Emotional abuse is psychological violence. Emotional abuse is often more difficult to recognise than physical violence, as it does not leave any visible, physical traces and often only takes place in private. Emotional abuse takes place in many areas of life: in childhood, partnership, at work and in the private sphere.
Emotional abuse occurs frequently, but is often not recognised as such or only very late. Emotional abuse can have serious consequences on the lives of those affected, especially if it is experienced as a child. Children who have been traumatised by emotional abuse often only realise and understand what has happened in adulthood and are completely alienated.
Children know that their survival depends on the care of their parents. Thus, in the context of emotional abuse, children develop obedience and adaptation as survival strategies to receive love, affection, care, etc., which are continued in adulthood.
Emotional abuse - what is it?
Emotional abuse is subtle. It often goes unnoticed by those involved for a long time. Emotional abuse can have many faces. The following behaviours are often observed in emotional abuse:
- Mocking and ridiculing, making fun of what the people concerned say or have done
- Question or misrepresent the person's emotions, feelings and perceptions.
- Ignore your emotions, opinion
- fuel self-doubt
Dominance and control behaviour
- are always right
- commit border violations
- tolerate no contradiction
- Cannot admit own mistakes
- Cause feelings of guilt in those affected
- Those affected are held responsible for the situation
- Often not pronounced, but still very effective
- Withdrawal of love
- Punishment with silence
- Not capable of empathy
- Emotional distance
- Love and affection is conditional (if you don't do what I want, I won't talk to you anymore or you won't get affection anymore or or or.....)
Emotional abuse comes from a person who is in a position of power over the victim. The abusive person is often unaware that they are committing emotional abuse and acts out of their own traumatisation. These are the only coping strategies available to the abusive person to avoid feeling their own insecurities, fears, low self-esteem, etc. The abusive person is often not aware that they are committing emotional abuse and acts out of their own traumatisation.
Emotional abuse - the emotional and other effects on the victims
Possible emotional effects
Emotional abuse can often bring up many emotions in those affected, especially if the emotional abuse is experienced as a child, fears and much more can be triggered due to the existing dependence on the parents:
- feel unlovable
- Feeling not right, not enough
Emotional abuse - impact on the lives of those affected
Other consequences of emotional abuse are common:
- Low self-esteem
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-confidence
- No (primordial) trust
- Insecure in dealing with conflict situations
- Want to please everyone
- Extremely adapted
- Emotional dependencies
- estranged from oneself
- Inner emptiness
- Ask themselves what they did wrong
- Social withdrawal
- introverted, shy
- Difficulties in forming relationships
- Anxiety disorders
The victims of emotional abuse - especially if they are children - become deeply insecure due to the manipulation that takes place, lose trust in themselves and others, as their own perception is permanently doubted and undermined. This is tantamount to downright brainwashing and has an extraordinarily destabilising effect on those affected - and on their entire lives. Sentences like: "You're imagining things." "But you are sensitive." "You're seeing it wrong." have been heard too often and have been internalised.
Those affected by emotional abuse often have elevated stress levels, associated with increased cortisol levels and a hyperactive amygdala (fear centre in the brain).
Emotional abuse - my mission:
I have dedicated myself to educating people about what emotional abuse is, as this form of abuse is often experienced and witnessed by victims for years without being recognised, with serious repercussions later in life.
Emotional abuse - how I can support you
In cases of emotional abuse I work with the profound Journey Therapy and the Emotional Release Therapy. It is not a talking therapy, but the affected person slowly, bit by bit, learns to perceive their own emotions again as what they actually are, energy-in-motion, energy in movement, body sensations.
When emotions can be perceived again for what they really are, this can be experienced as extraordinarily liberating.
If you have experienced emotional abuse in childhood, learn to get back in touch with your inner child, give it a voice, take it by the hand, give it what it needs. inner child to your inner child, to give it a voice, to take it by the hand, to give it what it needs.
Through these journeys to the inner self, learning to feel again, we get back in touch with ourselves.
Liberation of the suppressed emotions
As a result of the emotional abuse, the victims have usually started to suppress the "unwanted" or "not considered right" emotions or fears, sadness, grief, powerlessness and other overwhelming emotions have been packed in boxes, locked and put away and hidden in very dark corners within us. This is a coping strategy so that the traumatising situation can be survived.
These emotions, the emotional injuries and the associated memories are slowly brought back into the light of day with Journey Therapy and Emotional Release Therapy and in a protected setting you learn to feel your emotions again - bit by bit.
Limiting beliefs and convictions that we have picked up in the course of life also play a very important role, as they can limit our lives considerably.
Through sentences like:
- Don't be like that!
- Don't make such a fuss!
- You are difficult!
- Stop crying!
- Pull yourself together!
- Go to your room and only come out when you have calmed down!
- You don't know what you want!
- You have no idea!
- and many more....
we form limiting beliefs. These are sentences in our head that we believe to be true and that unconsciously influence our lives negatively. Such as:
- I am not lovable.
- I am not good enough.
- I am not important.
- My emotions are not important.
- My emotions are wrong.
- I must not feel this.
- I am stupid.
- Others laugh at me when I say something.
- If I try hard enough, I will be loved.
- If I adapt enough, I will be loved.
- and many more.....
Releasing repressed emotions can bring about behaviour change
Behaviour is often emotion-driven. This is an unconscious process. We behave in a certain way because we don't want to feel certain emotions because they are too painful. The behaviour acts as an avoidance strategy. E.g. overeating, smoking, alcohol, Netflix, any addictions, excessive activities, social withdrawal etc.
How to overcome emotional abuse
If you have recognised yourself, you may have experienced emotional abuse. Whether in childhood, in a relationship, at work or in a social environment, the effects can be significant and have affected your whole life.
Book an appointment for a preliminary talk and find out if and how my therapy approach with The Journey and Emotional Release Therapy for releasing repressed emotions, working through cell memories, working with beliefs and inner child work can support you.
If you have experienced emotional abuse, the information about my therapy programme for victims of narcissists or my information about narcissistic mothers or narcissistic fathers may be relevant to you.