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Create Your Own Plan for Rape Recovery A SelfHelp Approach

You've given it a lot of thought about your options for recovery from your rape. You know it's time to do something ? life just isn't, well, as easy as it should be. But your life is busy and time is a precious asset so you've decided you'd like to try a self-help approach. Whatever your concerns, I'm glad you're here and that you'd like to learn more.

No matter whether your rape was ten weeks ago or ten years ago, I know you'll gain priceless knowledge and insight from one of the many paths you can take in developing your own plan to recovery. So, let me share with you the most critical step to get you started right away: Your 1st Step: Discover Your Learning Style No matter what "style" of learner you are, you'll find a path to your recovery perfectly suited to you. We all learn differently and our individual style applies to all sorts of things we learn in life ? even recovering from something as complex as recovering from sexual assault. Realizing your learning style saves you both time and money because it gives you the tools you need to apply targeted focus exactly where you need help.

I'll show you what I mean in a moment, and I'll also give you the tools to begin. Your opportunities for self-help are plentiful in the form of: 1. CDs, DVDs, and books are excellent resources for learning in the comfort of your home and at your own pace 2.

Classes, workshops, and retreats offered by therapy professionals requiring less investment of time and money than traditional therapy 3. Associations and organizations offering information and self-assessment tools; and 4. Rape Crisis Centers offering opportunities for involvement Now, just a few words about learning styles: They're not exclusive to one another; we all employ different styles at different times but we move toward those that really "speak" to us. Let me show what I mean: Let's say you're interested in art therapy but you're busy with your family and job or school so you're looking for something with a shorter time commitment and something that's not too expensive, plus you'd like a classroom setting because you do best when learning with others. You research workshops and classes offered in your area and find one on art, imagery, and trauma by a therapist in your area.

Her workshop is only two days a week which fits perfectly with your schedule and the cost is only $15 for all four weeks which is really perfect. You like this: it satisfies your interest in art (Visual Learning) and your preference for a more social setting where you can learn from others experiences (Social Learning). The price is right and you have the opportunity to see if you like art therapy without the time and cost investment of private therapy.

Lastly, you can evaluate this therapist to see if you'd like to work with her long term. So, as you can see, you've combined both Visual and Social Learning into a win-win situation for you. So, let's get started with the different Learning Styles and some of the areas you can explore: Visual Learning (Art, Photography, Movies) If you're a visual learner, you employ pictures, diagrams, maps, and images in your learning process. You learn by seeing and are a creative individual. Art, photography, and movies are perfect learning opportunities for you. Verbal Learning (Writing, Drama, Support Groups) You prefer using words to learn, and employ both speech and writing.

As a verbal learner interested in speech, you may benefit from drama therapy and support groups; and if you're interested in writing or reading, you may like to try creative journaling, memoirs, and poetry. Physical Learning (Dance) As a physical learner, you prefer using your body, hands, and your sense of touch to learn. Dance may be the perfect for you as it provides emotional healing and release of tension. No matter the style that appeals to you, short term classes and workshops are available in belly dancing, tap, jazz, contemporary, ballroom (which is excellent for couples, by the way and integrate touch again into the relationship) ? whatever your pleasure, there's an appropriate class where you can learn, grow, and go on to study on your own.

Social Learning (Drama, Support Groups) You prefer learning in groups and with other people. Both drama and support groups may interest you as you get satisfaction from peer support, both in terms of learning from others and providing compassion and empathy to them so they don't feel alone. Logical Learning (Self-Directed Learning) As a logical learner, you use reasoning and logic in your approach to learning. You appreciate facts and statistics and learning the foundation of a subject; this is true even for rape recovery. You understand the fact that you're not alone in your pain, find comfort in that fact, and at the same time are realistic that recovery is possible with time and work.

Aural Learning (Music) You love using music and sound when learning something new. Music triggers certain brain functions, and helps tremendously with specific functioning as well as overall well being. It's familiar and easily attainable for us all ? just turn on the radio! Music therapy is particularly effective for reducing stress and physical symptoms like anxiety. Now, you needn't be a good singer or an accomplished musician to get the benefit of music. For true benefit, you must only enjoy music ? whatever the style. Your 2nd Step: Do a Bit of Research As mentioned earlier, I'm going to help you with research and help you find the perfect way for you to approach your recovery based on your learning style.

As you can see, no matter what your learning style, you have tons of options. Most of the DVD programs, the books, CDs, and of course the retreats and workshops are offered by professional therapists with advanced knowledge in a particular specialty. For instance, art therapists are artists in some medium, drama therapists may also be actors or directors, and music therapists are often musicians or singers. They have a true love for the medium and truly love to share their craft through workshops, etc. The professional associations I've listed below provide you with lists of therapists who offer classes, workshops and retreats and just scratch the surface of what's available to you but you'll begin to see opportunities and think creatively.

You needn't sacrifice quality assistance because of time or money constraints. So, now that you've got a good idea of your learning style, it's time to do some research. And, as a therapist in the field for over a decade, I'd be remiss if I didn't include several of my own resources as well! So let's not waste another moment; now armed with your knowledge of your own personal learning style, you'll be able to spot the resources perfect for you: Books, CDs, DVDs Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity Healing Music Project Hours of Torture, Years of Silence Mel Bay Guitar Songbook for Music Therapy Rape Recovery Handbook Rape Recovery Video Program: A 6-Step Breakthrough Method for Recovery Relax & De-stress, Music for Self-Healing Sound Medicine: Music for Healing The Truth About Rape Resources for Therapists Offering Classes, Workshops & Retreats American Art Therapist Association, Inc. National Association of Dance Therapy (Look under ADTA Chapters & Member Sites) Survivors Art Foundation Great "Fact" Resources for Logical Learners National Crime Victim's Center Get Help Series US DOJ Office on Violence Against Women So, as you can see, the whole world is open to you should you decide to take a self-help approach to your recovery. Your 3rd Step: Take Next Step Think about just one small task for your next step ? researching a retreat, buying a book, listening to a CD to begin work on reducing your anxiety ? identify something now to begin working on your recovery.

This first small step can take you into directions you never could have imagined. Please, start today; don't let your recovery wait another moment.

Teresa Lauer, M.A. is a therapist specializing in rape recovery and related issues and is founder of RapeRecovery.com. She is the author of five books, numerous articles and creator of Rape Recovery DVD Program. She has also created eBook resources for the professional community, with over 3,200 resources, at Tools4Therapists.com She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Phil.


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