Counseling and Therapy for Rape, Sexual Harassment, Abuse & Assault Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Serving Portland, Oregon - The OPL Center is here to help you heal from the trauma caused by your sexual assault

Your assault was weeks ago, maybe even months or years ago. Your physical wounds have mostly healed, but you’re still avoiding public places, maybe even afraid to grocery shop on your own. You find you don’t trust other people, and find it hard to keep a job. You just hate vanilla ice cream, and get completely nauseous when you smell it, thinking you’ve really lost your mind. It’s also possible that all these reactions have been in your life for decades and you just recently recovered memory of the abuse in a way that makes it seem like it just happened. Now you can’t eat, marijuana and alcohol have become your best friends, and you can’t find a way to dull the pain that you’re feeling either sometimes or all the time.

Here’s what I’d like you to know. What you are experiencing is normal, natural, and common with many victims of sexual abuse. While the PTSD term grew out of military combat, we know a lot more about trauma and its effect on the body, mind, and spirit than we did when PTSD was first studied. Severe trauma literally changes the way the brain operates, making it difficult to return to “normal” life in all ways – physically, mentally and even spiritually.

Here’s the good news – this isn’t permanent. You can heal, and you can create a life that is filled with purpose, joy, and meaning. It will take support from someone who understands the process, as well as a strong intention on your part. It may take months to years, but that life you long for can be yours.

The OPL Center serves Portland Oregon and other Oregon metro locations. If you are a victim of rape, sexual assault or sexual harassment and are seeking a professional and experienced sexual assault counselor or rape therapy, please contact me, Sheryl Eldene, or call today at (503) 297-8805.

Steps for Healing Traumatic Stress after a Sexual Assault

  1. Decide to go on the healing journey – that’s probably what brought you to this page today. It really doesn’t matter if your attack was decades ago or last month, the decision to begin you healing is huge and might be the most courageous step you take. What your healing journey looks like is as unique to you as your fingerprint. The journey will be on your timetable, at your speed, with deepest respect for your own inner wisdom about the next right step.
  2. Find safety – create a plan to assure that while you’re on this journey, you can be safe. No one will ask you to interact with any part of your trauma story until you’re ready. That means, you have alternative ways to get through your day without going to those places that frighten you. Create a life pattern of safety whatever that means to you. If your attack was recent, we must first provide for physical safety to protect from any further attacks. Conferring with a detective or a caseworker might be important for you.
  3. Develop skills for self-calming – this will be the first step we’ll take toward your recovery – even before telling your story. Because your mind believes everything you think is real, telling your story will only result in reliving the event, until you are able to dependably bring yourself back into the present moment, which is why the third step toward your recovery is to hone your skills of self-calming.
  4. Desensitization – this simply means begin able to tell your story enough that it loses the edge it may have at the beginning. Remember that your brain is being asked to literally rewire, to bring blood to some areas, to deactivate other areas, and to repair any distortion that was done to parts of your brain during the trauma.
  5. Map your future – Once you have the keys to your life and you are in your own driver seat again, we’ll begin to create that future that is out there waiting for you.
  6. Create meaning/give back – Some people hold the value of helping and giving to others. If that is an important value for you, as we work to design that future, we can also consider ways that you want to use your strengths and wisdom derived from your healing journey to create meaning for you and to support you to gift others with your new way of being in the world.

The OPL Center serves Portland Oregon and other Oregon metro locations. If you are a victim of rape, sexual assault or sexual harassment and are seeking a professional and experienced sexual assault counselor or rape therapy, please contact me, Sheryl Eldene, or call today at (503) 297-8805.

How I Can Help You in Your Journey

At the On Purpose Living Center, I offer a large variety of techniques and tools that can support you on your journey toward your future.

The OPL Center serves Portland Oregon and other Oregon metro locations. If you are a victim of rape, sexual assault or sexual harassment and are seeking a professional and sexual assault counselor or rape therapy, please contact me, Sheryl Eldene, or call today at (503) 297-8805.

Positive Outcomes: PTSD and Sexual Assault Case Study

“Clair” was a single Mom who suffered many rapes while under a drug induced fog. (Drugs were surreptitiously given to her by a ‘boyfriend’). She was deeply traumatized, and needed to be able to remember enough of a description of the perpetrators to help detectives find her attackers.

Initially, we practiced some simple self-calming techniques, using breath and progressive relaxation to protect her system from renewed trauma with the remembering. Using hypnosis, we recreated the story as if on a movie screen, watching to find any details that might be helpful. She was able to recover several details that helped law enforcement later. The session was taped and transcribed to help her case. She continued her treatment with a couple months of self-calming and by creating a life pattern that kept her safe. Her sister moved in with her, and she relied on her brother as a companion at social events. In this phase, we used energy treatment once to continue to help her settle into safety. She progressed well, but returned to a traumatized state during the trial and conviction of the attackers. We continued to work with self-calming to help her move through that difficult time.

After two years, “Clair” was able to find a home in a different neighborhood, reconnect with her church activities and break free of her sense of shame and guilt, which was a struggle for her. She had a good job she enjoyed and volunteered to work with children’s’ programs at her church. She continued to have short periods when triggers alarmed her for another two years. We continue to work through them as she strengthens her own ability to stay calm, in the present, and to keep herself and her children safe.

Learn More about PTSD and Sexual Assault, Abuse or Rape

PTSD and Sexual Assault Related Blog Posts

The OPL Center serves Portland Oregon and other Oregon metro locations. If you are a victim of rape, sexual assault or sexual harassment and are seeking a professional and experienced sexual assault counselor or rape therapy, please contact me, Sheryl Eldene, or call today at (503) 297-8805.

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The OPL Center serves Portland Oregon and other Oregon metro locations. If you are a victim of rape, sexual assault or sexual harassment and are seeking a professional and experienced sexual assault counselor or rape therapy, please contact me, Sheryl Eldene, or call today at (503) 297-8805.

Portland Metro Areas OPL Center Serves