Counselors' experiences working with child survivors of sexual abuse and with survivors' nonoffending caregivers

Haiyasoso, Maria
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The purpose of this thesis was to examine licensed professional counselors' (LPCs) accounts of their experiences working with child sexual abuse (CSA) survivors and with the nonoffending caregivers (NOCs) of these children. Data was collected through phone interviews and analyzed using a phenomenological approach. There were four emerging themes from the counselors' responses to the interview questions and within each central theme were subthemes: Working with Clients' Life Circumstances (subthemes: Relational Factors and Environmental Factors), Professional Orientation (subthemes: Training/Education, Theoretical Approach, Conceptualization), Awareness (subthemes: Textural Awareness and Structural Awareness), and Coping Strategies (subthemes: Self-care, Consultation/Supervision, and Reflecting on Years of Experience). LPC's experiences were complex and their awareness of these experiences existed on a spectrum. The essence of this phenomenon was reflected in the participants' awareness of their experiences working with CSA survivors and NOCs and of how their work affected their view of others and of themselves. As a result, the current study suggested implications for counseling practice, counselor education and supervision, and future research.

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child sexual abuse, experiences, licensed professional counselor, nonoffending caregiver, survivor