Institutionalized adolescents in therapy: narratives of psychotherapy and healing from sexual abuse

Main Article Content

Gretchen Beiza *
Claudia Capella
Denise Dussert
Loreto Rodrìguez
Daniela Aguila
Carolina Gutiérrez
Ximena Lama
(*) Corresponding Author:
Gretchen Beiza | gretchen.beiza@gmail.com

Abstract

Adolescent sexual abuse is a pressing social issue worldwide, specifically for institutionalized population that lack access to alternative care such as family-based options. This study examines narratives associated with healing from sexual abuse among teenagers in long-term residential care programs who have successfully completed specialized psychotherapy. Using a qualitative research methodology and multiple case analysis, in-depth interviews were conducted with five adolescents and then analyzed using thematic narrative analysis. Results show two different narrative positions regarding the meanings of healing after an experience of sexual abuse: narratives of healing and in complete healing. In addition, factors that influence the healing process are observed, of which psychotherapy and therapeutic relationships are key. Study participants’ own voices show the possibilities for generating recovery narratives among adolescents in residential care who have been sexually assaulted, highlighting aspects of therapeutic intervention that may better orientate psychotherapy for this specific group.

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Author Biographies

Gretchen Beiza, De-partment of Psychology, University of Chile, Santiago

Psy.D., Academic of Psychology Department, University of Chile

Claudia Capella, Academic of Psychology Department, University of Chile, Santiago

Psychologist, University of Chile

Denise Dussert, Department of Psychology, University of Chile, Santiago

Psychologist, University of Chile

Loreto Rodrìguez, Department of Psychology, University of Chile, Santiago

Master in Psychology, University of Chile

Daniela Aguila, Department of Psychology, University of Chile, Santiago

Psychologist, University of Chile

Carolina Gutiérrez, Department of Psychology, University of Chile, Santiago

Master in Psychology, University of Chile