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A 29-year-old member asked:

Is sex therapy effective to overcome rape and sexual abuse?

4 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Edward Kuhnley
Child Psychiatry 46 years experience
Yes: Rape & sexual abuse are severe traumas. Experienced professional counselors may be very helpful in overcoming the emotional pain & suffereing that often result from such experiences. Sex therapists may help victims who have developed sexual dysfunction as a result of the traumatic experiences.
Dr. Traci Seidman
Clinical Psychology 32 years experience
Specialists: Actually, counseling with a sex therapist, or specialist in rape and abuse would be advisable. These doctors typically have specialized training in treating these issues.
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 43 years experience
Treatment focus: Sex therapy generally focuses on improving one's ability to enjoy sex. In some cases of rape and sexual abuse, much work needs to be done before even approaching this area because it is so sensitive. As my colleagues have mentioned, rape and sexual abuse are severe traumas and need specialized care that understands & deals with the whole person -- not just his or her sexual functioning.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 26 years experience
I agree.
Sep 6, 2013
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 45 years experience
Choose wisely: All these physicians have given you good advice. The choice of therapist is extremely important. 'sex therapy' -- whatever that is -- suggests too narrow a focus. The key will be big picture, looking forward rather than backward, to what can make you happy rather than what hurt you, without minimizing your experiences. Especially, talk with a wise person rather than a magician ; be ready to work.

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Last updated May 19, 2021

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