Tonight's special guest is Andrew Pari, L.C.S.W., from the Antelope Valley area of Los Angeles, a psychotherapist with over 20 years' experience treating survivors of sexual abuse and assault, including CSEC and sex workers. Andrew explains, "What brought me to my work and research on arousal affecting survivors was an interaction I had years ago with a colleague who denied sexual abuse/assault when a person experienced arousal during the event." He goes on, "This led me to pursuing the literature and research to see what was out there and, discovering very little, I began writing in bits and pieces about this online." It's quite common for survivors to delay recovery from feelings of shame or guilt, and a sense of self-responsability for childhood sexual assaults. NAASCA acknowledges these feeling are real but may be misplaced. We point out that children are entirely helpless, innocent and virtually powerless against predators. To us 100% of the 'responsibility' belongs to them .. not the child (who's now an adult survivor). Andrew was surprised when he first looked into this. "I had assumed this was common knowledge in the field. I have since learned that I was very, very wrong about this." He knows better now. "There is still so much to do in basic education on arousal for survivors. It's an area of great pain, great damage, and great danger for those who don't address it in treatment." Andrew now consults and trains nationally, provides legal consultation, and has assisted in curriculum development for SARS and campus sexual assault awareness programs. In addition, he directed the psychiatric emergency and disaster response team for West Los Angeles, responding to anything from celebrity calls to airline crashes.
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