Just like child sexual abuse, adult sexual abuse is an ongoing concern not only in the United States but all over the world. The effects of sexual abuse always have a significant impact on the daily functioning, overall mental health, interpersonal relationships and the overall well-being of the survivors. Therefore, it is essential for the survivors of adult sexual abuse to receive effective and timely mental health treatment and care.
However, only a few of these survivors are willing to expose their ordeal due to fear of stigmatization in the society. Most of them are reluctant and unwilling to engage in the conventional methods of therapy provided in a typical mental health setting. This is where art therapy comes in to help.
Art therapy is a mental health profession in which the therapist utilizes conventional art to explore feelings and reconcile existing emotional conflicts while managing behavior and fostering self-awareness at the same time.
Through art therapy, victims of adult sexual abuse can develop social skills, restore their self-esteem and reduce anxiety. At the end of the therapy, the victims feel better and accept who they are. It helps the survivor find the right words to express their painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Below are some of the art therapy benefits for sexually abused adults.
Art Therapy Helps the Survivors to Reconnect with Others Through Sharing Their Artistic Expressions with Others
There is no superior way of communicating the devastating effects of trauma associated with adult sexual abuse than through creative arts. Expression through creative arts triggers instant feelings of empathy in an audience as opposed to straightforward reporting which can hide the real feelings of an individual.
Trauma typically destroys the entire inner sense of connection with the people around you, but creative expression can establish that bond and sense of relationship. Art therapy can help reconnect the survivors of adult sexual abuse with the society as well as providing a deep sense of empowerment.
Art Therapy Encourages Disclosure
Art therapy is largely visual which makes it a suitable mechanism for accessing the most traumatic material stored in implicit memory which isn’t similar to the conscious narrative memory that we are used to.
Art expression can help those victims who suffer alexithymia which is a trauma-related condition that triggers an inability to express your feelings in words to disclose their traumatic encounters effectively through art. Art therapy is an effective way of accessing unconscious material which helps in developing a finished product that can provide essential therapeutic material to work with while dealing with survivors.
It is also Crucial in Dealing with Developmental Issues
Affective regulation tasks have been linked to the right brain which is organized non-verbally. This backs-up the need and role of non-verbal treatment techniques such as art therapy in dealing with developmental issues occurring as a result of adult sexual abuse. Art therapy also provides psychological distance and mirroring for all clients working on mastering the missed developmental stages.
Are you an adult sexual abuse survivor or do you know one? Pathways Real Life is here to help you reestablish your normal life. We offer effective mental health counseling in Utah, and we are committed to seeing you recover within the shortest period. We take most insurance and even provide financing to our clients. Contact us today and kickstart your journey to recovery.