Counselling after sexual assault: A personal construct model of the impact of counsellors' responses to client disclosure
People who have been sexually assaulted or abused will later be influenced not so much by the event itself as by their interpretations of the event. In the research described in this chapter, the role of subsequent validation or invalidation of different foci of people's interpretations of the event on their ability to helpfully reconstruct their beliefs was explored. In particular, the impact of people disclosing their experiences to a helping professional was investigated. A personal construct model was developed and revised in the light of the findings to account for the role of different foci of validation and invalidation in enhancing or impeding helpful reconstruction of beliefs. Among the findings was the confirmation that validation of clients' sense of themselves as meaning-makers was integral to enhancing helpful reconstruction of their beliefs.