Emotional Abuse Counseling in Newton, MA—Counselors and Therapists at Thriveworks
When you hear the word abuse, you probably think of the physical acts—the ones that leave a victim visibly battered and hurt. Your mind probably skips right over another serious, scarring form of abuse: emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is rooted in the manipulation of another’s emotions to control them. It is far more common than physical abuse, and it, too, leaves one battered and hurt—just on the inside.
“Emotional abuse is like brainwashing in that is systematically wears away at the victim’s self-confidence, sense of self, trust in her perceptions and self-concept.” –Beverly Engel
It’s often difficult to detect emotional abuse. The victims feel shame or guilt and so they don’t open up about their experience; they don’t seek help. Common beliefs include: “I deserved it,” “I’m overreacting,” “Nobody wants to hear my pity story,” and “They wouldn’t believe me if I told them.” That said, it’s important these individuals do open up about their experience and seek help, as emotional abuse can hurt one for years to come. Here at Thriveworks Newton, we believe that you can heal from abuse and live a happy life again. And emotional abuse counseling can play an instrumental role in accomplishing that mission.
What Constitutes Emotional Abuse?
Emotional abusers use various tactics to control their victim(s), like shaming and intimidation. Here are a few of these techniques explored, with examples:
- Criticism: Abusers will criticize the victim on a regular basis and convince them that they deserve this criticism. Here’s an example: Sam throws all of the dirty laundry into the washing machine. Later, when he switches the clothes over to the dryer, he forgets to take out Sarah’s new blouse. He sees that it shrank to half its previous size and kicks himself for it. When Sarah finds out, she criticizes him for it and calls him “worthless.” He agrees, declaring he can’t do anything right.
- Humiliation: Emotional abusers also often use humiliation to their benefit; they relentlessly tear their victim down in front of others. Here’s an example: Elina and Jack are celebrating Elina’s job promotion over a nice dinner at their favorite restaurant. When the waiter brings the check, Elina snatches it and teases Jack for making less money than her. “Don’t put the check in front of him, he couldn’t possibly afford this dinner on his salary,” she tells the waiter.
Other tactics of emotional abuse include isolation, mind games, bullying, insults, and excuses for the abuser’s unacceptable behavior. They’ll use whatever techniques allow them to gain more and more control over their victim.
How Can Emotional Abuse Counseling Help?
The first step in healing from emotional abuse is removing yourself from the abusive relationship or situation. This might mean breaking up with your abusive boyfriend or girlfriend, moving out to separate yourself from an abusive parent, or cutting ties with an abusive friend. The next step is to process the abuse and do your best to understand how it affected/is affecting you. An emotional abuse counselor at Thriveworks Newton can help you make these strides toward healing and moving past the damage of emotional abuse.
Start Emotional Abuse Counseling at Thriveworks Newton Today
If you are a victim of emotional abuse, consider partnering up with a counselor at Thriveworks Newton. Our providers are qualified and trained to help you heal from this traumatic experience. They can help you understand, process, and move forward from the abuse. Ultimately, their mission is to assist you in living the happy, healthy life that you deserve. To schedule a session or learn more about our services, call (617) 992-2827.