Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 6 Issue 5 (December 1996), Pages fmi-fmi, i-i, 311-414

Refusing to be Marginalized: Groupwork in Mental Health Services for Women Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse (pages 341-354)

Abstract

Childhood sexual abuse is a major aetiological factor in the development of mental health difficulties experienced by women. Although this conclusion is supported by two decades of extensive research, it has had little impact on the provision of mainstream mental health services. It remains exceptional for there to be specialist therapy or counselling provision for women survivors of childhood sexual abuse within statutory mental health services. This represents a serious gap in service provision and, it is argued, results in extended and inappropriate treatment for women survivors using mental health services. In this article, the development of a multi‐agency approach to the provision of groupwork for women survivors of childhood sexual abuse within mental health service is described. A women‐centred model of groupwork is outlined. Evaluation and funding are discussed. It is argued that, as a time‐limited and effective treatment option, groupwork for women survivors of childhood sexual abuse should form a central part of service provision within statutory adult mental health services.

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