Immediately after leaving a long-term abusive relationship, your main focus will usually be on physical needs such as securing a place to live and enough financial support to provide for your immediate needs. Longer term it's important to have some counselling to undo the emotional damage of abuse.
These are three of the issues that counselling can help you with.
While you may not be ready to immediately enter into a new romantic relationship, counselling can also help you to re-establish trust in other relationships, such as those with friends and family that you may have grown apart from during your abusive relationship through physical and emotional connections. It can also help you to re-establish trust in your own judgement as many abusers operate by systematically removing the victim's trust in their own judgement. If you have left the relationship with your children, there may also need to be some work done to repair the trust between you and your children, so you all know that you can always ask for help or head to external sources for support.
Equally, many abuse victims feel like they are not worthy as being treated better, due to systematic breaking down of their self-esteem. Counselling can be a good way to get abuse victims to concentrate on their achievements and abilities to establish self-esteem outside of any relationship. Having intrinsic self-esteem can help in achieving new goals such as finding new employment or completing training, as well as finding and participating in healthy relationships with friends and family.
Guilt and remorse
Once adjusting to leaving the relationship, some victims feel guilt and remorse for not leaving the relationship earlier. This is part of the abuse process, where the abuser often concentrates the responsibility for the abuse back onto the victim. Many abuse victims find counselling can be a useful way to revisit situations where they have remorse or guilt to unpack all of the actions and contemplate which options they had at each point. This can help abuse victims to forgive themselves and remember the efforts that external people may have made to uncover unpalatable aspects of the relationships they have just left.
Counselling following leaving an abusive relationship is a sensible investment of time, effort and money. By undergoing counselling, you put yourself in a great position to reconnect with emotions and effectively engage in existing and new relationships. Look into a counselling centre like The ACT Centre to learn more about how this process can help you move forward with your life.Share
9 July 2015
It is a lot of work being a psychologist. It takes a lot of emotional energy to listening to people's problems all day long, but luckily I know that I am making a huge difference to peoples lives. It helps me to remember how much difference I make to my patients when I feel burnt out. There is a lot of work in managing the different aspects of my practise but I know by optimising my business processes I will have more time and energy to spend on my patients. This blog has my tips on running an efficient psychological practise.