Have you heard about Internal Family Systems (IFS)? No need to cringe if the answer’s a solid no. Until a daylong Continuing Education training on the topic shook my internal—and later external—world, I had no clue about it myself. IFS views our internal world as consisting of multiple parts (think subpersonalities). Because every person has these parts, we can hold polar opposite views at the same time. For instance, you can be a gregarious extrovert while also feeling as though people are a nuisance. That’s because while a part of you loves to hobnob with people, another part might feel repulsed by their noise and needs.
The #MeToo movement has exposed powerful men who leverage their positions to abuse and manipulate. The courage these women and men exhibit as they step forward to confront this behavior is inspiring.
May it continue to motivate other survivors to come forward, because as statistics show, roughly 2 out of 3 sexual assaults go unreported . What a jarring reality, especially since nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives .
Survivors may have many reasons not to publicize their story. But if and when they do, are we as mental health providers prepared to help? A thorough manual on how therapists can propel them toward recovery is beyond the scope of this article , so what follows are 5 concepts to remember when working with survivors of sexual abuse.
What kind of a therapist will you be? Which theoretical orientation should you adopt? Will you work within a certain framework only, or are you eclectic?
Alongside concerns about comprehensive tests, serving your clients, and doubts about your competency, questions about your identity will also compete for mental space during grad school.
Fielding these questions may seem like walking into the slew of options at a scrumptious buffet. Where to even begin?