What do adults who experienced child sexual abuse want to convey about therapy?

Talia Glucklich, Afnan Attrash-Najjar, Nadia Massarweh, Carmit Katz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Child sexual abuse (CSA) studies have significantly advanced the understanding of its prevalence and adverse consequences. Tremendous efforts worldwide have been devoted to CSA interventions. However, surprisingly, there is a lack of research dedicated to learning about experiences with therapy among adults who experienced CSA. Objective: This study was designed to address this gap by exploring the perspectives and experiences with therapy among adults who experienced CSA. Methods: Thirty-nine written testimonies comprised the current sample. All of the testimonies were provided to the Israeli Independent Public Inquiry into CSA by adults who experienced CSA and received therapy at one point in their lives. A qualitative inductive thematic analysis guided the exploration of the testimonies. Results: The testimonies provided an important glance into significant characteristics of therapy, such as the timing and reasons leading to therapy, and perceptions regarding what constitutes appropriate therapy. Although beneficial and rehabilitating therapy experiences were mentioned by some of the participants, the majority of the testimonies focused on experiences related to the obstacles and challenges to accessing and engaging in therapy faced by those who experienced CSA. Conclusions: The testimonies not only addressed essential aspects of therapy, but also highlighted the importance of thoroughly comprehending the broad context of a person's life that leads them to seek therapy. The discussion points to grave social and policy lacunas that prevent people who experienced CSA from receiving therapy that is accessible, timely, subsidized, stigma-free and multifaceted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106435
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Adults who experienced child sexual abuse
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Inquiry
  • Testimonies
  • Therapy


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