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Why Victims of Childhood Sex Abuse May Bury Memories For Years or Even Decades

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Transcript of the video:

I  am interested to hear from your experience of what people say to you, what devices people use to keep it within themselves so that they don't have to confront - either by talking to others or just even within themselves.

I think what's really interesting in terms of blotting out, is often people don't come to therapy for that in the first instance. It's often I find it might be something like anxiety or depression or something more milder.

And it's actually as we begin to delve that we can.. I think the relationship - the rapport has to be there. And once we get beyond some of the ways they have coped - sometimes that might be being a perfectionist. Sometimes that can be about being extremely busy, sometimes that can be about self-harm practices that are incredibly embedded.

And so I might get curious about why is it that you self sabotage - and so begin to look at that.


It's a suspicion sometimes that I have then you begin to unpick and discover. So, for example, I think traditionally alcohol and drugs are things that we are used to.

But it's not necessarily as simple as the headline self-sabotage tactics. And if I think about drugs and alcohol or other forms of addiction, to my mind, they are tools to help manage difficult emotional hurts.

So once you get beyond that, you are often left with the rawness of what they have experienced.

And so when you are seeking to support them, and they are coming to you and you know that they have been blocking it out, and the classic as you as say, is through drugs and alcohol, you've got to address that first surely before you can begin to get down to those deeper issues that caused so much distress and hurt over 10, 30, 40 years or longer .

I think for me as a psychotherapist it's very delicate. So often sometimes people don't want to talk about that they want to look at everything else before we get to the nub of the issue.

So remember if they have been in denial, or they have buried a very difficult heinous experience, and denied it to themselves - they don't want to necessarily bring that up per se. But sometimes I will get a hunch, like things won't make sense to me. And because trust has been sabotaged at some particular point in their life by someone who was given a place of trust, I know that has then manifested itself in our relationship together - so that have to trust me to go somewhere they may not have been in a long time.

And so that's when we get beyond the self-sabotage, we get to the nub of the issue. And so ways of coping are often what I become acutely aware of is an inherent sense of worthlessness, a real lack of self regard and self harm in ways that leave me baffled. And also the client baffled.

And that is then when we get really into delicately unpacking the experiences that have.. often the sexual traumas that have happened to them which have had an impact on their relationships. Sometimes I might have clients which are particularly promiscuous or who are unable to have relationships with men or women - that are healthy or wholesome.

I mean it's an incredibly complicated issue and really it's only in spending time with someone like you that the individual can begin to sort of work their way from a position of darkness to a much happier future.

For the moment Keeley thank you for coming in today.

Keeley Taverner is an accredited psychotherapist, coach and supervisor based in Uxbridge, West London. For more information on Keeley's services please visit:

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