Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Adult survivors' of childhood sexual abuse perspectives of services: a systematic review

Chouliara, Zo�; Karatzias, Thanos; Scott-Brien, Georgia; Macdonald, Anne; MacArthur, Juliet; Frazer, Norman


Zo� Chouliara

Georgia Scott-Brien

Anne Macdonald

Juliet MacArthur

Norman Frazer


Aims: This review summarises and evaluates evidence regarding psychotherapy/counselling services for childhood sexual abuse (CSA) from the survivors' perspective. Methods: Studies were identified from systematic literature searches of PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Collection. Selected studies were published in English after 1980. Results: Nine studies met the inclusion criteria for this review. Survivors identified a range of experiences of services. Positive experiences focused mainly on the therapeutic relationship, and the importance of awareness about issues specific to survivors. Negative experiences included taking a sexual interest in clients, dealing ineffectively with errors, being unresponsive, and prescription of heavy medications. Conclusions: There is a lack of research in this area, especially in the UK. Findings were limited due to selection bias, inconsistencies in recruitment and procedure, ill-described samples and analysis. Future research should obtain survivors' perspectives across genders, sexual orientation and ethnic background, and focus more on survivors' negative experiences.


Chouliara, Z., Karatzias, T., Scott-Brien, G., Macdonald, A., MacArthur, J., & Frazer, N. (2012). Adult survivors' of childhood sexual abuse perspectives of services: a systematic review. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 12, 146-161.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2012
Deposit Date May 26, 2015
Print ISSN 1473-3145
Electronic ISSN 1746-1405
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Pages 146-161
Keywords childhood sexual abuse; systematic review; experiences;
adult survivors;
Public URL
Publisher URL