Abuse and Bullying
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: John Colverson MA, UKCP Jungian analyst, psychotherapist, clinical supervisor.
17th March, 2011
Abuse may by sexual, physical, emotional, psychological, or a combination, and the experience is invariably destructive.
Bullying is itself a form of abuse and can be very undermining, particularly if it compounds upon earlier experiences of abuse; these experiences might have been quite subtle and not recognised as abusive at the time - this particularly applies to emotional and psychological abuse.
Experience of abuse can be difficult to overcome, particularly because there is a tendency to perpetuate the experience internally - and to feel that it is appropriate to be treated in such a way. Consequently some people who have experienced abuse are then attracted to abusive relationship or abusive environments. Some seek to punish themselves, and physically hurt themselves. There is then an alignment with the abuser in such a way that they become the victims of their own sadistic self abuse.
Developing a different life script in which you regard yourself differently to the way you have been treated in the past, developing a stronger sense of your authentic identity and value, and expressing your anger and rage about the way you were treated by others, instead of turning those destructive feelings against yourself: these are all steps on the road to recovery.
The relationship with the psychotherapist provides a non abusive relationship through which the process of change can be explored in depth. However, experiences of abuse which have their roots in early childhood will need longer for trust in that therapeutic container to be established. It is understandable that a great amount of fear and anxiety may need to be overcome before any sense of healing and recovery can begin.
Exploring the healing process through dream work can be particularly valuable as the pace at which the healing takes place is then dictated by your unconscious which has a better overall view of the situation than your conscious mind. Using painting and drawing within the sessions can also be used as a means of allowing the unconscious to communicate - despite conscious intentions.
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