Working With Survivors Of Childhood Sexual Abuse

A one day CPD workshop with Christiane Sanderson

Saturday, 30th January 2021, 10.00am to 4.00pm
5 hours CPD

Current research indicates that only 1 in 8 survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) report their abusive experiences, often years later. For practitioners, providing effective therapy becomes challenging when both survivors and therapists are not able to recognise the linkages between a range of mental and physical health issues and a history of CSA. Such linkages may be manifest in emotional dysregulation, addictions, self-harm and suicidal ideation, anxiety disorders, sexual health and relational difficulties, personality disorders as well as persistent somatic complaints, chronic pain, autoimmune disorders and chronic fatigue syndrome.

The danger of not being able to identity the relationship between CSA and presenting symptoms is that CSA remains undetected which can lead to misinterpretation and pervasive mental and physical health problems.  It is critical that practitioners in a wide range of mental and physical health settings have a good understanding of the impact and long term effects of CSA and how this manifests in a range of clinical settings so that they are able to respond appropriately.

This workshop, which is especially relevant for psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists, aims to enhance our comprehension of CSA, its impact and long term effects on survivors, while explaining how, as practitioners, we can work effectively using the principles of safe trauma therapy, psychoeducation and stabilisation to restore control and to allow for the processing of the CSA narrative.

Working With Survivors Of Childhood Sexual Abuse – 30th January 2021

This fee is non-refundable.


Using illustrative case examples, the workshop will present a range of skills that facilitate right brain engagement, while emphasising the importance of the therapeutic relationship to build shame resilience and facilitate post traumatic growth. The workshop will also examine the impact of working with survivors on practitioners and explain how we can minimise vicarious traumatisation and secondary traumatic stress through counsellor self-care. In identifying a range of therapeutic skills and the challenges of working with survivors of CSA, practitioners will feel more equipped when working with survivors and appreciate the transformative effects of post traumatic growth for both client and practitioner. Specifically, we will consider:

  • The nature and dynamics of CSA such as: the grooming process, secrecy and the distortion of reality.
  • CSA as trauma and its neurobiological impact.
  • The psychological impact and long term effects of CSA.
  • The intergenerational transmission of CSA.
  • The role of shame and self-blame.
  • The principles of safe trauma therapy, psychoeducation and stabilisation.
  • The importance of the therapeutic relationship and right brain based therapeutic skills.
  • Challenges and impact of working with CSA on practitioners.
  • Post traumatic growth.

For further information please email or telephone 020 8673 4545.

Facilitator: Christiane Sanderson

Christiane Sanderson is a senior lecturer in Psychology at the University of Roehampton with over 30  years’ experience working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse, interpersonal trauma and domestic abuse. She has run consultancy and training for parents, teachers, social workers, nurses, therapists, counsellors, solicitors, the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Committee, the Methodist Church, the Metropolitan Police Service, the NSPCC and the Refugee Council and in prisons.

She is the author of  Counselling Skills for Working with Shame, Counselling Skills for Working with Trauma:  Healing from Child Sexual Abuse, Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse Introduction of Counselling Survivors of Interpersonal Trauma,  Counselling Survivors of Domestic Abuse,  Counselling Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse 3rd Edition,  The Seduction of Children: Empowering Parents and Teachers to Protect Children from Child Sexual Abuse all published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. The Warrior Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Childhood Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence, The Spirit Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Religious Sexual Abuse Across All Faiths, Responding to Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse: A pocket guide for professionals, partners, families and friends and Numbing the Pain: A pocket guide for professionals supporting survivors of childhood sexual abuse and addiction all published by One in Four.

Christiane Sanderson