Domestic violence therapy is a specialized form of counseling that helps victims and their families heal from abusive relationships. It is a crucial component of the broader efforts to address and combat domestic violence, a pattern of abusive behaviors within intimate relationships that can encompass physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, or economic abuse.
In domestic violence therapy, therapists create a safe and supportive environment. Domestic violence therapy is often part of a broader support network that includes legal assistance, shelters, and community resources. Its aim is to break the cycle of abuse, promote safety, and foster healthier relationships.
Domestic violence therapy can last for a few weeks, months, or longer, dependent on the individual's exact needs and preferences.
Domestic violence refers to violence done by someone the victim is close to. Generally, it’s a romantic partner. One common myth about domestic abuse is that it must involve physical violence. The truth is that there are many other types of domestic abuse including sexual and emotional. A counselor can work closely with you to help you deal with the long-lasting impact of abuse.
You may be suffering in ways you don’t know about
One of the most important things for any victim to really understand is that the effects of the abuse don’t end when the abuse ends. Some long-lasting symptoms are obvious but others aren’t. Some people experience anxiety and posttraumatic stress, others have suicidal thoughts. Some people can’t sleep while others sleep all the time.
Many victims become depressed, are afraid of intimacy, feel they must keep an emotional distance from others and aren’t able to trust. Sexual issues are another common symptom of the after effects of domestic abuse.
There can be physical symptoms too. They include chronic aches and pains, problems with reproduction, bladder and kidney infections, digestive issues, migraine headaches, and even problems with the central nervous system.
There is a domestic abuse cycle many are familiar with
While every situation is different, many abusers follow the same three-step cycle. First they’re tense and argue with, threaten, or get angry at their partner. Then they become violent. Finally, the abuser will feel remorse and promise to never do it again. Unfortunately, these promises are not kept and the cycle starts over.
Domestic violence counseling really can help
Your counselor will listen to you and understand what your situation is. They won’t judge you. They will help you come up with goals and they’ll work with you to find a comfortable yet helpful pace. They will tailor their treatment to your needs but some common things they may do include helping you understand abuse, helping you find a safe way out of your situation, helping you deal with your complicated emotions, and helping you get in touch with support groups.
At Thriveworks Bristol Counseling & Coaching, our top priority is your safety. That can mean something different for you than it does for someone else. We will take the time to really listen to you. We will respect you. We can help you.