Sexual Abuse

Real talk on Sexual Assault versus Trump’s “locker room talk” | Orlando Sexual Abuse Counseling

Real talk on Sexual Assault versus Trump’s “locker room talk” | Orlando Sexual Assault Counseling

The head-line this week was all about Trump’s leaked conversation with Billy Bush in 2005. A large group of people consider Trump’s words to be deemed as sexual assault while others consider it just “locker room talk”. A recent article by CNN titled “Trump’s ‘locker room talk’ stirs real talk about sexual violence” highlighted the domino effects Trump’s conversation had on several women. In the article, women tweeted story after story of their first sexual assault experiences.

According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), every 109 seconds, another person experiences sexual assault and one out of every six women has been a victim of attempted/completed rape in her lifetime. Trump’s conversation may have been just “locker room talk” but sexual assault is very real for many people, particularly women.

Sexual assault is a devastating and tragic occurrence that happens more frequently than what most people realize. People who have been sexually assaulted often times want to forget and move past the incident without letting it affect their lives. However, there is a series of long-term effects that can occur to individuals that have been sexually assaulted.

Here are just a few long-term effects:

  • Have more likelihood to use drugs than the general public
    • One way people choose to cope after a sexual assault incident is to numb themselves from the pain or […]

The Problem With Rape | Orlando Sexual Abuse Counseling

The Problem With Rape | Orlando Sexual Abuse Counseling

Yesterday, a reporter asked President Obama to make a statement about the allegations that Bill Cosby drugged and raped women.  The President declined to comment on Bill Cosby, but followed with a statement that is going to hit home with almost everyone, because it registers as obvious.  He said, “No civilized country should tolerate rape.”

As a society, we agree that rape, and along a continuum, any form of sexual abuse is wrong.  When we define the concept of rape on paper, it is clear that sex, or sexual acts, that happen through force, coercion, or without mutual consent are wrong.  If we imagine a rape, or sexual abuse, we think scary, dark, criminal figure seeking out a victim, stalking them, and overpowering a weaker person in a dark alley.  That scenario can and does happen, even though it never should.  But statistics show that 4 out of 5 assaults occur by someone who knows the victim, and that 47% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance of the victim.

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The problem with rape is that when it happens in reality, it is not as clearly defined as a crime in the victim’s mind. 4 out 5 times a victim is raped by someone that they know, not a scary stranger in a dark alley at night.  It’s this personal experience with their perpetrator that leaves the victim feeling confused about what’s actually happened.    It’s easy to put the label “rapist”, “sexual abuser” and “pedophile” on a scary stranger that you don’t know.  Victims of rape, date rape, and sexual abuse are often reluctant to […]

5 Reasons Women Stay | Domestic Violence

5 Reasons Women Stay | Domestic Violence | Ray Rice

Did you know that approximately 15.5 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year and a current or former intimate partner kills three women each day? This is more than just a statistic to my family and myself.   I counsel individuals every day who are or have been in abusive/violent relationships and my family lost my eldest sister Carmen Rivera to domestic violence over 20 years ago. If we are to truly help those that are in domestic violence relationships, it is imperative that we understand the psychology behind those who choose to stay in these relationships.

Ray RicePeople who have not been in abusive situations find it very difficult to understand this level of dysfunction. Many times the victims are blamed for staying in this situation.  In my sister’s case, she was no longer in the relationship with the man who took her life.  In fact, she had a restraining order against him when she was murdered.

Below are a few of the many reasons why people stay in Abusive/violent relationships.

  1. Dysfunctional Emotional Connection. Those who use power and control with their partners are often verbally, emotionally and physically abusive along with apologies, promises, and affection to their victims. This often confuses the victim and they can start blaming themselves.
  1. Toxic Shame. A victim deep down often feels that something is wrong with them rather than the behavior of their partner. This results in a tremendous amount of feelings of shame and embarrassment. This, more often times than not, leads them to cope with denial of the reality of their situation.
  1. Safety Concerns. In many cases, […]

5 Questions To Choose The Best Orlando Therapist

5 Ways To Choose The Best Orlando Therapist | Life Counseling Solutions 

Did you know that most consumers of therapy don’t take the time to learn about what they need to know about partnering with the best counselor or therapist who can help them be successful in meeting their therapeutic goals?

Firstly, YOU are the consumer so ask questions and “shop” around to find the best fit for you.  It is also best to highly consider referrals from family and friends who have had experience working with a particular counselor or therapist.

ORLANDOBESTTHERAPISTLife Counseling Solutions like many counseling centers offer a complimentary phone consultation or face-to -face meeting. You want to take advantage of this opportunity to briefly explain your problem(s) and ask the counselor or therapist to share how they would approach the problem. If possible, try to chat with at least three different counselors or therapists.   Here are a few questions that you can ask in that initial conversation:

  • How many couples or individuals with similar issues do you work with per week?
    • For example, the more couples that a couple’s therapist works with per week, the more experience she or he has working with couples. Therefore, if you are seeking counseling for your relationship, then you want a therapist who primarily works with couples.
  • Do you work with a couple together or in separate sessions?
    • Life Counseling Solutions believes that it is imperative to see couples together. The therapist can miss the dynamic of how the couple relates when they are seen separately. While there may be a good reason to have one or two individual sessions with each person in the relationship, this should be more the exception […]

EMDR | Orlando Trauma Therapy

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a treatment used to “desensitize and reprocess” memories that have been stored in your brain as a result of traumatic experiences (this can be a small trauma to a larger trauma).  EMDR is  considered to be an effective therapy because of the quick and lasting relief clients feel from their emotional distress.  EMDR therapy repeatedly activates opposite sides of the brain, which releases emotional experiences that have become trapped in the nervous system and can be completed by the eye movement, audio to tactile methods.

EMDR is shown and used at Life Counseling Solutions to have effectiveness in treating the following conditions:

  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Overwhelming Fears
  • Relationship Problems
  • Loss of a Loved One
  • Performance Enhancement
  • Post Traumatic Stress (Rape, Robbery, Natural Disaster, Car Accident, Fire, Earth Quakes)
  • Sexual, Physical, or Emotional Abuse

Orlando Trauma TherapyHow Does EMDR Work?

The EMDR therapist works with a client in revisiting the traumatic experience, the feelings about the experience, and any negative thoughts or feelings.  The therapist then uses bi-lateral stimulation (either eye-movement, tactile, or audio methods) to activate both sides of the brain to bring quick and vibrant images that are then processed by the stimulation bringing about relief and resolved feelings.  

Five Ways to Detect Depression in Your Teen

Depression has become a serious problem in our teenage culture. There are many reasons for this trend but it is most important to notice the pressures faced by teens in today’s society. Apart from the pressure from parents to excel at school, teens also face immense pressure from their peers. Teens are struggling with “fitting in” while trying to answer the questions, “Who am I and where do I belong?” Identity is a major factor for teens, they want to associate with others that are likable. It can be quite difficult for a teen if they are unsure about where to fit in or if they are rejected by peers he or she would like to identify with.

Bullying is another factor that has received increased attention. Especially since the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School and the recent shooting at Chardon High School, observations have been made regarding the link between bullying, depression, and homicidal thoughts. According to research, teens that are involved in bullying are more likely to become depressed than teens that stay away from it.  

Research has also touched on the relationship of antidepressants and homicidal thoughts. It has been shown that teens that used antidepressants were more likely to experience suicidal or homicidal thoughts. In the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School, Peter Breggin, a psychiatrist who analyzed the massacre at Columbine, revealed that side effects of anti-depressants may include increased aggression, loss of remorse, depersonalization, and mania.

5 Effects of Pornography on Individuals, Marriage, and Family

Pornography, which is the depiction of graphic sexual acts, has tremendous effects on anyone that continuously engages in its viewing.  It distorts a person’s concept of the nature of sexual relations which in turn can alter his/her sexual attitudes and behavior.  Below are some of the effects pornography has on its viewers.

1) Effects on the Family

Married men (this can also apply to women) who regularly engage in pornography are more likely to be dissatisfied with their wives and can become detached emotionally from them.  Wives may not be aware that their husband is viewing Pornography but they do notice a difference in his attitude toward her.  His change can be due to the fact that Pornography viewing makes you numb to “normal” sexual relations.  The more you are exposed to, the more you want it.  It’s like a never ending vicious cycle.  It may not just be the wife that’s suffering, if children are present they will be affected by their father’s pornography viewing as well.  A consequence of pornography viewing can be a loss of interest in family relations.  That also means less time spent with children.  All the addict can think of is how to satisfy his cravings.  Another problem can arise if a child becomes exposed to the pornographic material or accidentally finds his/her father engaging in Pornography.  This can very much distort the child’s perception of his/her father and the child’s image of healthy sexuality in general.

2)  Effects on the Individual

One […]

5 Destructive Relationship Patterns

Listed below are five distinct types of harmful relationships.  As you read through this list, you might find that your relationship with someone contains all five characteristics, or you may identify with only one or two.  Please understand that if you experience even one of these patterns consistently in your relationship with someone, the behavior will cause harm to both you and your relationship if left unaddressed.

WHEN DOES A RELATIONSHIP BECOME DESTRUCTIVE?

  1. One or both parties commit physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse upon the other.
  2. One person is regularly overprotective, overbearing, or both toward the other.
  3. One person is overdependent upon the other to affirm his or her personal value and worth, to meet all of his or her needs, and to make most of his or her decisions.
  4. One person demonstrates a pattern of deceiving the other through lying, hiding, pretending, misleading, or twisting information to make something appear other than what it is.
  5. One person exhibits chronic indifference, neglect, or both toward the thoughts, feelings, or well-being of the other.

Keep in mind that we are all capable of doing these things.  What makes these actions destructive is their repetitive pattern, as well as lack of awareness, lack of remorse, and lack of significant change.  This distinction should not minimize the destructiveness of […]

Women and Porn: Not Just a Guy Issue!

When most people in our culture think about pornography and who is accessing it online, their thoughts automatically go to the male population. Would it surprise you to know that women represent 30% of the internet pornography consumers (Internet Pornography Statistics, 2008; Nielsen//NetRatings, April 2005)?

It is time to stop with the “old school” thinking that it is just a “man” issue and take a look at not only the increased activity with women and pornography, but also the impact that it is having on them and their lives.Women have greater access to information, laws and resources that foster sexual health and expression, but we can’t be naïve not to acknowledge these advantages against other realities that women will face.Women today are introduced into a society with more sexually explicit messages that encourage risky and impulsive behaviors.

Here are just a few examples of the powerful influences she will be facing as she surfs the Internet:

  • Sexualized messages
  • Sex crimes
  • Online sexual predators
  • Internet dating services
  • Sexualized cyber bullying which will make her world more sexually distorting, daunting and aggressive than ever before in her early stages of her development

Women as Objects: What They View and It’s Impact

 So how is this happening and why are women becoming more and more consumed with Internet pornography? The sex industry and pornography are gaining greater acceptance and presence in our culture. What use to be culturally unacceptable has it become more of the norm? The […]

Pornography and Sex Trafficking

  • Pornography is used as a “tool” to train trafficked children and women so that they will “know” what to do in performing sex acts.
  • Often, the forced sexual acts between the prostituted woman/child and the John will be filmed and photographed and then shared elsewhere.
  • Studies show that pornography users often seek to act out what they have viewed in porn. Often their partners will not engage in such acts, so they seek it elsewhere – increasing the demand for trafficked women and children to be prostituted.
  • Pimps are operating more and more online as it becomes easier to connect with potential buyers and to remain anonymous. Popular websites like www.Craigslist.com and www.Facebook.com have become “virtual brothels” where one can quickly find prostituted women and children to engage in sex acts.
  • As addictions to pornography increase, users seek harder and harder material. There is a recent boom in the availability of “live” porn as trafficked children and women are forced to perform “on-demand” sex acts in front of web cameras as “Johns” or porn users watch.
  • Porn users do not and cannot distinguish between trafficked women, prostitutes, and porn stars. Pornography fuels the global sex trade by driving demand into the mainstream of society.