March 11, 2023
I saw this illustration and it’s spot on as to what I see in my clients who struggle with mental abuse, be it from family members, spouses or significant others, bosses or coworkers, or even from random strangers, especially on social media. I often think mental abuse is the most destructive type of abuse as it can be very sneaky – just a derogatory word or phrase here or there, an intentional exclusion, a derisive look – that build up over time to the point that the behaviors described in this illustration are a daily way of coping. For many of my clients, their abuse started in childhood and has manifested in adulthood in broken relationships, unhappiness in jobs and isolation from others.
The good news is that people can find healing from this type of abuse. I find EMDR to be especially helpful, especially when combined with attachment/abandonment work and with Internal Family Systems therapy that strives to heal those parts within us that are wounded (such as that wounded child part). I also add in boundaries work as an important tool to ensure that those committing mental abuse are not allowed back in.
If you want to know more about how to heal from mental abuse, reach out. There are many great books to help you get started in addition to therapy.