This presentation considers the psychological impact of rape and sexual assault, identifies clinical themes and limitations to treatment associated with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidelines on pre-trial therapy for cases with involvement with the Criminal Justice Sytem (CJS). It also explores therapy outcomes using EMDR treatment and EMDR resource development and installation in adults attending the Clinical Psychology Service within a Sexual Assault Referral Centre in London.
Sexual violence may have serious and persisting consequences in terms of health and well-being, social, interpersonal and occupational functioning (HM Government, 2007). Disclosure is usually a key moment in the journey of recovery. Inadequate, dismissive or critical responses by statutory agencies have been highlighted as a significant problem (e.g. Payne, 2009) and can be experienced as a form of secondary or repeat victimisation (Maier, 2008). Such responses from agencies post sexual assault may evoke issues of credibility, self-blame and psychological distress.
This study is a retrospective case note review looking at current and past psychological difficulties of adult clients attending the Havens for psychological therapy within a one-year period. Clients’ clinical notes are also reviewed for thematic content related to clients’ perceptions of their involvement with the police and the judicial system and the impact of this on psychological wellbeing. Standard clinical outcome measures routinely completed by patients at psychological assessment and discharge are compared to measure changes in symptom severity. Case examples will be presented to illustrate the use of EMDR treatment with complainants of rape and sexual assault.
Raquel is a Lead Clinical Psychologist working for the Havens, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. She has held various positions in the NHS and her experience includes work in Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Care.
Raquel has extensive clinical experience and has developed specialist skills in working with trauma and sexual assault.
Raquel is actively involved in providing teaching and training for various professional groups, supervision, consultancy and has presented at national and international conferences and training programmes.
She also provides psychological assessment and treatment to clients affected by rape and leads on research in the field of sexual violence.