ELAINE WESTERLUND, EDD, DABPS, DAPA
LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIST

ONE ARNOLD CIRCLE
CAMBRIDGE, MA 02139
(617) 661-9400

Survivor Sexuality Series

Sexual Abuse Treatment and Consultation
Resume
Consultation on Survivor Sexuality
Women's Sexuality After Childhood Incest
Self-Esteem, Boundaries, and Assertiveness for Survivors
Living and Loving Better as Survivors
Survivor Sexuality Series
Drop-in Discussion Group
Childhood Sexual Abuse and Your Health
To:
Incest Resources, Inc.
This ten-session series on sexuality is exclusively for female survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The series is generally offered twice a year in September and again in January.

Meetings are held in Cambridge at One Arnold Circle on an every other week basis, generally on a weekday evening from 6:00-7:30 P.M.

The series provides an opportunity to:

  • discuss survivor sexuality in a small group setting
  • discover what's "normal" if you're a survivor
  • recognize connections between your abuse history and your sexuality
  • share feelings that come up in relation to sexuality
  • ask questions you've never asked before
  • learn coping strategies and management techniques

Five areas of sexuality are covered in the series including:
body perception, reproduction, sexual preference, sexual "lifestyle," and sexual functioning.

As the leader of the series I draw from both my experience as a psychologist and my experience as a survivor. I have worked with survivors of childhood sexual abuse for 30 years since co-founding Incest Resources, Inc., the first survivor organization in the country. I hold a doctorate in counseling psychology from Boston University with a master's specialization in counseling women, and I am the author of Women's Sexuality After Childhood Incest.

Screening interviews are scheduled during June, and July for the September series and during October and November for the January series. The cost of the screening interview is $80.00, payable at the time of the visit. The cost of the ten-session series is $400.00, payable in advance by August 1st or by December 1st. It is not possible to make other payment arrangements for the group, and it is not possible to use insurance for the group. Also, the series fee can not be adjusted to accommodate absences, so commitment is very important. Depending upon the number and make-up of the group, I am sometimes able to offer some slides.

If you are interested in setting up a screening interview, please call the number above and leave your name, telephone number(s), and the best days and times for me to return your call.


FEEDBACK FROM PAST GROUP PARTICIPANTS


This group met my expectations and then some!  It was the most healing group I’ve done.  It  deals with tough issues that require commitment (I’m not sure I took full advantage), but it was so educational and informative I’d consider taking it again!  The group was a very safe place to discuss shameful and difficult things, connect to feelings I was completely cut off from, and become more comfortable talking about sex.  It also gave me lots of great ideas for healing my sexuality through practical exercises, as well as new coping strategies and techniques.  For me, this group was a great springboard into deeper sexual healing.
 
This group was exactly what I needed and has been very helpful to me.  It gave me the push and  encouragement I needed to focus more energy on my sexuality and gave me a safe place to share and ask questions.  My fears and triggers make more sense to me now and I understand myself better.  The group made me feel very validated and more normal.  I feel less isolated and more connected now and I appreciate my difficulties in a more compassionate way.  I felt very close to and comfortable with the other women in the group and I feel more hopeful now about having a good sex life.  I see a path for sexual healing in front of me that I couldn’t see before.  I want to do much more now for myself in this area and I believe much more is possible for me.  This group was a great first step for me.  I’m so glad I participated and I’d really recommend it.
 
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but participating in this group gave me a chance to discuss sexuality with other survivors with a lot of depth, discover connections related to the abuse, share commonalities and ask questions, feel more normal, think about new strategies and coping techniques, and get desensitized on the topic of sexuality.  This group is challenging and may be uncomfortable at times, but is wonderful if you are ready.
 
I loved this group!  I liked the format and enjoyed sharing my perspective and my experience of sexuality as a survivor.  The group was a safe place to discuss differences as well as commonalities.   The readings were thought-provoking and I found the exercises challenging but very rewarding to complete. It was great to discuss everything with other survivors in the comfort  of this group.
 
The power and meaning of this group is difficult to express, but it is positive, helpful, and healing.  I am grateful for the group and have already recommended it to other survivors.  The group made me feel very comfortable discussing deeply personal feelings that have always been very embarrassing or shameful to me.  I started feeling there’s hope for me and I deserve a good sex life.  I got so much out of this group - more than I can say.  It was my first group experience and I’ll never forget it nor will I remain the same.  The experience has changed me, which is truly miraculous.
 
It was good to be in a group where people understood exactly what I was thinking or feeling.  It was very validating and took some of the loneliness away.  I left this group with information and understanding about myself that I didn’t have before.  I now feel very empowered as a survivor to regain control in the areas of my life sexually that my abuse deeply affected.
 
Hearing other survivors talk so openly about sexuality definitely made a big difference in my life.  I’m no longer ashamed to talk about sex and I now have lots of ways as a survivor to work on my sexuality.