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Emotional Abuse

Any action that is intended to harm another person can be called abuse.  Emotional abuse is a tricky subject because it is not always obvious.  Psychological abuse takes root in petty insults and humiliation tactics, but it can also be done subtly via intimidation or manipulation.  The vicious aspect of emotional abuse is that a victim may not truly understand what is happening because they gradually adjust to the situation and lose perspective.

Examples

  • Insults
  • Humiliating remarks
  • Condescending remarks
  • Shaming
  • Being physically imposing
  • Blaming
  • Neglect
  • Denial

Causes

Because emotional abuse is elusive it is difficult to tie it to a direct cause.  It can be said that people who use of emotional abuse do so because it works for them.  During their childhood they may have learned that they could get their needs met by manipulating others rather than communicating directly.  They may have been abused by a parent and therefore grown up in a world where abuse was commonplace.  It’s also likely that abusers employ abuse to remain in control in various situations.

Treatment

Therapy is focused on uncovering underlying patterns and recurring themes in a person’s life.  A therapist will work to find these patterns and trace them to their causes, which will allow them to sensitively present these patterns to an abuser and hopefully change them.  This is likely not an easy process and will take work on the part of the abuser in order for them to truly change their life.  Victims of abuse also have patterns in their behavior that a therapist will help bring to the surface and work to help a victim recover and make real progress in their relationships.

We Can Help

Open Path’s therapists offer beneficial services that encourage insight, self-reflection, and healthy coping mechanisms. Our therapists furnish a supportive environment, providing healthy outlooks and understanding.

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