Not all domestic violence is physical. Whether the abuse you’ve experienced is emotional, sexual, or physical, it’s essential to get help. A domestic abuse counselor can help you focus on the steps you need to take to get healthy.
The serious and long-lasting effects of domestic violence
It’s important to understand that the effects of domestic violence can last for decades. The good news is that counseling can help clients move forward and heal. Some of the ongoing symptoms can include:
- Post-traumatic stress
- Suicidal thoughts or ideation
- Emotional distance
- Loss of the ability to trust
- Fear of intimacy
- Sexual problems
Physical symptoms can also result from domestic abuse:
- Chronic pain
- GI problems
- Reproductive complications
- Infections in the bladder and kidney
- Issues with the central nervous system
- Unplanned pregnancies
The typical domestic abuse cycle
Many people who deal with this type of abuse don’t even realize there’s a cycle of abuse but there generally is. A typical situation looks like this:
- Tension that leads to arguments, threats, and anger.
- Violence of a physical, emotional, or sexual nature occurs. Generally, the violence becomes more severe as time goes on.
- The abusive partner apologizes and promises to never do it again. This is known as the honeymoon period. This period is often a calm, content time – but generally speaking it will start over again.
What to expect from domestic violence counseling
When you work with a counselor they’ll start by listening to your story. There is no judgment. You will be heard. You will determine the goals in your counseling and it will move at a pace you’re comfortable with. Some focuses many clients choose include:
- Understanding the dynamics and effects of abuse.
- Crisis intervention in which your counselor assists you in finding a way out of your situation.
- Help sorting out your feelings. Many clients feel confused, helpless, and even guilty. It’s normal to still have feelings for your abuser. Your counselor can help you sort out these confusing feelings.
- Creating and implementing safety and support groups.
The focus at Thriveworks Knoxville, TN is always on client safety. This can mean different things to everyone. For you, it may mean finding a way out of a relationship while for others it might mean finding ways to explore a new healthy relationship.