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

  • Gretchen Beiza | gretchen.beiza@gmail.com De-partment of Psychology, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.
  • Claudia Capella Academic of Psychology Department, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.
  • Denise Dussert Department of Psychology, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.
  • Loreto Rodrìguez Department of Psychology, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.
  • Daniela Aguila Department of Psychology, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.
  • Carolina Gutiérrez Department of Psychology, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.
  • Ximena Lama Department of Psychology, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.

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
Published
2015-12-23
Keywords:
Healing, Residential care, Adolescent psychotherapy research
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How to Cite
Beiza, G., Capella, C., Dussert, D., Rodrìguez, L., AguilaD., GutiérrezC., & Lama, X. (2015). Institutionalized adolescents in therapy: narratives of psychotherapy and healing from sexual abuse. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 18(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2015.190