Fighting the Pain of Sexual Abuse Through Counseling

As a young child, I was sexually abused by a family friend. This thoughtless, abusive act has forever changed my life. It has not just changed who I am but how I see things, how I view myself, how I make decisions and how I live my life. As a survivor of sexual abuse, I have struggled with self-esteem and anger issues, trusting others, accepting help from others, self-injurious behavior and a host of other issues which I can directly connect with my abuse as a child.

For many years, I have attended therapy and have cycled through a number of different therapists and counselors. It is not that each of my counselors or therapists was not good as what they did. On the contrary, each professional with whom I worked in regard to my experience played an important role in my healing process. Each one, in some way, affected me positively in my continuing recovery.

My journey through counseling is not yet over, in fact, it is just at its beginning stages. For many years, I have attended individual counseling. In individual counseling, I have learned to discuss my fears and other emotions, understand where my underlying issues originate and how to control my emotions and avoid potentially dangerous situations. I have also attended group counseling which offers a dynamic like no other I have found in any of my other therapy. In group therapy, I associated with and found friends in other survivors and created a kinship that cannot be created in any other way than to have experienced similar situations. I learned new coping skills from other survivors and gained a sense of empowerment from the strong group of survivors with whom I attended the group.

As I have, you too can heal from your sexual abuse experience(s) with the assistance of sexual abuse counseling. Through counseling, you will learn new ways to deal with your experience and learn to love yourself for who you are. You will learn that the abuse was not and is not your fault because it is not. You can gain a healthier self-esteem and self-understanding. If you have been sexually abused, counseling can help!

Test Love Compatibility – Physical and Emotional Sexuality Method

One of the most powerful and useful tools to test love compatibility was developed as part of Physical and Emotional Suggestibility and Sexuality Theory, first introduced by John G. Kappas, Ph.D. in 1975. It was based on 30 years of clinical investigation and extensive research. Dr. Kappas became famous for his results predicting behavior and resolving relationship problems using this theory.

In the conventional view of behavior, popularized by John Gray in Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, men behave one way, women another. This view underlies the approach most therapists use to counsel couples.

In his practice as a marriage and family therapist, Dr. Kappas discovered that two other patterns of behavior existed that offered a better context for couples therapy. He identified the patterns as Physical Sexuality and Emotional Sexuality. Both men and women exhibit both patterns. It seems that some men and women are from Mars, some from Venus.

The behavior traits exhibited in Physical Sexuality and Emotional Sexuality are quite different. For example, take a look at the patterns with respect to just a few traits.

A Physical Sexual person tends to be openly and abundantly affectionate. He is outgoing, comfortable in groups, and enjoys calling attention to his physical body. When rejected, he tries harder. He views sex as an integral expression of loving and being loved. He tends to be available for sex anytime and enjoys prolonging sexual expression to maximize the feelings of love and acceptance.

In sharp contrast, an Emotional Sexual person tends to be uncomfortable with open affection, prefers intimate interactions with one or two people, and is uncomfortable calling attention to his body. When rejected, he withdraws. He views sex as a means of release quite separate from love. He tends to desire sex on a cycle, such as every three days. On a cycle day, he experiences complete release in one sexual event. On off days, he may not find sexual expression or physical touch pleasant.

The behavior traits of Physical and Emotional Sexuality are so distinctly different, it is not hard to understand why people of opposite Sexuality have difficulty interacting, much as a dog and a cat have trouble interacting.

People tend to exhibit behavior traits from both Physical and Emotional Sexuality patterns, though one pattern or the other dominates. To measure both Sexuality and the percent dominance, Dr. Kappas created the Physical and Emotional Sexuality Questionnaires and developed a statistical scoring system. On these tests, a person may score from 55-95% Physical Sexuality, or 55-95% Emotional Sexuality.

A person of 95% dominance in either Sexuality will exhibit that behavior exclusively. A person of 55% dominance in either Sexuality will exhibit almost as many traits of the opposite Sexuality as his own. Knowing a person’s Sexuality score, consequently, is quite useful in predicting his behavior.

In predicting relationship behavior, the Physical and Emotional Sexuality score is even more enlightening. In an ironic twist of nature, for long term intimate relationships, a person chooses a person of opposite Sexuality with the same degree of dominance.

A 95% Physical Sexual will partner with a 95% Emotional Sexual. This couple, like the dog and cat, will experience difficulty interacting as their behavior traits are so different. You might suspect that they are incompatible as a couple. Ironically, their sexual chemistry is explosive. Their strong physical attraction may keep them together but their conflicts and misunderstandings will be many.

Low scorers on the Physical and Emotional Sexuality scale also have difficulty. They will experience few problems interacting outside the bedroom as their behavior traits are similar. Sexual chemistry, however, is weak to nonexistent. Their ability to get along may keep them together but sexual disappointment may also lead to conflict and misunderstandings. Moderate scorers relate best on every level.

As a rule of thumb in Physical and Emotional Sexuality, when people of opposite Sexuality relate, the more extreme the opposite, the more intense the sexual attraction and the greater the problems in all other aspects of the relationship. It seems Mother Nature had her own ideas about relationship compatibility.

Sexuality patterns cannot be changed. Knowledge of Physical and Emotional Sexuality is the best means to improve understanding of yourself, your partner, and the problems you have. It is the most powerful and most useful tool to help couples quickly identify relationship issues and resolve them. It can be used effectively in counseling or as a self help measure.

Despite the broad benefits of Physical and Emotional Sexuality, it is not widely practiced. Since its introduction, numerous new theories and techniques, such a Neurolinguistic Programming and Rational Emotive Therapy, have emerged. These, together with the flood of self help methodologies, compete for a place in professional training and practice. No one methodology is standard in relationship counseling today. For relationship questions, however, no other method gets better results when it is time to test love compatibility.

Body Image Impacts Sexual Experiences

Research has found that body image and sexual anxiety are predictive of sexual esteem, sexual assertiveness, and avoidance of sexual activity. The research study contributes to the literature of sexual satisfaction in single women aged 30-50 by studying self-esteem, body image, and sexual knowledge. There is a gap in the literature examining sexual satisfaction within the age group of women 30-50 years of age. Walkers’ findings suggest that recommendations for further studies be conducted to focus on these variables in the level of relationship commitment whether a couple is dating infrequently or they are single. Because the variables of self-esteem, body image, sexual knowledge, and sexual satisfaction using an older population have not been studied collectively, it is not known whether sexual experiences are influenced positively or negatively by self-esteem, body image, and sexual knowledge. Individuals may blame their sexual dissatisfaction on sexual dysfunction.

As a woman becomes more familiar physiologically with her body, she can begin to become more aware of how her body will respond when she is sexually stimulated. Many women seek counseling, and those problems that present in the counseling session are rooted in depression. Research studies have stated that the symptoms of depression stem from unsatisfying relationships. Some women have sought help in counseling guidance for relationship problems that are often sexually based. People are almost totally incapable of experiencing a satisfying sexual relationship, whether it is from intercourse, heavy petting, and so forth, without a positive image of their body or normal level of self-esteem. The literature review describes how the self image of the body is developed and formed by environmental factors. Women shape their body image by many factors such as family influence, friends, and media. Many women compare themselves to what society has set as the ideal. The self-efficacy theory will be applied to the variable of body image, which is the second component of the theoretical framework to support the research study. Women’s beliefs and their capabilities to form either a positive or negative image of the body influence the outcome of their sexual experience. Individuals are more likely to continue their efforts until success is achieved if their perceived self-efficacy is high. Increased self-efficacy has been shown to be related to behaviors associated with weight loss and self image of the body.

The literature review describes the environmental factors that contribute to the development of women’s body image. The self-efficacy theory is applied to support the development of body image and one’s capabilities and beliefs to successfully engage in the possession of a positive body image. The literature review analyzes the studies that have been conducted on women and body image. The dissatisfaction of body image plays a significant role in a woman’s self-esteem and how she perceives herself to the world. The self-efficacy theory can be applied to the development of women’s body image in this research study. The theory refers to one’s beliefs in one’s capabilities to successfully engage in specific behaviors. Therefore, the way a woman feels about her body and if she believes she has a positive image of her body, she will successfully engage in positive behaviors. A person who has a negative or positive body image is affected in their sexual pleasure and its relationship to satisfaction.