Domestic Violence Counseling in Alexandria, VA (Franconia)—Counselors and Therapists

Domestic Violence Counseling in Alexandria, VA (Franconia)—Counselors and Therapists

“I don’t know why I stay. I don’t know why I deserve this. I don’t know why you do this, why we do this, why this keeps happening.” – Celeste

The hit novel Big Little Lies and HBO’s adaptation of it have become a sensation. Laine Moriarty’s page-turner has thrilled readers and viewers alike, but it has also accomplished something very important. Big Little Lies has put a spotlight on the prevalence and dynamics of domestic violence.

(Spoiler alert. Skip ahead if you have not read the book or seen the show)

Celeste, a main character, is the envy of everyone. She has a dream life with friends, children, beauty, money, romance, comfort, and more. Celeste, however, also has a deep secret—her life is not in reality what it appears to be. Her husband hits her.

Anyone who has survived domestic violence knows that things are not always as they seem. The reality that happens inside of a home does not always match the presentation outside of the home. Leaving a violent relationship is much harder than it seems. Often, victims need the support of family, friends, and a skilled therapist to find the safety they need.

The therapists at Thriveworks Alexandria, VA (Franconia) understand how to support people who are experiencing domestic violence. We know what it takes to navigate the dangers and find a place of safety.

Domestic Abuse: A Serious Situation

A person’s home should be the safest place in the world, but for many, their homes are the most unsafe places to be. Domestic abuse has turned their homes into a place of verbal, physical, and/or sexual violence that may or may not explode at any moment.

Violence and the environment if fosters have long-term, serious effects upon their victims. Living in an abusive environment means the body’s fight-or-flight system that naturally responds to danger is engaged often, if not at all times.

The body’s natural response to danger, “is wonderful if you’re in a forest and there’s a bear,” said Dr. Nadine Burke Harris. “But the problem is what happens when the bear comes home every night, and this system is activated over and over and over again, and it goes from being adaptive, or life-saving, to maladaptive, or health-damaging.” When it senses danger, the brain releases cortisol and adrenalin, stress hormones that help the body respond to the threat. However, when these hormones are released too often, they have detrimental effects upon people’s health.

Thus, domestic violence victims face the immediate health problems of injures from the abuse, but also the continuing effects of their toxic, threatening home life.

One woman described the dynamic well, saying, “He would be alternately kind and then fly off the handle for no reason. I always lived in fear of his temper. It was very stressful.”

The Domestic Violence Cycle

This woman’s experience is not unique. While the details of each circumstance may differ, the pattern of domestic violence is almost always the same: romantic or overly nice behavior, followed by tension and blame, followed by abuse, followed by romantic or overly nice behavior again. This cycle can take years, or it can take minutes.

The Honeymoon Phase: This phase is often the what makes domestic violence so confusing and terrible for victims. People’s behavior is rarely abhorrent all the time. Perpetrators of abuse use the good times to fool their victims into thinking, “that was the last time. He apologized and promised. It won’t happen again.”

The Tension Building Phase: At some point, inevitably, the niceties and the romantic gifts are dropped, and tension builds again. Victims often attempt to appease their partners or give into outrageous demands to please them. Victims may even try to shelter their partner from stress and bad news, all in attempt to avert the harm they feel is coming.

The Abusive Phase: Domestic violence may involve physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse—all of which are illegal. The abuse is never the victim’s fault, although perpetrators of domestic violence often blame their victims.

Am I in a Harmful Relationship?

Just as there is often a pattern to domestic violence, there are also early warning signs that a relationship is not healthy or safe. Seemingly odd behaviors that are the first warnings of domestic violence usually center around the idea of control: one partner wants to control what the other thinks, wears, says, does, feels, and more. If the person you are in a relationship with exhibits any of these common signals of future domestic violence, it may be time to seek help.

  • Prohibiting (or showing irritation when) you spend time with family or friends
  • Calling you derogatory names (even in “jest”)
  • Subtly putting you down or being defensive about your talents/abilities
  • Threatening you
  • Coercing you into sex or sexual acts when you have said, “no,” or where you feel uncomfortable
  • Harming you, your kids, or your pets
  • Dissuading you from going to school or working
  • Trying to take away agency, the ability to make decisions—such as what to wear, how to spend money, where to go, and more
  • Blaming/criticizing you for their behavior

Counseling for Domestic Violence

Thriveworks Alexandria, VA (Franconia) counselors understand the dynamics of domestic violence, and they know how to guide victims through pitfalls and dangers of a harmful relationship.

When you reach out to Thriveworks Alexandria, VA know that a person will answer your call and be able to schedule your appointment for counseling. You may even be able to see your therapist within 24 hours. We accept many insurance plans and offer convenient, after-hour appointments because we want to see our clients receive the help they need.

Has an abusive cycle caught you in its trap? Know that it is not your fault and know that we are here to help. Call Thriveworks Alexandria today.

Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

People Love Our Providers!

Overall Rating: 5★★★★★ based on 17 5 1 17 reviews. See all reviews
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Great Experience

★★★★★
My daughter's dad and I had a few sessions with Dee Jacobi-Edwards and she was great. She was very neutral and honest with both of us when it came to our disagreements and downfalls. She was also extremely patient with us throughout our sessions. I would absolutely recommend Dee.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

A truly dedicated professional

★★★★★
I have been battling anxiety and depression for years, and Mary Alice Fields has helped me finally find some relief. She is dedicated to helping her clients live their best possible life, and she has helped me gain some peace in my life. I know she has help countless others, and I would highly recommend her to anyone who suffers from depression or anxiety issues.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Excellent Experience

★★★★★
Mary Alice was excellent to work with. I highly recommend!
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Mary Alice Fields

★★★★★
Excellent and convenient help when you need it.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Great place

★★★★★
Not only does Mary Alice perform her duties in an exemplary manner following all protocols, she does so with empathy and caring.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

MaryAlice Fields

★★★★★
MaryAlice is a talented counselor who helped me tremendously.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

patient parent

★★★★★
Lolita is a very thoughtful therapist. She also has a good understanding of children as she worked with my son at the ages of 15 & 16. She was an advocate for him, and she was eager to work with him in goal-setting, which my husband and I appreciate very much. We may continue to seek our her assistance in the future should our needs change. Thank you for all of your help.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Can’t thank you enough

★★★★★
I was skeptical at first to open up to a complete stranger and express my problems and thoughts but Gelila made me feel completely comfortable within the first couple of sessions. She is very kind, a good listener, and extremely helpful. I have been talking to her for a couple of months and I feel instantly relieved of stress after our sessions. I can’t thank her enough for helping me out through tough times.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Rebecca Fry is amazing

★★★★★
Rebecca has been my therapist for almost a decade and I can not recommend her enough. She is thoughtful and caring, while also great at challenging and giving direct recommendations on how to deal with issues. She even stayed with me after I moved out of the area and worked to figure out a remote option. She has worked with me through many issues and remained a valuable resource I can rely on.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Rebecca is incredible!

★★★★★
I can't speak highly enough of Rebecca Fry - she is compassionate, patient, attentive, and encouraging. She is celebratory of growth and honest in her feedback without ever being critical or judgmental. For someone who was fearful of entering therapy, she embraced me with warmth and understanding. She has helped me tremendously by equipping me with practical coping mechanisms that are manageable and realistic but challenge unhealthy habits when necessary. On top of her professionalism - Rebecca is so easy to relate to and never makes me feel like I have anything to be ashamed of. She cares deeply for her patients and wants to help them lead healthier lives. She is an absolute treasure and I can't recommend her highly enough!!
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Highly Recommend Kayla Barnoski

★★★★★
I would highly recommend Kayla Barnoski as a therapist. She is caring and knowledgeable. She listens and works with you to find a solution that works for your individual situation. She has experience with many age groups and is a hard worker. You will not be disappointed.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Only one session so far, but it’s going well.

★★★★★
Only one session so far, but it’s going well.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

I love Lisa Cornelius!

★★★★★
I love my sessions with Lisa Cornelius! She helps me to work through issues and is just a fantastic listener!
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Lisa is great!

★★★★★
Lisa is great! Easy to relate to and very helpful. I appreciate her flexibility as well.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Loving my therapist!

★★★★★
Loving my therapist!
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Great Counselor – Lisa Cornelius

★★★★★
I'm so glad I found Lisa. She's an awesome therapist, and I really enjoy my visits with her!
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

So far so good!!!!

★★★★★
So far so good!!!!
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Thriveworks Counseling

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  • 6076 Franconia Rd Suite D,
    Alexandria, VA 22310

  • Mon-Fri:7AM-12AM
    Saturday:7AM-6PM
    Sunday:8AM-5PM

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