Betrayal of the Body: Group Approaches to Hypo-Sexuality for Adult Female Sufferers of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Hypo-sexuality, self-reported hypoactive sexual desire and/or sexual aversion, is a common symptom experienced by women who were victims of childhood sexual abuse. This symptom may be distressing to the patient herself, and may place strain on her romantic relationships in adulthood. Unfortunately, this problem often remains undiscussed between patient and provider, in part due to the provider’s lack of comfort or knowledge regarding how best to address this issue. In this article, we explore several strategies that providers may employ in a group setting in order to help women realize their sexuality while minimizing untoward side effects such as feelings of guilt or shame, or flashbacks. We highlight the merits of each technique, and provide insights from clinical experience to guide practitioners to help their patients facing this difficult issue.