A serious discussion of sex is unnecessarily anxiety producing for most people. For a sexual abuse victim it is, of course, even more anxiety producing. However, there are many other personal topics that are equally difficult to discuss with even your primary care physician. Nonetheless, these topics must be discussed if you are to receive the help available from a trained professional. In short, it’s something you have to do, like it or not.
I am not suggesting that you should talk about sexual issues with a highly skilled and professionally certified dentist. No matter how good your dentist is, he is simply not equipped or trained to deal with sensitive personal issues. Your therapist is so trained. Of all possible professionals, no one will be easier to talk to than a therapist. They are prepared to deal with sensitive, personal, embarrassing, issues and to do so in the most sensitive way. Nonetheless, you are likely to initially experience some nervousness but it is likely to quickly pass, often shortly after beginning the discussion.
You might try telling your therapist that there are sexual issues that you would like to discuss but are hesitant and nervous to do so. Tell him that you will write the topics down or that perhaps you have already written the topics down and you would like to have him read them when you are not present. He will then use his judgment and training to help you address those issues. Perhaps it will amount to no more than him reading your statements after your session and providing you with feedback upon beginning your next session. Or perhaps he will ask you simple questions to begin the process and purposefully not ask for answers that might be too personal in nature and may keep it on a very high clinical level. You have confidence in your therapist and have given him a very high rating both in your mind and in the letter that you have written here.
You are hesitant to broach the subject of sexual issues with your therapist and as I have already stated that is not unique to you but is common to most individuals, in therapy or not. One thing that I can promise you, is that your initial anxiety will decrease and substantially so, once you begin to discuss this with your therapist. It is difficult for you to discuss this now but surprisingly quickly it will become like any other topic discussed in counseling. That holds true for virtually everyone in counseling, including sexual abuse victims. I hope I have helped in some small way – good luck.
Dr. Kristina Randle