Talking therapy services for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) in Scotland: perspectives of service users and professionals

Zoë Chouliara*, Thanos Karatzias, Georgia Scott-Brien, Anne Macdonald, Juliet MacArthur, Norman Frazer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to elicit perceptions and experiences of talking therapy services for CSA survivors and professionals utilizing qualitative interviews and analyzing transcripts using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Participants included 13 adult survivors and 31 professionals in statutory and voluntary services in Scotland. Main themes were benefits from and challenges of the therapeutic process. Benefits included a trusting therapeutic relationship, feeling safe to disclose, breaking isolation, enhancing self-esteem and self-worth, contextualizing the abuse, and moving toward recovery. Challenges included trauma-focused work, supportive contact, continuity and consistency of services, accessibility during acute episodes, hearing and managing disclosures, child protection issues, and availability and accessibility of services. The findings support a greater emphasis on relational models, supervision, and training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-156
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Child Sexual Abuse
Issue number2
Early online date24 Mar 2011
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


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