A Phenomenological Inquiry of Sexual Assault, Disclosure and Self Concept within the Therapeutic Context
This dissertation study investigated the lived experiences of women who had experienced sexual assault and disclosed their experience to a therapist. More specifically, a phenomenological, constructivist-interpretivist approach was applied to explore the relationship between sexual assault, therapeutic disclosure experiences, perceptions of therapists’ reactions to disclosure, identity and recovery. Twelve women participated in 60-90-minute audio-recorded virtual interviews with the primary investigator. Interviews were transcribed and coded for prevalent themes. Qualitative analyses generated four groups of themes encompassed by 12 themes, 34 subthemes and four minor themes. The themes ultimately coalesced to depict the prevalent overarching theme of the study which is the innately intertwined nature of sexual assault, mental health and identity and how therapists ultimately engendered participants’ healing by illuminating this connection. An image of a recovery quilt is provided to represent this central concept and further demonstrate its importance. Implications for clinical intervention, supervision, education, and public policy are provided. Additionally, future directions for research and limitations to the current study are outlined.
Counseling Psychology|Mental health
McGuire, Margaret Dunigan, "A Phenomenological Inquiry of Sexual Assault, Disclosure and Self Concept within the Therapeutic Context" (2022). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28715391.