Mental and Emotional Abuse (also called domestic violence, family violence, domestic emotional abuse and intimate partner violence) – the deliberate and unethical misuse of power – encompasses a wide range of behaviours and situations. It can be physical, sexual, mental, emotional and financial, and it can happen in any human relationship, but occurs most often in the closest relationships: romantic and familial.
Ongoing periods of mental and emotional abuse can eventually undermine a person’s sense of self-worth and self-esteem through a multitude of repeated behaviour patterns and constant criticism; demeaning one’s abilities; name-calling or other types of verbal abuse; damaging a partner’s relationship with the children, or not letting a partner see friends and family.
Many types of therapy have proven effective in helping domestic and emotional abuse survivors express, process and manage their feelings, and rebuild their lack of self-esteem and confidence. Some types of therapy focus on integrating and processing traumatic experiences (such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Tension & Trauma Release (TRE)).
Other therapy modalities such as Gestalt therapy and mindfulness therapy techniques can help you deal with domestic and emotional abuse by focusing on the present moment rather than the past. Additionally, some forms of creative arts therapy can help you to express and process your emotions if the verbal expression isn’t enough.
Children or adolescents and teenagers who have been abused might show signs of self-harming behaviour, problems with language development, difficulty in forming and maintaining healthy relationships. They might also benefit from play therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)