Counseling, Support Groups, and Services


The purpose of the treatment is to create a safe relationship where the victim survivor can work with the professional to lessen unwanted emotional and destructive impulses; and work toward improving their ability to cope with their life today.

Support Groups

The professionally led groups for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse aim to provide victims-survivors opportunities to connect with others who are also on a road towards healing.

Family Support

The Office of Assistance Ministry recognizes that childhood sexual abuse impacts the family too. The Family Support Groups offer family members an opportunity to share their experience with others and learn new skills for coping with the needs of the victim -survivor and themselves.


For many victims-survivors, the sexual abuse affected/ ruined their spiritual life. However, many victims-survivors continue to seek spiritual meaning and direction in their lives. The office maintains a list of qualified spiritual directors who are available to help victims-survivors to grieve their spiritual losses as they re-examine its role in their life today.

Prayer and Reflection

The Office of Assistance Ministry has sponsored periodic retreats and days of reflection for victims-survivors. The purpose of these is to bring together adults who have been sexually abused by clergy as minors so they can share their experiences with one another, work towards healing, and identify sources of positive support in a group setting.

Meeting with Archdiocesan Leadership

At the appropriate time in a victims-survivor’s healing, the office can arrange a private meeting with the Cardinal. This affords the victim-survivor the chance to share his or her story while providing the cardinal an opportunity to listen emphatically. The intended purpose of this meeting is to offer some emotional and spiritual healing.

Victims/Survivors Resources

The Office of Assistance Ministry strives to create programs and identify resources that will support the spiritual and emotional well being of victims-survivors and their families. If you are seeking referrals for counseling, spiritual direction, self help groups, educational information, or more, call (312) 534-8267.

The Healing Voices is an independent newsletter created by victims-survivors who continue to have an interest in finding healing through the Church.

Catholic Charities Holbrook Counseling Center offers professional counseling, mental health education and spiritual support. Call (312) 655-7725 or visit for more information about individual, couple, or family counseling; support groups; and educational workshops.
Holbrook Center Brochure

National Center for PTSD
If you are an adult victim/survivor of childhood sexual abuse, it is possible that you may have experienced Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD has four types of symptoms: reliving the event, avoiding situations that remind you of the event; feeling numb and feeling keyed up. For more information, visit

PTSD Coach App:
Together with professional medical treatment, PTSD Coach provides you with reliable information. If you have, or think you might have PTSD, this app may be for you. The PTSD Coach app can help you learn about and manage symptoms that often occur after trauma. Features include: reliable information on PTSD and treatments that work, tools for screening and tracking your symptoms, convenient, easy-to-use tools to help you handle stress symptoms, direct links to support and help always with you when you need it, providing you with facts and self-help skills based on research. Family and friends can also learn about PTSD and coping from this app. For more information, visit