A Therapist Speaks — How We Help

“Angelica” is a 17 year old girl who was sexually assaulted by an adult male relative when she was only 10 years old. Drinking, doing drugs, failing school – Angelica was acting out and working so hard to suppress her feelings. She kept her rape a secret until she was 16 when she confided in her boyfriend. Fortunately, her boyfriend, “Marcos”, heard a CALM radio commercial.  Marcos was a great influence on Angelica. He believed that her acting out was a result of her early trauma and he was right. He threatened to tell her parents what had happened to her if she didn’t tell them herself. Finally, Marcos told Angelica’s parents and they brought her to CALM.

Once Angelica broker her silence, we learned that her younger sister had also been abused by this same relative and needed help as well. “Maria” was suicidal and ready to take her own life when she came to CALM. Now, both girls are doing much better after learning about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and child sexual abuse. They are each now able to see that what their relative did to them was not their fault. Both girls were able to do a SART interview (Sexual Assault Response Team) and the police detectives are looking for the perpetrator. Unfortunately, he is on the run but eventually, he will be prosecuted. Most importantly Angelica was able to examine her faulty beliefs about her sense of guilt and her feeling a lack of worth and value that were stemming from her sexual abuse.

Through art therapy, she was able to express deeply buried emotions and was able to access the pain she had repressed for so many years. Through her paintings, she was able to discharge these painful memories and move them from her insides to her exterior, where she could see them with more objectivity and ultimately, release them. Both Angelica and Maria thank CALM for the help that they received. Maria even brought a friend to CALM who had shared that she had been molested and now that girl is also receiving services here.

Angelica is now studying psychology and wishes to be a counselor when she grows up. She considers herself a wounded healer and wants to help other children who have survived sexual abuse. She is now sober, drug free, and with one boyfriend in a healthy relationship. Her grades have improved and she is taking college courses concurrently with her high school studies.