“Am I a Victim of Abuse?”– Counseling for Abuse”
Most people think that abuse is only physical or sexual, but it is important to know that there are many types of abuse. Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Mental/Emotional Abuse, Verbal Abuse, and Economic or Financial Abuse are more common than you would think. Often times a victim may experience one or more of these different types of abuse at the same time.
The abuse can occur during childhood or as an adult. Unresolved trauma issues that occurred as children often continue to affect the individual as an adult. Counseling for Survivors of Abuse is available to help you learn how to cope with these unresolved traumas, and to provide you with a healthier way of living.
For adult survivors of childhood abuse in particular, counseling can be a first step in talking about it, as many have never told anyone before about their abuse. Speaking out for the first time about an abuse trauma can be scary, but it also can be healthy. Counseling helps to erase the negative self-talk that many survivors of abuse develop as a result of their abuse experience. Feelings of shame, guilt, and self-blame are common in survivors of abuse and affect survivors on a daily basis in their work and personal relationships. One major factor that abuse centers around is trust. A good counselor can provide you with the tools and resources to help you understand and strengthen your ability to trust. That’s why it’s important for you to find a therapist with whom you feel comfortable speaking and sharing your history.
Physical abuse and sexual abuse can be devastating to one’s psyche, which can create barriers for the adult survivor to overcome, such as, building and maintaining healthy relationships, trust, anger, fear, and ability to cope in life in general. In cases of severe traumatic experiences, it is possible that one may develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A qualified mental health professional can assist you in sorting out what issues you may have and can provide you with tools for developing better coping skills.
Emotional abuse, verbal abuse, and economic abuse tends to be reported less to authorities and may not be taken as seriously as physical or sexual abuse when victims finally disclose these types of abuse to their loved ones. However, the effects are just as damaging to one’s emotional health. Being told that you are worthless, unlovable, stupid, or ugly is emotional abuse. Verbal abuse includes being shouted at and called names. Withholding access to money or knowledge about household finances is a form of control and is considered economic or financial abuse. Power and control are the key factors that are manipulated in all types of abuse and lead abuse victims to feel helpless and worthless.
An unresolved trauma such as physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse can affect your life in many negative ways. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
Do you have difficulty getting close to people or keep yourself emotionally isolated?
Do you feel guilt, shame, anger, or fear because of the trauma?
Do you have intrusive thoughts or memories of the abuse plaguing you?
Do you have nightmares or flashbacks of the abuse?
Do you feel alone and that everything is hopeless?
Do you avoid places, activities, or conversations that are associated with the abuse?
Do you have trouble sleeping? Or feel you sleep to much?
Do you have thoughts of suicide or an urge to self-harm?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it may be a good time to seek out a mental health professional who can help.
It is also important to remember that you are not alone! There is help available to you and therapy can provide a safe, supportive, non-threatening environment to you. Together, you and your therapist can develop a plan of treatment specific to your needs. Please contact Dana Nolan and receive a brief free phone consultation.
Finding the right counselor is important, therapeutic relationships are built on trust, honesty and mutual respect between the therapist and the client. It is important to find a counselor with whom you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings AND who has the necessary expertise to help you reach your goals. For that reason, we offer a free brief phone consultation to ensure that we are the right fit for you. If you would like to discuss some other issue(s), please don’t hesitate to contact Dana Nolan at 407-340-2474.