Our expert says:
I absoltely DO think that she ought to seek professional help from a psychologist. As the ugly events happened some 15 or so years ago, or longer, and she has not managed to get over them on her own, she probably would benefit from help and counselling, as would most people in her situation. I generally recommend that someone like her should see a general psychologist, and NOT someone who declares a special interest mainly or only in isues of child abuse, because the latter type too often have their own political agenda, rather than concentrating on the patient's needs more than their own ; and because people like your friend do much better with someone who attends realistically to what happened in the past, but concentrates on its effects in the present, rather than in extended archeological expeditions.
She is lucky to have found someone as understanding as you, and it's a good compliment to you that you are one of the only two people she has told about this. As for choosing a psychologist, there's no easy guide to that. It can be good to ask your ( or her ) GP to recommend one, as he/she may know the best ones in the area, by experience. And when calling about an appointment, you can ask the receptionist if this psychologist deals with general relationship problems as well as problems related to childhood sexual abuse. ChiChi's advice on how you can be helpful is excellent, as are Shaun's comments.
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