Getting Emotional Help: Finding a Therapist

Rape, sexual assault, and sexual coercion can have lasting effects
on your mental health. That is because these are serious violations
of your body and trust — and not because you are not strong. As a
survivor, you might develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress
disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, or insomnia after an incident.
You might struggle with feelings of shame, guilt, or inadequacy.
None of these responses to trauma make you a weak person, and
there are many resources to help you feel better.

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Psychotherapists help us navigate through difficult times of our lives, find new meaning in trauma, and teach us helpful coping skills. Psychotherapists usually hold degrees in counseling, social work, or psychology. It is helpful to search for a trauma-informed therapist, as they specialize in treating survivors.


Psychiatrists are trained medical doctors, and have the ability to prescribe medication. Your therapist might refer you to a psychiatrist if they believe that psychiatric medication would help you feel better.

Online or Text-Based Therapy

If in-person therapy is not for you, you can speak to someone online from the comfort of your own home.

  • BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers affordable, private online counseling.
  • TalkSpace. TalkSpace offers online therapy with a licensed therapist.
  • 911. If you are in danger or suicidal, please call 911.

A Note About Treatments

Some psychotherapeutic treatments, including EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), PE (prolonged exposure), and CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), have been found to be highly effective on trauma survivors. When looking for a therapist, ask them if they offer these treatments. Do not be discouraged if they don’t — they might still be able to help you.

More Resources


Callisto is a non-profit organization that develops technology to combat sexual assault and sexual coercion.

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