Dublin Rape Crisis Centre: Continuing Professional Development, Issues of Sexual Violence - The Therapeutic Process

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre

Continuing Professional Development

Issues of Sexual Violence: The Therapeutic Process

This in-depth 12-day training programme is provided for counsellors and psychotherapists or those offering in-depth support who wish to enhance their understanding and skills in working with adolescent and adult clients who have experienced childhood sexual abuse, rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment. It is run in six two day modules on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The programme is designed to validate, enhance and develop the existing knowledge, understanding and skills of participants when working with these issues, and to allow those working in specialised areas, such as addiction, to feel equipped to deal with issues of sexual violence appropriately as they arise with their clients. The learning is relevant also to working with clients who have experienced other trauma.

The training programme is informed by trauma theory, attachment theory, neurobiology, mindful self-awareness, sensorimotor psychotherapy, body centred psychotherapy and other theories and methodologies. It is intended and taught as a practical in-service training focussed very much on the work with the client.

There is a strong emphasis throughout the training on vicarious traumatisation and strategies for maintaining the counsellor/psychotherapist’s own well-being.

This course will run for twelve days in six two day modules on Wednesdays and Thursdays from November 2019 to February 2020 from 9.30 to 4.30 each day.


  • Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th November 2019
  • Wednesday 27th & Thursday 28th November, 2019
  • Wednesday 11th & Thursday 12th December 2019
  • Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th January 2020
  • Wednesday 29th & Thursday 30th January 2020
  • Wednesday 19th & Thursday 20th Feb 2020

Venue: Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, 70 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2.

Comprehensive written handouts are provided with this training programme to support the learning and to act as an ongoing resource

Issues explored will include:

  • Societal beliefs and attitudes concerning sexual violence and how these compound the impact on people who have experienced sexual violence
  • The impact of core internalised beliefs formed by the child
  • The impact of sexual abuse on the child, and the longer term impact into adolescence and adulthood
  • An overview of the therapeutic process in working with clients who have experienced childhood sexual abuse
  • Understanding the impact of traumatic experiences
  • Facilitating a disclosure of childhood sexual abuse
  • Working with trauma and preventing re-traumatisation
  • Early attachment experiences and the impact of trauma on early childhood development
  • Creating safety: Trauma symptoms and useful strategies and self-help skills for the client
  • Identifying and developing the resources of the client including the resources which have been undermined by traumatic experiences
  • Mindful self-awareness in trauma recovery
  • Working with boundaries
  • Deepening the process: experiential work; working with child states of consciousness
  • Integration as a crucial part of the therapeutic process
  • The immediate and long-term impact of rape and sexual assault
  • Crisis intervention in the aftermath of rape and sexual assault
  • Medical and legal issues in the aftermath of rape and sexual assault
  • Counselling issues when working with rape
  • Sexual Harassment: Definition, Impact, Law, Procedures, Counselling Issues
  • Opening up to the senses and sexuality
  • Sexual abuse through sharing of intimate images: issues and impact
  • The dynamics of abuse: issues for the counselling relationship
  • Finishing therapy
  • Vicarious traumatisation and self-care strategies for the counsellor

Methods include creative and experiential elements, DVDs of client experiences, theoretical inputs, mindful self-study and resourcing, case studies, role play and group interaction.

The sensitive nature of the issues being addressed and their capacity to resonate with participants is taken into account in the approach. Participants are invited to take part to the extent that is comfortable for them at any time, and to practice mindful self-awareness to support them in making choices regarding their participation. The training methods include the use of video and audio materials, lectures, role-plays, experiential exercises, case studies and small group work.

This training is offered in the expectation that participants will have access to their own personal therapy should issues arise for them during the course.

A Certificate of Attendance will be awarded to participants who complete the training programme.

The fee for the course is €1,195.


If you would like to participate in this training course, please complete the attached application form and return with €195 non-refundable deposit. The balance will be due on the first day of the training. (Staged payment of fees can be arranged on an individual basis on request).

Please note that this course is intended for those with prior counselling or psychotherapy training or who are working in a counselling/in depth support role, and focuses on the therapeutic process. DRCC also holds workshops and training programmes on issues of sexual violence for those in other roles. Please contact us to enquire.

For further information and to book a place on the course, please contact Leonie O'Dowd, Head of Education and Training, at 01 6614911 or email leonie@rcc.ie

To facilitate group participation, places on the course are limited, so early booking is advisable


Dublin 2

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