that the perpetrator uses against someone they perceive as weaker than them with the goal of obtaining pleasure by controlling and humiliating the victim. 

 

Relevant data on sexual violence from the National Sexual Violence Resource Centre in the U.S.A shows that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men will be raped at some point in their life. The number of men who suffer sexual aggressions increases to 1 in 16 when talking about the student population. Furthermore, 1 in 10 women has been raped by an intimate partner and 8 out of 10 victims knew the person that sexually assaulted them.

 

This statistical information is relevant for two main reasons: 1. It reveals that sexual abuse isn´t something exceptional that happens to an unfortunate few, in reality it is a social problem that occurs with frighteningly high frequency. 2. It serves to debunk some of the myths that we tell ourselves about sexual abuse and sexual aggression. 

Forgiveness as a Tool for Psychological Wellbeing

 

Forgiveness is a word we have all heard before, we´ve been taught we “should” forgive and we´ve all made our own interpretations of the word. How many times have we seen little children having to give a kiss and say sorry? Forgiveness is something that we´ve supposedly learnt to do as we grew up. But when given a deeper thought, do we know what forgiveness is? Do we know how to forgive?

The subject of forgiveness seems to be tainted by culture, religion and personal factors. Therefore, throughout this article we will take a look into what forgiveness really is and how we forgive from a psychological perspective.

 

El Duelo tras la Muerte de una Mascota Querida:  Tres características y Recomendaciones para su Resolución

El duelo es el proceso psicológico que se produce a partir de la pérdida por la muerte de un ser querido, es una experiencia universal, única y dolorosa. La pérdida conduce a la necesidad de adaptarse a una nueva situación, una realidad en la que ya no está ese ser querido. Teniendo en cuenta esta definición de duelo, no sorprende que los dueños de mascotas atraviesen este mismo proceso cuando su querida mascota fallece.

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Grief after the Loss of a Beloved Pet:  Three characteristics and Recommendations for it´s Resolution.

Grief is the psychological process of adaptation that comes after the loss of a loved one, it´s a universal experience that almost everyone goes through in a lifetime. The loss of someone dear to us leads to the need of adaptation to a new reality in which our loved one isn´t there. Having this definition of grief in our minds, it comes as no surprise that pet owners go through this same process after the loss of their pets.

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