Q: I’m 28. My brother raped me when I was 10. He kept begging for sex and I finally said yes. He got a lecture. I got deeply shamed by parents, the gynecologist, and the ‘therapist.’ How can I not have to deal with that experience anymore? I can’t afford therapy or ‘therapists’.

A: First of all I want to say I’m so sorry you were treated this way by all these people, and especially by a member of my profession as well. I do know that people who were sexually abused were very poorly treated in the past. It’s a blight on our profession that we took it so lightly back then. It wasn’t until around 1990 or so, and the publication of the book “The Courage To Heal,” before we realized the extent to which sexual abuse hurt people.

I remember myself, that I tended to think of it back the as important factor that hurt adult sexual functioning, but I had no idea about suppressed memories, flashbacks, and the ongoing degree of pain.

Please accept my apology for what it’s worth, and please understand also that most therapists now are far wiser about sexual abuse, and we have many more ways to help.

Also, money problems don’t have to stop you from getting therapy. Please read the topic at my site “Are You Considering Therapy?” for ideas about getting help when you can’t afford to pay.

And remember that you may have to “shop” a bit among various therapists before you find the right one for you. This is wise for anyone, and it might be especially important since you had such bad experiences in the past with a “therapist.” Please don’t let your completely understandable anger at the therapist back then stop you from getting the help you need and deserve.

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