Counseling for Abuse – Therapists, Coaches and Counselors in Maumelle
“Hold her hands…while I hit her!” This short sentence struck me more profoundly than any other sentence I have heard since I started counseling. It wasn’t the words so much as the person who was talking and the person being told these things. A client explained that it was her own mother who said to hold her hands, and it was her father who complied. Together the mother and father physically abused this client many times. The astonishing part that followed was when she said, “I was never afraid of the physical abuse. I was tough and used to it. It was the emotional abuse that broke me.”
If you are in need of counseling for abuse (of various types) then this segment is for you.
What is abuse?
In layman’s terms, abuse is treating anyone with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly. It can take many forms including verbal, emotional, mental, physical, sexual, and even financial.
“Okay, but what really qualifies as abuse? Surely not everyone falls into the abuse category with yelling or demeaning words (verbal). How do I know for sure?”
Verbal abuse is a good place to start given it is perhaps the most common. On www.psychcentral.com there are great articles about this topic, and the following is a snippet that we paraphrased from that site to describe verbal abuse.
Verbal abuse varies from loud rants (yelling) to quiet comments (threats and attacks on self-esteem); from obvious put-downs and name calling to not-so-obvious taunts that undermine/harm a partner, spouse, or child. What all these forms of verbal abuse have in common is the need to control using shame, guilt, and/or fear. Even one episode could be considered abusive but, in many cases, abuse is a pattern of behavior formed over time.
What about physical abuse?
Many people think a well-deserved spanking is abuse to a child, but laws are usually clear on what is legal and what is criminal so we won’t go into that here. What we will cover are obvious signs of physical abuse, which can include but are not limited to: bruises, cuts, burns, and other forms of physical harm that can be seen on a child, spouse, partner, or aging relative. There are also many forms of physical abuse that cannot be detected easily, such as neglect. There are even more insidious forms, given the shame and guilt associated with them, including sexual abuse (often considered a specific type of abuse in a category of its own) and other forms of degrading behaviors that are physical in nature.
What is complex abuse?
In many cases, there will be multiple forms of abuse that are used together. Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse are combinations that make up complex abuse. Verbal, emotional, and financial abuse are also combined in cases of complex abuse. When it comes to abuse each case can be quite different or follow a very common pattern. If you recognize some or all of these forms of abuse you can get help. You need not suffer in silence. You might consider abuse counseling.
How can counseling help a victim of abuse?
The single most powerful thing any victim of abuse can do is DECIDE that they have had enough. Even then, escaping abuse and ending abuse are very difficult to handle alone. The abused person can feel guilt or shame, which are obstacles to overcome in counseling. An abused person might also be afraid to leave a bad situation or even ask for help. The fear is real and paralyzing in some cases. Even if there is the will to get help, a client might feel trapped and without options. These are all situations where a qualified counselor can help. At Thriveworks, our clinical experts are trained to do the following:
- We will always provide a safe haven for a client to share their story without judgment and with absolute privacy. We are bound by our code of ethics to maintain confidentiality in every case except when suicide and/or homicide are likely. We are also mandatory reporters of child abuse and abuse on the handicapped (including the very old and mentally challenged).
- We are trained to listen actively to truly understand first, and then to speak second. These skills empower our clients. You need to be heard. We want to hear.
- We can educate, train, and guide clients in a variety of evidence-based (scientific) strategies that have been proven effective to build the self-confidence, self-esteem, and personal drive of abuse victims. You need that to climb out of the abusive relationship. It is our job to empower every client to make effective choices. We cannot make choices for the client, which could lead to dependency, so we go the distance to support and encourage instead—support you need and deserve.
- We have additional resources for our clients. We can do a lot in counseling, but we have extensive networks of good people who can provide assistance when there are financial or even legal matters to overcome. We do our best and then connect our clients to other professionals when the need arises. Sometimes going the extra mile makes all the difference in the world.
- Most importantly, we care. Our hearts are here for the client or we wouldn’t be in this business. It is the helping relationship that makes counseling so powerful. We will never turn our backs on you, and clients need that reliability.
“What do I do now?”
If you want to set an appointment immediately, Thriveworks guarantees an appointment within 24 hours. We know the need is great and the time is now. Call us for that appointment, and we will get you on the path to empowerment and healing. We also accept most forms of private insurance, so the cost can be as low as a simple co-pay. Don’t look for reasons not to call. All you need is the personal drive to DECIDE you have had enough, and then call us.