What is abuse?
Abuse occurs when a person violates someone else's personal boundaries. Abusers want to control and degrade their victims. There are many different types of abuse including physical, emotional, mental, sexual and verbal abuse. Another form of abuse is neglect, where parents fail to take care of their children's basic needs. Abuse can occur at home (domestic violence, rape, incest) ; in the workplace (sexual harassment, bullying) and in communities (racism, homophobia).
Counselling can help you acknowledge and accept the truth of your experience - that none of it was your fault. The impact of abuse can leave long term emotional scars and often victims will turn to self destructive, addictive behaviours as a way of distracting themselves from their overwhelming emotional pain. These addictive behaviours also reinforce negative thoughts and beliefs and the victim can find themselves in a cycle of self loathing, depression, anxiety , self harm and shame. Counselling can help you break these self destructive cycles as well as allowing you to grieve for the loss of someone violating your boundaries.
How can counselling help the abuser?
Abusers often have anger issues and a need to control/have power over another person. Underneath these issues are deep rooted insecurities, shame and low self esteem. Abusers find it hard to take responsibility for their actions. Therapy can help you come to terms with the consequences of your behaviour as well as addressing your deep rooted insecurities, which may originate from childhood. Counselling sessions can also help you learn healthy ways of expressing anger, fear and sadness and in doing so counselling can help you break the cycle of abuse.