Emotional Abuse Therapy

Emotional Abuse Counselors in Buffalo, NY

Loving relationships give life meaning. Healthy relationships uplift us, inspire us, and make us feel safe. But what happens when love turns toxic or abusive? It can be hard to leave an abusive relationship and even harder to recover from the scars it leaves. However, with the right counselor in your corner, you can heal from emotional abuse and work toward building healthy relationships.

Understanding Emotional Abuse

Abuse is traditionally defined as threatening behavior designed to defeat another human being. Emotional abuse leverages negative feelings like fear, guilt, and shame to control one’s partner. Common abuse tactics include insults, threats, criticism, and coercion. Another common and talked-about technique is gaslighting. Gaslighting involves one person convincing the other to question their own memories and conviction. Often, emotional abuse overlaps with physical and sexual abuse. However, it can also appear on its own.

In some relationships, partners might both be emotional abusers. In other relationships, there is only one abuser and one victim. Abuse may intensify then fade, flaring up during some periods then becoming less intense during other times.

Emotional abuse can be hard to identify if it is not obvious and constant. Some people excuse their abuser’s behavior, blaming it on stress, a bad mood, or childhood issues. Since emotional abuse often causes low self-esteem, it is not uncommon for the victim to believe they deserve the poor treatment. If the abuser is gaslighting, the victim may even think they imagined the abuse.

Signs of emotional abuse aren’t always clear, but emotional abusers often display these behaviors:

  • Controlling money and spending
  • Constantly pointing out flaws
  • Using silent treatment as a punishment
  • Controlling who you see or where you go
  • Using guilt as a weapon
  • Blaming all relationship hardships on you

These are only a few examples of emotionally abusive behavior. However, they all share one thing: control. An emotionally abusive person will seek control in every aspect of their relationship. The relationship doesn’t have to be romantic. Emotional abuse can happen between friends, coworkers, a boss, or a family member.

What To Expect from Emotional Abuse Therapy?

Abuse leaves open wounds that take a long time to heal. Emotional abuse therapy charts a unique course for every patient but follows some patterns:

The first step is helping you to uncouple yourself from the abusive person. This is often the most terrifying step to take, but it is the most crucial to your healing process. Your therapist will be in your corner with the emotional support you need to soften the blow.

After that, counseling sessions will focus on processing the abuse and acknowledging the damage it has caused. Coming to terms with what you suffered will open up your mind and allow you to heal. We will discuss coping methods and arm you with skills to build healthy relationships.

You Deserve to Be Happy

You’ve lived in the confines of abuse for too long. Harris Hill Counseling & Coaching is here to help you regain control and live a happy and loving life.