Challenging gender stereotypes in the counselling of adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse

P.E. Simpson, A. Fothergill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


When working with adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, the pairing of client with practitioner has implications for both parties. Many therapeutic pairings are ad hoc or based on stereotypical assumptions made by referrers or practitioners themselves. This paper reports on a small-scale study of practitioners working in the mental health directorate of an NHS Trust in Wales. One aim of the study was to explore practitioners' views on appropriate therapeutic pairings. Fifty-three respondents completed a postal questionnaire and six face-to-face interviews were also conducted. Key themes emerged from the study. These were social and cultural stereotyping, gender specific issues, the therapeutic relationship, service and professional issues and special opinions and unique angles. The terms 'therapist' and 'practitioner' will be used interchangeably in this paper.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-594
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2004


  • Adult survivor
  • Gender pairings
  • Mental health practitioner
  • Therapeutic relationship
  • child sexual abuse
  • controlled study
  • cultural factor
  • female
  • gender
  • health care facility
  • human
  • interview
  • male
  • mental health
  • physician
  • questionnaire
  • review
  • sex difference
  • social aspect
  • stereotypy
  • United Kingdom


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