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Do I need more therapy?
Oct 7, 2012

I recently completed an 18 week group therapy program. In the program I took a long, intensive, painful look into my child hood, and realized how it impacted my behaviour as an adult. My dad was an alcoholic and violent, my mom dealt with it by hiding at work all the time. I basically had to raise myself. There were several traumatic events in my life. When I was 8, my mom and dad were fighting and my dad threatened to kill himself. The police were called and the swat team showed up. When I was 7, a neighbour physically assaulted me. When I was 12, I was raped by a man in a public washroom. I could go on, but the point is, I was able to realize that these traumatic events and my unstable family life contributed to me contracting HIV. Because of these events I had no self worth and no self identity. I was promiscuous for several reasons, wanting to feel wanted, punishing myself, trying to momentarily forget. Now that the group therapy is done I feel lost and hopeless. I went from 18 weeks, 4 hours a day of daily support, to nothing. I am trying to use the tools I learnt to cope but it isn't going well.

I am considering more therapy but not sure what type of therapy would suit me at this point. I feel like I still haven't dealt with all my feelings around self worth, especially when it comes to having HIV and feeling like damaged goods. Any suggestions?

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Thank you for writing. You certainly have displayed a remarkable resilience and I commend you for working so hard in therapy to address some of these issues. You obviously had a positive reaction to the group work and benefitted from it. Trauma takes both patience and courage to address, and it can be a long process.

I would definitely look into getting additional therapy to help you. It sounds like the group format worked well for you. You might also look into some specialized therapies which are extremely effective for trauma resolution. These include EMDR and hypnotherapy.

In addition to therapy, look into connecting with a support system so that you can retain the gains you worked so hard to achieve.

Good luck,

-David



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