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Online Therapy for Abandonment

Goda Brzozauskaite
  • Apr 08, 2022
  • 5 min read
serious man with full beard in abandoned landscape

Abandonment is a painful experience many people will face over their lifetimes. It can cause abandonment issues that are persistent and can impact one’s mental health in the long run. Abandonment is often found to be the root of many mental health issues and is often the main cause of trust issues. However, abandonment issues are successfully treated with therapy and can help people heal from their past traumas or insecurities and live their best lives.

How Do Therapists Work With Abandonment Issues?

Abandonment issues often come from a past traumatic experience. Abandonment therapy can assist with distinguishing fears rooted in the past to the present circumstances. In order to understand how therapy works for abandonment, we first need to understand abandonment a little more in-depth.

Where do abandonment issues come from?

Abandonment is often rooted in a traumatic event from childhood or can also result from unmet physical and emotional needs during childhood. Traumatic events such as the loss of a caregiver (such as the death of a parent or loss through separation or divorce) can lead to feelings of abandonment and can lead people to develop a fear of abandonment as their lives progress.

Other traumatic events, such as experiencing poverty, abuse, and neglect, can contribute to and cause a fear of abandonment. For example, experiencing poverty during childhood can make an individual feel like their needs are not met, which then manifests as abandonment issues later on in life.

Similarly, facing abuse in childhood can lead to a person feeling unsafe as a response to a potentially threatening situation. This can also harbor feelings of abandonment because of the trauma response that people experience. People who suffered abuse may feel betrayed, which creates a fear of abandonment and trust issues.

Seeking out abandonment therapy is one of the ways in which sufferers can take charge of their lives and address the underlying causes of abandonment issues.

How does therapy help with abandonment?

Therapy can assist with separating past traumatic experiences from present and future circumstances. Therapy also assists with exposing the root causes of abandonment issues, such as unmet needs or traumatic experiences in childhood.

A licensed therapist can also help heal from past traumatic experiences by helping a person reduce the control that fear of abandonment has over an individual’s current circumstances, reducing the effect that the past has over the present.

Interestingly, the relationship that is forged between the therapist and the patient can also act as a form of behavior modeling, where the stability of the relationship acts as a model for the patient.

What Therapies Help With Abandonment?

Abandonment therapy allows people with abandonment issues to learn to take care of themselves and moves them away from a place of reliance where their abandonment issues may be rooted.

DBT therapy for abandonment issues

DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) is a form of psychotherapy, which is administered with the therapist and patient working on acceptance and strategies that are change-oriented. DBT combines methods for emotion regulation and reality-testing with theories of distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindful awareness, which is largely based on meditative tradition.

The use of methods like goal-orientation and acceptance creates encouragement for the individual receiving therapy and makes them take charge of their own healing journey. DBT is helpful in the treatment of trauma (the root cause of abandonment issues) because its focus on the future and change aids the patient from becoming exhausted with past traumatic experiences.

EMDR therapy for abandonment issues

EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) is another type of psychotherapy that works by asking the patient to remember troubling images of the traumatic event and then grounding the patient in the experience of recall through stimulation such as tapping the sides of the body or moving the eyes in a side-to-side motion.

The overarching theory of this therapy is that trauma is a consequence of unprocessed memories. Stimulating the patient during recall allows them to better process memories of the traumatic event, thereby facilitating healing. This type of therapy is often referred to as a type of exposure therapy for abandonment issues.

EMDR has been shown to be effective in the treatment of trauma and trauma responses. EMDR works by recycling the memories related to an individual’s traumatic experience. EMDR therapy for abandonment issues is effective because it works by treating the underlying cause of abandonment issues, which is often a traumatic event.

Psychodynamic therapy

Psychodynamic therapy is a type of psychoanalysis with the main emphasis to uncover the patient’s unconscious subject matter, which is meant to relieve mental unease and conflict within the mind of the patient, usually generated in a circumstance of extreme hardship, such as a traumatic experience.  

In the context of abandonment therapy, psychodynamic therapy may expose defense mechanisms that have formed as a result of a traumatic experience. Uncovering unconscious feelings and memories from a traumatic experience is useful in learning how to overcome abandonment issues from childhood, as it gets to the root cause of abandonment issues.

CBT techniques for abandonment issues

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychosocial intervention that intends to lessen the symptoms of mental health disorders, by concentrating on confronting cognitive distortions, enhancing emotional regulation, and creating coping strategies that can be used to solve the current problems and circumstances that a person seeking therapy is facing.

In the framework of abandonment therapy, CBT aids in reframing how a person perceives situations that cause fear for them.

How to Find a Therapist Online?

Seeking out a therapist is relatively easy. You can check therapists’ directories, read biographies of different therapists, and find out what types of therapies are their focus.

Another option is opting for online therapy. Online therapy is effective, accessible to more people, and provides a buffer for people who would otherwise be uncomfortable with traditional in-person therapy. It can also offer more means of communication, from daily messages to scheduled audio, or messaging sessions. 

Online therapy can be an important first step for people who are seeking help with abandonment issues or other mental health concerns.

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What Are the Pros and Cons of Online Therapy?


Online therapy has been shown to be as effective as traditional in-person therapy. In addition, online therapy is more affordable and is oftentimes more comfortable than traditional therapy conducted in person. Online therapy is flexible and allows you to chat to a therapist daily via messages.  Finally, online therapy can be conducted in a manner that is anonymous and private, should an individual have a hard time opening up about their past traumas or other issues.


Online counseling does have some cons. It needs a good internet connection, for starters. Additionally, progress with online counseling might initially be slow if an individual chooses a messaging plan without video sessions, or chooses sessions that are sparse and rare. Finally, online counseling might not always be appropriate for severe mental health problems, such as severe depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia.

The Bottom Line

Abandonment is a common experience for a lot of people, and it can morph into a fear of abandonment or abandonment issues later in life. Although abandonment issues are caused by significant traumatic experiences, there is hope for recovery. Various therapeutic interventions such as DBT, EMDR, psychodynamic therapy, and CBT are useful in teaching people how to overcome abandonment issues from childhood or how to heal from them in adulthood.

Online therapy is always an option and an alternative to traditional therapy. Those suffering from abandonment issues should seek a method of help that is comfortable and works for them. If you would like to try online therapy, we are here to help. It is never too late to get help and take charge of your life.

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