Southside Counselling & Therapy Centre,
3 Carment Drive,
Glasgow G41 3PP

Psychological or emotional Abuse

What is emotional abuse?

There are diverse types of abuse which is a minefield of sub-headings. In the information provided I have explored emotional or psychologic abuse. As I have extensive experience and training in this area and I feel it often goes unrecognised.

Emotional abuse can often be done by means of manipulation, making it very difficult to recognise and the preceptor can be very calculated.

Beverly Engel who has written broadly on this subject defines it as any non-physical behaviour that is intended to control intimidate, subjugate, demean, punish or isolate.

Emotional abusers can often appear polite, friendly, down earth, kind and well-meaning which is more confusing for their victims. Emotional abuse can be extremely difficult to detect due to the amount of manipulation. It can be difficult to break the pattern and many preceptors often go on to emotionally abuse various partners and family members. Although, help is widely available and many preceptors can break the cycle.

In addition, it is very rare that this person always displays abusive behaviour and may give and withdraw affection causing an ambivalence. As a result, victims may be unable to reach a conclusion regarding their emotional abuse giving their positive and negative feeling in the relationship. Victims and survivors of emotional abuse have stated that it feels like emotional torture and can feel like they are going crazy.

Interesting and in accordance with Psychology Today, many preceptors that seek counselling may not have anger management problems but may have difficulty tolerating injury or may be hypersensitive and use a more passive aggressive form of abuse.

The effects of abuse are often substantial and long-lasting, sometimes resurfacing years later, impacting on your present relationships, your emotional wellbeing and even your health. It can also cause depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and a very fragmented sense of self.

Anyone can be effected by emotional abuse regardless of your gender, ethnicity, religion, class!

Emotional abuse can happen in any relationship but not only family, friends, carers or work colleagues.

Emotional abuse can also present in other forms abuse
  • Neglect abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Discriminatory abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Disibility abuse
How emotional abuse is displayed in an intimate relationship
  • Humiliation and degradation
  • Discounting and negating
  • Domination and control
  • Judging and criticising
  • Trivial and unreasonable demands or expectations
  • Emotional distancing which can be displayed as silent treatment
  • Disapproving, dismissive, contemptuous or condescending looks, comments and behaviour
  • Sulking and pouting
  • Projections and/or accusations
  • Subtle threats of abandonment or abandonment
  • Denying you from suppressing or expressing your feelings
  • Lack of explanation towards their behaviour and emotional abuse causing a distortion of the victims mind
  • Gradual 'falling-out' with the partner’s support network
  • Jealousy – asking a partner to prove their loyalty
  • Controlling behaviour – controlling a partner’s friends and actives
  • Criticism and put-downs
  • One person’s needs dismissed or minimised

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How Counselling Can Help

Counselling can:

Help you understand that your experience of being abuse is unique to you and as is your recovery.

Can provide a safe space for you to explore your feelings and possible supressed emotions which may enable you to detach from your perpetrator’s behaviour.

Counselling can be enriching and empowering and can help restore self-esteem, strengths and explore healthy ways of relating.

Help you cope with possible anxiety or depression as of result of abuse.

Can help you explore your reasons for staying with an abusive partner.

To help understand that you are not mad, that your mind and body are reacting normally to trauma.

Help you explore ways of ending the relationship safely and putting things in place.

Help preceptors explore their need to control and what impact previous experience may have had on them.

Explore the balance of power in your relationship.

Help you achieve freedom and embrace your self-worth.

That every individual has the capacity to be fully functioning person if the power of the person is given recognition. Carl Rogers