Counseling after abortion – what helps, what hurts

Cradle My Heart Radio welcomes professional counselor Jessica Slovensky on November 9

[UPDATE: podcast posted 11-10-14]

Professional counseling is an option that can have mixed results as a resource for those who have been hurt by abortion. The counseling profession via the American Psychological Association stated in their 2009 Executive Summary of the APA Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion that abortion has no negative impact on emotional and mental health:

The best scientific evidence published indicates that among adult women who have an unplanned pregnancy the relative risk of mental health problems is no greater if they have a single elective first-trimester abortion than if they deliver that pregnancy.

When abortion proponents who cite this study are challenged with evidence showing increased depression, eating disorders, promiscuous behavior, addictions, etc. they revert to the APA’s official answer. In a classic fashion, they blame the victim by stating that women who are troubled after abortion were mentally ill to begin with:

Across studies, prior mental health emerged as the strongest predictor of postabortion mental health. Many of these same factors also predict negative psychological reactions to other types of stressful life events, including childbirth, and, hence, are not uniquely predictive of psychological responses following abortion.

Even if the APA conclusion proved true–over 50 million women with a universal reaction to such a complex and significant life event–their position reveals a stunning level of neglect. They should call for an immediate mandatory mental health screening before each and every abortion to identify and treat those at risk for mental health issues after abortion.

My own experience with mental health professionals (whom I sought out for other life issues) bears out that they are generally not trained nor equipped to help with the process of helping women with healing after abortion. Having said that, however, there is a growing number of helping professionals who do understand and who are making post-abortion counseling a primary aspect of their care. We’ll introduce you to one such practicioner this weekend on Cradle My Heart Radio. And we’ll discuss how to select a counselor and when to take that step.

Cradle My Heart Radio with Kim Ketola guest Jessica Slovensky

Jessica Slovensky

Jessica Crolley Slovensky is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 20 years experience in the mental health and addictions field. She began her career work as a Family Preservation Therapist and later moved into the mental health and addiction field where she provided treatment for the chronically mentally ill and counseled the criminal offender and chemically dependent client. She has served as a Treatment Coordinator and Clinician for chemically addicted professionals in an effort to help them live a sober and responsible lifestyle so they may retain their licenses to practice their profession. She has worked in conjunction with State Probation and Parole Boards, Department of Corrections and Bureau of Prisons to assist in the rehabilitation of offenders and has educated and supervised other clinicians in this capacity to provide specific services to this unique population.

From Jessica’s bio:

Jessica answered the call to direct her clinical skills to help promote understanding of men of women in crisis pregnancy situations and promote awareness of the complex psychological and spiritual impacts of abortion in order to enable healing and reconciliation. She has assisted in interventions with women in unplanned pregnancy situations and has given many educational presentations to various groups and churches regarding Pro Life Issues.

Jessica also volunteers her time to those working with women in unplanned/crisis pregnancy situations and to those working with men and women who are post abortive. She has been a speaker at the Annual Birthright International Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio as well as for various groups and organizations throughout the Atlanta area. She has shared her experience of counseling post abortive individuals with PATH (Post Abortion Treatment and Healing) in the book Sharing the Heart of Christ by Kevin Burke, co-director of Rachel’s Vineyard Ministry. Jessica earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and Sociology from Charleston Southern University (formerly Baptist College of Charleston) and a Master of Education Degree in Counseling from The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. She is a member of the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC).

You’re invited to call in during the show to ask a question or make a comment on the air. The toll free number to call is 800-811-3003. If you would prefer to ask a question by email write to me at kim @ kimketola.com before air time. Please let me know if you prefer to remain anonymous or receive an answer off-the-air.

For a list of stations or to tune in to Cradle My Heart on the Internet, go here. Smart phone users can listen on tunein linked here. The show is podcast on iTunes and archived here.

Join us for inspiration with our guest Jessica Slovensky on Cradle My Heart Radio with Kim Ketola on November 9 at 9 pm ET.

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