Exploring the process of meaning making in healing after childhood sexual assault : a case study approach

Vilenica, Sheryle, Shakespeare-Finch, Jane E., & Obst, Patricia L. (2013) Exploring the process of meaning making in healing after childhood sexual assault : a case study approach. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 26(1), pp. 39-54.

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Childhood sexual assault (CSA) is one of the most devastating of all traumatic experiences with population studies documenting survivors experiencing higher levels of pathology than general trends in survivors of other traumatic experiences. Yet recent research has demonstrated that far from being permanently crippled by their experiences, many adult survivors of CSA manage to heal and move forward in their lives to experience a rich and fulfilling existence. In this paper two case studies are presented to provide a detailed account of how a person who has experienced CSA may find a pathway to healing. Moreover, data demonstrates that meaning making, spiritual or otherwise, is a pivotal part of acceptance of CSA and ensuing growth. The case studies highlight the unique journeys of two women and the underlying similarities in their pathway to healing. Clinical implications of the research are discussed and specific strategies for encouraging healing and growth are outlined.

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1 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 58204
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Special Issue: Through a Glass Darkly: Meaning-Making, Spiritual Transformation, and Posttraumatic Growth
Keywords: sexual abuse, healing, trauma, meaning making
DOI: 10.1080/09515070.2012.728074
ISSN: 0951-5070
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Deposited On: 14 Mar 2013 04:36
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2013 15:37

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