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Therapy for Abuse Survivors: Working through the Pain

Therapy for Abuse Survivors: Working through the Pain

woman resting her head on friend's shoulderFor abuse survivors, seeking therapy can often be a difficult decision, and may not be a conscious, chosen path to coping until years afterward. Throughout a person’s life, abuse can come in many forms—including physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, psychological and financial mistreatment—and unfortunately, the list goes on. Both women and men can be victims of abuse and the toll it takes on a person’s overall well being can feel devastating, isolating and sometimes beyond repair.

The Hurt That Stays With You

While it isn’t always easy to define, abuse is typically explained as a pattern of behavior used by a person(s) to hurt, manipulate or gain control over another. Additionally, abuse is not limited by time: the effects that come from a single harmful incident or something that occurred regularly are usually the same. In fact, it’s common for those who were abused as a child not to come to terms with it until early adulthood or later. This can happen as a reaction to the trauma, simply not wanting to cope or revisit the abuse, as well as not realizing or understanding the situation at the time.

When To Seek Help

For those who have or are currently experiencing abuse, it’s important to know that help is available and it’s never too late to seek counseling. While reaching out to a trusted friend or family member can be healing, therapists who specialize in abuse counseling will be able to aid you in setting specific goals and ways to cope. Many abuse survivors are also fearful of being judged, misbelieved or simply looked at differently by their peers and loved ones. By working with a therapist, it may become easier to find ways to open up to others that are close to you.

At Westside, many of our therapists are trained in trauma specific counseling, with a variety of treatment methods to help provide relief for abuse survivors.