Posts tagged: John Bradshaw


By , October 27, 2007 5:24 pm

Kathy’s Inner ChildrenKathy’s Favorite Childhood Photo: Undaunted!


Focusing Inner Child Work With Abused Clients 

(download this PDF file to see Dr. McGuire’s approach)

    Yes, if we are to work on healthy sexuality, we will have to look at the wide prevalence of sexual abuse, the wounds of which will crop up all around sexuality.

    What is the statistic? Is it 1 out of 2 women  and 1 out of 3 men report some kind of unwanted touching by age 21? Whatever the factual statistics, the number is huge, huge, enough that everyone needs an awareness of past abuse creeping into present relationships.

   Alice Miller, in her books including For Your Own: Hidden Cruelty In Childhood and the Roots of Violence,, was one of the first to “tear the covers off” the culturally-accepted practices and mythology surrounding the physical and sexual abuse of children.

    I have had women tell me laughingly over lunch, “Oh, I even take my showers with my clothes on!” or “I’ve never had an orgasm. It’s fine with me and fine with my husband.”

    Equally likely, flashbacks to sexual abuse begin when  someone finally finds a loving relationship, enough safety to begin to let down defenses and begin to re-feel — and, bam, memories from the past arise because of this new-found safety.

   In this self-help context, I can only issue a warning to be on the lookout for signs and to seek appropriate help. The official “diagnosis” is often Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the same kind of intense “flashbacks” and other anxiety-related symptoms that Vietnam vets called to our attention.

   One finding about  PTSD from warfare was that soldiers who had already experienced trauma in childhood had an intensified likelihood of PTSD in wartime.

   Much research also substantiates that a huge percentage of those in prison, men and women, were victims of childhood physical and sexual abuse.

   Intellectual understanding is not sufficient for healing. Nor is it necessary or productive to be “re-traumatized” through the unsafe recall of memories. Therapies are body-centered, helping the client to pay attention to  “present bodily experience,” Gendlin”s “felt sensing,” the crux of Focusing. They also use “anchoring” and other techniques to produce a therapeutic setting where memories can be “re-experienced” within a safety that allows for “carrying forward.”

   There are also approaches to treatment which emphasize supporting couples working through sexual abuse issues. One such is Laura Davis, Allies In Healing: When the Person You Love Was Sexually Abused as a Child. Read inspiring reviews of this book and the comfort it brings at

You’ll find more books here:

   Some therapies that are especially useful in helping people to work through flashbacks and other symptoms, with empathy and support are:

Focusing-Oriented Therapy (FOT): read about Focusing and Trauma at and find additional Certified Professionals who do FOT  at

Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing at

Mary Armstrong’s work on Focusing and EMDR at

Hakomi Body-Centered Therapy: description at Hakomi Institute at and  Hakomi Resources at

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

The site of new insights and creative solutions is at the edge of what is already known. This edge, The Creative Edge, holds implicit within it all past and future knowing about the problem, more than could ever be put into words in a linear way 

Panorama Theme by Themocracy