According to area counselors and therapists 6 News spoke with, the opportunity for victims of Larry Nassar to speak directly to him in court about his crimes and the impact it had on them in public can be a breakthrough in their recovery process.
Experts say three components are working together right now to help these women regain their mental strength. These include finally being able to speak out about their horrific treatment, having their testimony being wholly believed, and to be among a large group of women who together are unifying to send Larry Nassar to prison, likely for the rest of his life.
Karen Gallagher, a therapist with the Wellness Institute of Michigan says it’s an important moment in time these women can heal from.
“There is a sense of freedom, a sense of empowerment, and it’s cathartic. It’s like a cleanse. It’s really an opportunity to release those feelings.”
Gallagher says treatment will either start or continue for the majority of these victims, and says there’s no time table for the healing. She adds the ultimate goal for these women is to reconcile this experience, and that doesn’t mean to accept it, but rather know how to handle it in the future. If something happens to potentially re-traumatize these victims, they can better recognize it, remind themselves that it’s not what their life is like anymore, and move forward.