Working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse

Praise for Matt Carey’s book about his recovery from CSA: 
“A remarkable journey of healing from child sexual abuse to spiritual awakening.”

Please see the feedback from previous students on this course, in the testimonials at the bottom of this page.

The Grove Practice is accredited by NCP (National Council for Psychotherapists) as a CPD training centre. As such, all The Grove’s courses are awarded NCP accreditation for CPD (Continuous Professional Development). This accreditation provides reassurance regarding high standards of teaching and course content.
This course is approved by COSRT (the College of Sex and Relationship Therapy) for 6 hours of CPD (Continuous Professional Development). This CPD approval by COSRT gives quality assurance of relevance of the material to the practice of sex and relationship therapy.

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Key Information

Workshop: Working in therapy with survivors of childhood sexual abuse

Tutors: Sarah Paton Briggs and Matt Carey

This is a rare training opportunity led by a male survivor of childhood sexual abuse (CSA), who is generously willing to share his insights for counsellors on how they can provide effective therapy for survivors of CSA. The survivor’s voice can be heard, along with validation that recovery takes time but is possible for this client group. 

Sarah Paton Briggs brings her experience of working therapeutically with survivors of sexual abuse and rape, along with a wealth of knowledge regarding trauma therapy. Sarah is accredited by COSRT and BACP as a therapist and supervisor. She is also a member of the UK Psychological Trauma Society, and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional by the International Association for Trauma Professionals. Sarah is a director of The Grove Practice where she teaches on their suite of training courses.  Along with Elliot Davis, she co-authored The Grove’s trauma therapy course.


Saturday 3 July 2021

Timing : 10am – 4:30pm.

Fee : £165 + VAT = £198.

This course will run on Zoom. 

Further Information

Facilitated by Matt Carey and Sarah Paton Briggs, this 1-day CPD workshop is designed for qualified therapists who would like to become more skilled in working therapeutically with adult clients who have experienced sexual abuse. The workshop gives an overview of approaches in therapy which are tailored to this client group.

This workshop will offer theory, practical knowledge, and skills to help practitioners work more confidently with client presentations and issues around childhood sexual abuse. The role for equine-facilitated therapy will also be discussed, alongside room-based approaches.

There will be time for Q&A with Matt Carey, regarding what’s helpful or unhelpful when working with CSA survivors – drawn from his own experience during his recovery journey. This is important so that the survivor’s voice is heard. Matt’s strong calling is to work as an advocate for survivors of CSA – through speaker events, training courses, and conferences.

Theory ✓        Experiential components ✓         Skills Practice ✓

The workshop will:

  • Give an overview of theory relating to therapy for adult survivors of CSA
  • Equip participants with practical therapy skills
  • Provide an opportunity to discuss what works and what’s unhelpful – drawing on the journey and insight of a survivor who has experienced multiple therapy approaches during his recovery journey over many years.

The programme will include:

  • Didactic teaching including theory and trauma-informed approaches
  • Learning how to respond when clients describe sexual experiences in childhood which are unwanted / criminal / disturbing 
  • Q&A with Matt Carey – so the voice of the survivor is heard
  • Experiential exercises to explore issues in providing therapy for this client group

Participants will receive a CPD certificate for 6 hours’ training, based on attendance and participation during the workshop.

Matt Carey

When Matt was eight years old, he was targeted by a group of predatory paedophiles who subjected him to 18-months of horrific sexual abuse in the public toilets of local parks and on the sea front of his hometown. He was too ashamed and scared to tell anyone what had happened…not his parents, friends or family.

In his new book, A Small Boy Smiling, Matt tells a remarkable story of survival and overcoming the trauma, guilt and shame of childhood sexual abuse, teenage alcoholism, sexual anorexia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. His lifelong search for peace, love and healing culminates in personal spiritual awakening and a desire to help other survivors of sexual abuse to discover their own healing.

The book includes a chapter written by Matt’s trauma therapist Sarah Paton Briggs, called Soulful Space: Reflections On My Therapy Work With Matt. Matt invited Sarah to pull back the curtain of client/therapist confidentiality and write a chapter about his therapy sessions with her from the therapist’s perspective. Since the book was published earlier this year, Matt has been busy promoting the book with public talks. Both he and Sarah were invited to discuss the book on BBC 5 Live’s Stephen Nolan show, in June 2018. An article (which presents an overview of Matt’s journey of healing) entitled Trying To Make Sense Of It All, has subsequently been published on the Survivors UK and the National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (NAASCA) websites. He runs a therapeutic group for survivors of CSA in London, to support their recovery and hold a compassionate space together. A link to the Radio 5 Live interview and the articles can be found at

Matt has enjoyed working in the world of entertainment for over twenty years, as a theatre manager, organiser of several prestigious international festivals, and of large-scale community-based cultural projects supporting children and young people.

Sarah Paton Briggs

Sarah is Clinical Director of The Grove Practice, where she has held a management role for over 10 years. She is a supervisor accredited by BACP and by COSRT.  As an accredited psychotherapist, psychosexual & relationship therapist, drug & alcohol counsellor, Sarah has a wealth of experience working with adult clients, either as individuals or couples. She brings an engaging and relational approach to her client work.

Trauma is a significant area of her practice, especially sexual trauma and sexual violence. Sarah has worked with many survivors of childhood sexual abuse, supporting them in making sense of what has happened and encouraging them to process what has happened so that they can reconstruct more confidence and purpose in life. Sarah works in a trauma-informed way.

Equine-facilitated therapy is a gentle yet profound way that Sarah supports trauma clients, many of whom have survived unwanted sexual experiences. The horses usually guide clients in setting healthier boundaries and building trust through safe touch.

Sarah also teaches on The Grove’s supervision course, given her experience in supervising therapists through each stage of their professional development: as trainees, then qualified therapists, plus supporting supervisees towards BACP accreditation or UKCP registration. Her clinical management role at the practice also involves the practical application of ethical principles including boundaries, contracting, confidentiality, balancing the client’s autonomy with upholding the role of the therapist, all within the commercial context of The Grove.

Read our terms and conditions for courses, including our complaints procedure.

Who is this course designed for?

Qualified therapists, counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists, social workers or anyone whose client group or caseload includes adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Those who work with children or adolescents may also benefit from attending this training.

Testimonials from previous workshop participants, plus those who've read Matt's book and Sarah's chapter within it:

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The Grove is committed to the provision of training which is inclusive for participants from a diverse range of professional and cultural backgrounds. The Grove’s diversity policy upholds participation by trainees which respects differences in ability and disability, age, sex, gender diversity, race, religion, culture, and theoretical modality. The Grove’s course terms and conditions provide for each participant being seen, heard and respected during their attendance at course events. These terms are shown in the course contract which every applicant is expected to embrace when enrolling; and are described in the course handbook at the start of the training. Any participant may be suspended from the course if their behaviour is deemed by The Grove to be contrary to this statement.

Based in London W1, we offer a unique blend of mental health support: psychotherapy, psychiatry, professional training courses in mental health, integrated wellbeing & equine-facilitated programmes.

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