Child abuse or childhood trauma can cause problems with adjustment at every life stage. We aim to help individuals, families, and communities that have been impacted by trauma, adversity, and loss to re-establish a sense of safety and predictability in the world.
Anyone who has experienced trauma through life situations that breach personal boundaries and have led to feelings of intense fear, helplessness, or horror could be said to have suffered incidents of child abuse.
It is our belief that incidents of sexual, physical, and psychological abuse can have effects long into adulthood. Some of these are difficult to change. We are also optimistic that, given good insight, support, and professional treatment, damage can be mitigated, symptoms can be improved, and healthy relationships can be formed and maintained.
Initial Effects of Physical Child Abuse:
- Immediate pain, suffering and medical problems caused by physical injury
- Emotional problems such as anger, hostility, fear, anxiety, humiliation, lowered self-esteem and inability to express feelings
- Behavioural problems such as aggression by the child towards others
- Self-destructive behaviour, hyperactivity, truancy, inability to form friendships and poor social skills
- Poorer cognitive and language skills than non-abused children
Long Term Consequences of Child Abuse:
- Relationship problems, for example, violent relationships or difficulty trusting others within adult relationships
- Social isolation or poor boundaries
- Emotionally over-reactive or emotionally blunted
- Sexual difficulty
- Feelings of low self esteem
- Depression, anxiety, loneliness
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Physical symptoms – fatigue, headaches and/or gastro-intestinal disturbance
It is important to recognise that engagement in therapy for issues relating to child abuse is likely to be long-term, rather than short-term. Such issues are complex, so need special time and attention.
At Westbourne Park Psychology, all of our psychologists have had the specialist training that is needed to provide effective treatments that lead to reduced symptoms and long-term improvement. Contact us today to take the first step.