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Question
Posted by: Natasha | 2012/10/15

Healthy relationship after rape: should my partner join the therapy sessions?

Hi! 4 years ago I was raped by a friend that I trusted. I have never told anyone about what happened that night and have always felt somewhat guilty about the experience. Afterwards I went for therapy as I suffered from depression (something that my mom believed I had inherited from her). I have never been able to tell anyone and thus my family still don''t know the true reason for my depressive episode of the past. After being single for 4 years, I have recently started dating a wonderful, caring and supportive guy. I finally managed to tell him about this, as I believe that he deserves to know. He has asked me to go for therapy, as he believes that this may impact our relationship at a later stage. He has also offered to do the therapy with me, in an effort to understand how he could understand and assist my healing process. However, I am not completely sure that it would be wise to allow him to join the therapy sessions. I also don''t know where to start looking for a therapist and i''m not sure that my medical aid will pay for this. Could I speak to a pastoral counselor at my church or is it preferable to see a psychologist? Please advise.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Problems like this are far beyond the limited ( if any ) proper training of any pastoral counsellor I've met in SA. And its an unfortunately common effect of rape opr abuse, that the victim may feel inappropriately guilty about it. HE did it, not you.
Its your privilege to decide who else you wil, or wont tell about such a bad event in your life - but you must tell your therapist, or you're handicapping him and making it likely the therapy won't be very helpful. Its like asking a librarian to help you find a book, but refusing to give the name or subject of the book.
Therapy would be a good idea, with a properly trained psychologist /psychotherapist, and your medical aid should agree to pay ( and your GP should help, if asked, to persuadwe them to do so ). I agree its not a good idea for your new friend to join in such therapy.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/10/15

Problems like this are far beyond the limited ( if any ) proper training of any pastoral counsellor I've met in SA. And its an unfortunately common effect of rape opr abuse, that the victim may feel inappropriately guilty about it. HE did it, not you.
Its your privilege to decide who else you wil, or wont tell about such a bad event in your life - but you must tell your therapist, or you're handicapping him and making it likely the therapy won't be very helpful. Its like asking a librarian to help you find a book, but refusing to give the name or subject of the book.
Therapy would be a good idea, with a properly trained psychologist /psychotherapist, and your medical aid should agree to pay ( and your GP should help, if asked, to persuadwe them to do so ). I agree its not a good idea for your new friend to join in such therapy.

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