The Role of Professional Therapy
As mentioned earlier, ASCA is not anti-therapy or anti-professionals. In
fact, ASCA is designed to work in conjunction with individual or group
psychotherapy. We believe that professional help can be of tremendous value to
survivors attempting to overcome the negative effects of their abuse. Some people
try to do this on their own or by attending support and self-help groups only, but
recovery usually proceeds more quickly and more safely if you are working with a
skilled professional. If you are debating whether to seek professional help, a key
question to ask yourself is, "Am I able to face the abuse on my own and resolve it
to the extent that my symptoms and problems in adult living go away?" If the
answer is "No," then you may want to consider professional help.
For many survivors, a professional individual or group therapy relationship
is the cornerstone of their recovery, without which other changes would be hard to
come by. In a relationship with an ethical and clinically appropriate professional,
the client experiences safety, respect for boundaries, sensitivity to needs and
validation of both the abuse that occurred and the role of recovery in creating a
happy and meaningful life.
If you are unable or unwilling to enter therapy, though, do not despair!
You can still use this manual and other ASCA material found on our web site
www.ascasupport.org to help you in your recovery journey. If you are in this
position, you will want to take special care in selecting and building your support
network, as these people friends, supportive family members, clergy members,
teachers, and others will serve some of the functions of a therapist for you.
You will want to pay special attention to the section in Chapter Two, "Building
Your Support System," for help with this task. And, of course, ASCA meetings
will probably assume a greater role in your recovery if you are unable to be in