How To Heal After Sexual Assault

For the last 28 years, number one best-selling author, counselor and life coach David Essel has been helping people from all over the world to learn how to heal if they were a victim of sexual assault.

By David Essel

Sexual misconduct or sexual assault can come in many different varieties and forms.

The most obvious would be incest and/or rape. But there’s also bullying, which consist of derogatory remarks and so much more.

“From the Bill Cosby case to the most recent Judge Kavanaugh allegations … Sexual assault and sexual misconduct is making the headlines of the news almost every day.

Over 28 years ago I worked with my first sexual assault victim, a rape victim, and it opened my eyes to what’s needed to do in our world to help individuals were victims of sexual assault.

After that I have worked with gay, lesbian and transgender individuals who have been on the receiving end of derogatory remarks, bullying, and even physical punishment. I’ve worked with incest victims. As well as men and women who were groped at night clubs as well as grocery stores.

Photo by Luis Galvez on Unsplash

 

Will it ever end?
I don’t think so. At least not in my lifetime. But there are things we can do if we have been the victim of sexual misconduct in the past.
And while it’s not easy work, it  is absolutely necessary to do in the presence of a professional, someone like myself who has been doing this for years and years, committed to helping people of all genders recover from incidences that literally can tear themselves down in regard to self-confidence and self-esteem.
And the best news that I can offer all sexual assault victims today is that you don’t have to come to closure with the perpetrator.  You can actually heal without ever being in contact with the person who molested you or bullied you in the past.
I once worked with a woman from Indonesia who couldn’t understand why she continued to choose men who were both emotionally and physically abusive… Until we got into the deep work regarding sexual harassment and incest.
As I took her through our 2 steps to healing, she started to remember how when she was a little girl her uncle would make lewd remarks to her about her cute little dress, the pretty bows in her hair, and much more.
At the time all she knew was it felt uncomfortable… But the longer we worked together then she also remembered when he would follow her into her bedroom in the daytime  and while everyone else was outside at the barbecue he would make her lay in her bed with him as he held her close saying inappropriate things to this little girl as well as touching her in inappropriate ways.
Photo by Lum3n.com from Pexels

 

When she was able to tie it all together it made total sense that she would choose men who were unsafe because of this childhood experience of sexual assault.
I also helped a woman who had been sexually assaulted by her own father for 11 years, who had buried it in a corner of her mind  for over 20 years, leading to an immense amount of weight gain, low self-confidence and low self-esteem.
Although she had worked with other professionals before she had never gone through the training that we do, the 2 step training, listed below, to help her finally get rid of the stigma, resentments and rage that she had held against not only her father but herself for over 20 years.
The following steps will work with everyone but my recommendation is never try to do this at home on your own. Find a professional to take you through these steps with them:
Number One.
We have all of my clients write letters of anger, rage, resentments and more at the perpetrator. It doesn’t matter if it was a bully at school who made disparaging remarks about their weight and or hair or if it was someone that groped you at a concert or worse.
We ask our clients to write letters that they will never send anyone but they do share them with me during our sessions in person or via phone or Skype in order to have one other person witness what they went through.
The point of this exercise is to reach a space called desensitization where we can talk about the assault, the rape or the incest… Or any other form of sexual assault… Free of emotion,  just simply the facts.
With one rape victim I worked with, it took us almost one complete year of writing these letters on a daily basis for her to reach this deep level of desensitization and when she did her life radically changed for the better.
She was able to get off of all anti-depressants, all anti-anxiety medications, and all sleep medications… And two years after our work ended she came back to me to ask me how to get back into the world of dating. Unheard of! Unless you do the work I’m talking about here.
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

 

Number Two.  
The second step, is a tricky one, where my clients write letters of forgiveness specifically to the perpetrator of the sexual assault for weeks and sometimes months on end.
And why do we have them write letters of forgiveness? Because we know that when they are free of their own resentments, rage and more… They are free as human beings.
The greatest challenge with step number two is that people will start writing letters of forgiveness only to feel the rage and anger return… Which is why again you need to do these exercises with a professional.
When this happens, when the anger and rage return, we have them go back to step one continuing to write about the resentments they hold, until they reach that state of desensitization.
Then, we bring them back to step two, the step of forgiveness.
With the rape victim that I mentioned above, when she got to step two, her letters actually became quite filled with empathy and compassion as she prayed for her rapist, who was never found, to find the healing he needed so he never repeated to any other woman what he did to her.
An unbelievable stage of healing that eventually led her to be able to get back into the world of dating with men.
When we can move through these two steps and reach that deep state of desensitization we can move forward with an increase in self-confidence and self-esteem.
But what I remind everyone is that time alone heals nothing.
Let me repeat that.
Photo by kevin laminto on Unsplash
Time alone heals nothing when it comes to grief work or trying to recover from sexual assault.
You need to combine time with working with a professional in order to be free.
I pray that all of the victims from people like Bill Cosby and others who have been convicted of incredible crimes of sexual assault, will use the above information, along with working with a professional, to heal… And to reach a level of inner peace again.
After 28 years, I can share with you, that it’s not only possible but it’s highly probable you can heal regardless of the assault that you’ve gone through.
Start today. Not tomorrow. Reach out to a professional today so that your tomorrows can be filled with a greater sense of peace and joy.
This does not mean that the event never happened, it does not mean that we are compartmentalizing the event and pretending to push it underneath the rug, actually quite the opposite.
We are bringing it out full force, regardless of how many years ago it happened, so we can do the healing work necessary to reach the state that I’ve discussed above. You are worth it. Please begin the work with a professional today.“
David Essel‘s work is highly endorsed by individuals like the late Wayne Dyer, and celebrity Jenny McCarthy says “David Essel is the new leader of the positive thinking movement.“
His work as a counselor and coach has been endorsed by organizations like psychology today, and marriage.com verifies David as one of the top relationship counselors and experts in the world.
Catalina Magee

Founder / Owner of Trend Prive Magazine. Romanian-born American, "seasoned" in Italy, "cooked" in Germany and currently serving in Israel. NCIS Special Agent in Charge EA.

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