Friend and family guide to our counselling services

We understand that being told by a loved one that they have been sexually abused as a child can be a traumatic experience for everyone involved. It can also leave you worrying as the ‘right way’ to respond. We believe that being non-judgemental, empathetic, showing you care and listening if that person wants to talk can be really helpful.

We know this can leave you with some difficult emotions that may feel too overwhelming to deal with, which is why we offer short-term counselling sessions for friends, family and partners. If you would like to find out more then please contact us.

How your friend, family or partner may be feeling

A person’s decision to contact Stepping Stones North Wales will not have been an easy one. To better understand some of the reasons for this, it might be useful to think back to your own childhood and to remember something that made you feel ashamed.

Guilt and shame are perhaps two of the most common feelings that our clients struggle with and it can take time to change those feelings.

Our clients may also experience things like:

  • Panic attacks
  • Flashbacks
  • Dissociation (the feeling of being separated from our body or the world)
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Drug or alcohol issues
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem

The Counselling Process

The counselling process can be difficult at times. This can lead to our clients feeling worse than before they started therapy as they work through their difficult and complex feelings, as it can stir up painful memories.

All of the counsellors at Stepping Stones are experienced and qualified to work with survivors of child sexual abuse. We work by creating a non-judgmental, accepting and clearly boundaried therapeutic relationship with our clients. Within that relationship over time, we build up trust that allows our clients to work through their issues at their own pace.

Sometimes the person you are supporting needs some quiet time after a counselling session to process their thoughts and feelings. They may also prefer not to discuss their counselling at all because it feels helpful to keep it separate from the rest of their life. In these cases it is helpful to respect their wishes, as client’s having control of the counselling process is an important part of the work that we do.

Helpful Resources

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC)

Website and free helpline (10am – 9pm Mon to Thurs, 10am – 6pm Fri) offering support to those supporting survivors of child sexual abuse.

Incest and Sexual Abuse Survivors (ISAS)

Website with some useful information for partners and family members of survivors of sexual abuse.

isas-notts.org.uk/parents-and-carers

1in6

Website for men who were sexually abused as children with information for family and friends.

1in6.org/family-and-friends