How do adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse experience formally delivered talking therapy? : a systematic review

Parry, Sarah and Simpson, Jane (2016) How do adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse experience formally delivered talking therapy? : a systematic review. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 25 (7). pp. 793-812. ISSN 1053-8712

[thumbnail of Author_copy_JCSA]
PDF (Author_copy_JCSA)
Author_copy_JCSA.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial.

Download (1MB)


This systematic review explored how adult survivors of child sexual abuse experienced nonspecific and trauma-focused talking therapies. Following extensive systematic searches of academic databases, 23 qualitative empirical studies were chosen for review. Using a line-by-line thematic synthesis, four analytical themes developed. These themes were: The Therapeutic Process as a Means for Forming Connections, which discusses therapeutic relationships; Developing a Sense of Self Through the Therapeutic Processes, which identifies stages of developmental recovery; Therapeutic Lights and Black Holes in the Shadows of child sexual abuse, which reflects on how a history of child sexual abuse influenced experiences of therapy; and Healing or Harrowing: Connecting With Others and First-time Experiences, which explores what was helpful, hindering, and new throughout the therapeutic journey. Findings related to participants developing new options for interpersonal relationships through the experience of authentic trust and the experiential learning of control and choice. Recommendations are discussed in relation to developing therapeutic practice and future research.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Child Sexual Abuse on 21/09/2016, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? choicescontrolpsychotherapyreconnectingsafetytherapeutic relationshipstrustpediatrics, perinatology, and child healthclinical psychologypathology and forensic medicinepsychiatry and mental health ??
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
28 Jul 2016 08:24
Last Modified:
31 Dec 2023 00:43