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Question
Posted by: worried | 2007/05/27

post traumatic stress

We have been married for 13 years and our sex life has never really been that good. The problem eventually came to a pont where we had not had sex in over 9 mths. After plenty arguments and discussions he told me of something very traumatic which happened to him when he was a young boy. While in boarding school he witnessed a rape of girl by a group of boys. These boys also threatened him with rape should he say anything. This has plagued him for many years, to such an extent that he has flashbacks if we have sex. What can I do to help him?

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Our expert says:
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He could certainly be helped by seeing a skilled psychotherapist, probably a consultant psychologist would be best, to work through his reactions to this ugly experience. He might possibly indeed have PTSD ( post-traumatic stress DISORDER ), or otherways in which one draws profoundly unhelpful conclusions and expectations on the basis of a particularly horrible experience, and allow this to unpleasantly influence the rest of our life. SO look around and seek out a skilled local psychotherapist, perhaps one familiar with CBT ( Cognitive-ehaviour Therapy ) or similar methods, and persuade your husband to start therapy. Avoid anyone of the psychoanalytic schools, as they take years or decades to achieve nothing, especially in situaions like this

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