Child sexual abuse, trauma and the sense of self, exploration of the impact, and healing through group work

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Sime, Jennifer
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This practicum involved the creation, implementation and evaluation of a twelve week group designed to help foster connection and re-connection with the self for adult, female, child sexual abuse survivors. Seven women participated in and completed one of two groups run from The Laurel Centre, a counselling agency in Winnipeg which specializes in counselling services for women survivors of child sexual abuse. The purpose of the group was to explore the factors that contribute to personality development, such as society, family and trauma; to work on re-connection with this individual construct; and to integrate various aspects of the self. The group also included a self-esteem component throughout. The group format was considered an excellent context in which to do this work given women's and survivors' developmental needs for connection. Methods of group evaluation included a quantitative measure of self-esteem, and a qualitative art assessment. Group feedback forms were also employed and recorded herein. Overall, the results of the practicum indicated that the environment of connection was a significant positive factor for the women. Gains in self-definition, integration and self-esteem were also noted.