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Psykhe (Santiago)

versión On-line ISSN 0718-2228


GOMEZ, Camila; LAMA, Ximena  y  CAPELLA, Claudia. Psychotherapy and Overcoming Child Sexual Abuse: Messages from Children to Other Children and Psychotherapists. Psykhe [online]. 2021, vol.30, n.2. ISSN 0718-2228.

The aim of this study was to describe the messages that girls, boys, and adolescents give to peers and psychotherapists regarding the psychotherapy and the process of overcoming the sexual abuse that they have undergone. For this purpose, thematic narrative analysis was used to examine interviews with a purposive sample of 15 participants, aged between 7 and 17 years, who had completed a psychotherapy process for sexual abuse in 6 specialized centers in Santiago, Chile. The results underline the views that children and adolescents hold about overcoming sexual abuse, how they value psychotherapy as a key support factor in this process, and the personal positioning and efforts that children/adolescents and psychotherapists require in order to deal with it. The article offers a discussion on how the results might contribute to clinical work by enabling psychotherapists to visualize the positive impact of their efforts, providing an affective and emotional input that might offset the negative impact of their work and increase job satisfaction. Also, the article underscores the possibility that conveying messages to others may support the healing process, since it allows victims to become agents in relation to the abusive experience. This stresses the importance of focusing on the voices of victims and their personal agency beyond the abuse suffered.

Palabras clave : sexual abuse; healing; psychotherapy process; personal agency; psychotherapists.

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