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Abuse Counselling

Abuse

Abuse is defined as the maltreatment or misuse of an individual by another person. It occurs when the abused person experiences a lack of concern for their integrity and innate worth as a human being. The abuser will often seek to degrade and control their victim.

There are three main types of abuse:

  • Emotional
  • Physical
  • Sexual

Abuse is sadly all too common in our world today and we may see it in a variety of settings and contexts:

  • Domestic abuse
  • Child abuse
  • Institutions: this includes elder abuse and bullying
  • Workplace: sexual harassment and bullying
  • The community: hate crimes, religious persecution

Child abuse

Child abuse occurs when a child experiences physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Statistics show that every year thousands of children suffer abuse. This will usually be someone known to the child such as a: parent, carer, friend or relative.

Effects of childhood abuse

If a person has experienced traumatic childhood events or poor parenting they may be left with the negative consequences of such treatment:

  • Guilt
  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • Unassertive
  • Indecisive
  • Low self esteem
  • Destructive behaviours (alcoholism and drug addiction)

Seeking help

It is important to seek the help of a counsellor who is trained and experienced in the field of abuse. By providing a safe, empathic and non-judgemental atmosphere the counsellor will endeavour to help you come to terms with past abuse. It is very important for the counsellor to work sensitively and at a pace that suits you. Counselling aims to heal your damaged “inner child” and help you become the person you were meant to be.

Counselling may help you by sharing the burden of past or present abuse. A counsellor will help you explore your options, rights and responsibilities. The goal of counselling is to help you become more autonomous so that you may move forward with your life.

Further help may be sought through relevant agencies and children’s charities.

Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is defined as the physical, sexual or emotional abuse of one person by another and occurs between two people who are, or who have been in a relationship.

If you are being physically or sexually assaulted by someone who you are in a relationship with, or are being threatened by him or her, that is domestic violence/abuse. Domestic abuse is controlling behaviour and it can affect women, children and men.

Further help:

NADA
Women’s Project
Women’s Aid help lines
Samaritans


Content written by Karen Dyer MBACP in 2010. The content is for general information only and may or may not relate to your individual situation.

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