Social Work

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper


Lance T. Peterson


In the following qualitative study, the researcher attempted to identify and compare the self-identified approaches taken by Sexual Assault Center (SAC) advocates (n = 4) and outpatient psychotherapists (n = 4) in working with adult survivors of sexual violence. Using grounded theory methodology, data from semi-structured interviews were coded using an open coding process. From this, six themes emerged from the interviews with SAC advocates and ten themes emerged from the interviews with psychotherapists, suggesting approaches used when providing crisis intervention and counseling to adult survivors of sexual violence. These themes and their corresponding subthemes are discussed in this report. The study demonstrated that when providing crisis intervention and counseling to adult survivors of sexual violence, SAC advocates and psychotherapists take many of the same approaches, but that the work of SAC advocates is structured to be more short-term and to meet the immediate needs of survivors of sexual violence, whereas the work of psychotherapists tends to be more long-term and with the use of specific therapeutic treatment interventions and assessment tools. Several implications can be drawn from this study. This study informs direct practice of and referrals made by social workers, service choices made by survivors, policy surrounding the funding of SACs, and future research related to crisis intervention and counseling approaches used with survivors of sexual violence.


sexual assault centers, rape crisis centers, psychotherapy, advocacy, sexual assault, sexual trauma

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.