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Common Stages of Healing from Childhood Abuse

Miriam Galindo

A licensed social worker and psychologist in private practice, Dr. Miriam Galindo works with children and families going through high-conflict divorce cases. Dr. Miriam Galindo also works with children who have been abused or neglected, and she is a member of the California Sexual Assault Investigators Association.

Recovering from childhood abuse is different for everyone, but most people go through the same general stages at some point in the process. These stages include:
- Denial. Often, victims of childhood abuse are stuck in the denial stage for years. Everyone takes a different amount of time to get through the denial stage.
- Anger. After survivors become more aware of what happened to them and how it affected them, they may become angry. Showing rage or hostility toward the abuser is not uncommon, nor is frustration at parents, police, or other people who failed to provide protection. While feeling anger is normal, survivors must not let anger become self-defeating.
- Moving on. Eventually, perspectives and feelings become stable as survivors move through all the stages of healing, perhaps repeatedly. This stabilization will enable survivors to come to terms with the abuser and remember the past without feeling as much pain. Survivors can then look toward the future and build better lives for themselves.

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