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It is imperative that the CSA survivor have emotional support. Often times feelings of anger, depression, guilt, shame, hopelessness, a feeling of being helpless, fear and anxiety, even a desire to seek vengeance will plague a CSA survivor at different times in the journey to healing. It is almost impossible to do this alone. Seek the help of professionals to help guide you through your feelings.

Call your local rape hotline. Ask trusted Christian friends for the names of good psychologists in your area who have experience with sexual abuse cases. It is always preferable to find someone who understands clergy sexual abuse, but at minimum, a professional who has expertise in sexual assault is someone who can best help you. Some psychologists may even be willing to provide their services at a lower rate to you. Don’t be afraid to ask. Let them know the financial burden you are facing.

In one southern California area, there is a psychologist who holds group therapy for CSA survivors at a discounted rate. Ask around. There might be such a group in your area.

It might be hard, but pray and ask God to lead you to the right person. I know in my own case, it took the prayers of many Christians for God to bring me to the right person to help—I was too angry and hurt to pray. But God was faithful and answered.

But don’t just rely on the professionals to help you. In his book, Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You, Dr. James Friesen suggests that therapy is not enough. He says,

“People enter therapy seeking to know who they are and how they can receive life. Therapy can nudge them in the right direction, but it cannot tell them who they are and it will not give them life, unless the arenas in which they live—including their home, work and church—genuinely support their therapeutic work. Even though therapy can help people face the places that are stuck in their lives, it alone will not supply the power to get them unstuck. A family and a community need to supply some of the power. That is where people are supposed to find out who they are, and where they are supposed to find help in getting unstuck. It is where they should receive life.”

One of the problems CSA survivors face is isolation and even estrangement from their church. Seek the support of family and friends. If need be, seek support from other CSA survivors on the internet. Click on the “Resources” button on our homepage for a list of great websites that can offer support to you. Tamar’s Voice has recently instituted a private chat room for CSA survivors to get connected. Therapy alone will not help a CSA survivor heal. You need to be able to communicate and fellowship with others who will understand what you’re going through and be supportive.