Emotional abuse can be defined as any kind of abuse that is emotional or psychological rather than physical in nature. Emotional abuse works to alter and diminish the self-esteem, dignity, freedom or sense of identity of a person, and involves such behaviour as:
- Verbal aggression
- Constant criticism
- Social isolation
- Possessive and jealous behaviour
- Denial of abuse and blaming of the victim
An emotionally abusive climate can lead to serious psychological consequences for victims, who are often affected by the abuse to the extent that they no longer accurately recognise their own feelings. Victims can feel as if their sense of self and independence has been taken away from them, and emotional abuse can often lead to further mental health issues such as stress, addiction, depression, anxiety, trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Psychotherapy can help people who have experienced emotional abuse re-build their sense of autonomy, and help people to cope with the psychological consequences of abuse. As the emphasis in psychotherapy lies in developing self-understanding and initiating personal change, it can prove invaluable in facilitating a better understanding of the distorted nature of an individual’s relationship with their abuser[s], building self-esteem and re-inscribing an individual’s sense of self in relation to their world.
Therapeutic support can also be sought for those who find that they themselves engage in abusive behaviour, as it is often the case that emotionally abusive behaviour emerges alongside unaddressed personal trauma, painful past experiences, or difficulties with issues such as anger, depression and low self-esteem.
If you have experienced emotional abuse and it is causing you problems in your life and relationships, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with the portland practice in Harley Street, London to arrange a consultation with one of our specialist therapists.
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