Therapy for Domestic Violence—Counseling and Support in Woodhaven, MI

“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 from Big Little Lies

The phenomenon, Big Little Lies, has enthralled fans with suspense, mystery, and humor. But this best-seller and HBO adaptation have also shined a light on an oft-hidden but important dynamic: domestic violence.

(Small Spoilers Ahead!)

Celeste White has everything should has ever dream about in life: the perfect body, the perfect children, the perfect house, the perfect husband, and a boatload of money. Celeste is the envy of everyone, but her life is not the dream that it appears to be. Celeste guards a deep, dark secret—her husband hits her. Celeste’s life is not a dream; it’s a nightmare.

Domestic violence is a nightmare that too many people face. Approximately 25 percent of women and 8 percent of men will experience violence from their partner. Those who live with domestic violence know that the public appearance of a relationship is not always the private reality. They also know, as Celeste says in the novel, it can happen to anyone.

Thriveworks Woodhaven offers counseling for domestic violence, and our therapists know the dangers they face. We have helped many clients reach safety and recover from the trauma.

The Cycle of Violence

Violent relationships almost always follow a repeating and escalating cycle. Each phase of the cycle may last for only a moment, or they may take years. The details will vary from relationship to relationship. But violence usually works through these three phases, and each repetition of the cycle usually escalates the harm.

The Honeymoon Phase: Part of what makes domestic abuse so challenging for victims is that there are almost always times of peace and happiness. It is hard for people to determine whether the good times or the bad times are the real relationship.

The Tension Building Phase: Peace and happiness rarely last in domestic violence, but they give way to tension. Victims inevitably begin appeasing the violent partner, shielding them from stress, or giving into outrageous demands. Victims may hope that their perfect behavior can avert the violence. However, violence is never a victim’s fault.

The Abusive Phase: Hurting someone is always a choice, and the violent partner makes the choice to harm. The abuse could be sexual, physical, or verbal. Often, it is a combination of the three. It is also illegal. A violent partner may try to blame the choice to harm on some flaw in the victim, but nothing ever justifies violence against another person.

One woman described what it was like to live in this cycle, “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.”

Red Flags for Domestic Violence

The red flags for domestic violence center around the idea of control: one partner dominates or manipulates what the other does, feels, says, wears, thinks, and on and on. Controlling another person is not a healthy form of connection and may also be a sign of a bigger problem: violence.

Has your partner ever exhibited any of these controlling behaviors?

  • Subtly or overtly belittling you
  • Calling you derogatory names (even as a “joke”)
  • Threatening, scaring, or intimidating you
  • Trying to take away your agency (i.e., your ability to make decisions for yourself—such as how to spend money, where to go, what to wear, and more)
  • Showing displeasure when you spend time with family or friends
  • Discouraging you from going to school or working
  • Blaming you or others for their behavior
  • Pressuring you into sex or sexual acts that feel uncomfortable to you or after you have said, “no”
  • Harming you, your pets, or your kids

If your partner has behaved in these ways, know that it is not normal or healthy behavior for a relationship. It may also indicate the relationship is abusive. Know that help is available.

Therapy for Domestic Abuse Victims

Through counseling at Thriveworks Woodhaven, MI many people have come to understand the reality of their relationship and take any action that may be necessary for their safety. Our therapists know the dangers that victims of domestic abuse face, especially the pitfalls in escaping the violence. We have helped many clients find safety, and we want to help.

We have appointments available for domestic violence counseling. When you call our office, a person will answer and help you. Many first-time clients see their therapist within 24 hours, and we accept many forms of insurance. We also offer convenient after-hour appointments.

Is it time to escape the cycle of domestic violence? Do you need some help along the way? Call Thriveworks Woodhaven today.

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