Emotional abuse is subtle, but its consequences are devastating. Like trauma and physical abuse, emotional abuse causes a lot of pain and suffering. In this case, a person doesn’t have bruises and scars on their skin. They are cut way deeper than that.
Numbers show that 48.4% of women have experienced at least one form of emotional or psychological aggression in their lifetime. About 48% of men also reported being victims of emotional abuse.
Anyone can be a victim of emotional abuse, regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation, age, and more. At the same time, the abuser isn’t always an intimate partner. It can be a bully at school, someone at work, or an online troll.
Coping with emotional abuse is difficult but achievable. Online therapy for emotional abuse can help you overcome the pain it carries and start a new, happier, and healthier chapter in life.
What Exactly Is Emotional Abuse?
Emotional abuse is defined as a behavior pattern wherein the abuser humiliates, insults, and instills fear in a person in an attempt to control them. The perpetrator uses emotions to criticize, blame, shame, and embarrass another individual.
Generally speaking, emotional abuse can occur in any form of relationship between two people. It’s not always significant others who abuse their partner. Abusers can be family members, coworkers or bosses, and even friends.
A consistent pattern of abusive words is the telltale sign of this type of abuse. Keep in mind that emotional abuse is one of the most difficult forms of abuse to recognize.
It can be a lot of things, including mean comments disguised as jokes, straightforward hateful expressions, humiliating someone in public, and sending hateful messages and comments. Constant criticism, accusations, gaslighting, and name-calling are also examples of emotional abuse.
What Are the Signs of Emotional Abuse?
The scary thing about emotional abuse is that it’s not that easy to notice. Many victims aren’t aware of it at first, believing some comments and behaviors to be normal in relationships.
But they’re not!
Anything that harms your confidence and self-esteem is simply not okay. That includes:
- Emotional blackmail: manipulating and controlling you to make you feel guilty, humiliating you privately or publicly, exaggerating or pointing out your flaws, and punishing you by withholding affection.
- Acting superior: treating you as inferior or worthless, constantly blaming you for mistakes, doubting everything you say, making jokes at your expense, being condescending, talking down to you, and acting like they’re always right and you never are.
- Controlling and isolating: controlling who you see, what you do and where you go, checking your phone, messages, and social media, hiding your car keys, showing jealousy and envy, and treating you as their property.
- Creating drama: starting arguments, making contradictory/confusing statements, severe mood swings, nitpicking everything you do, and making you feel like you need to walk on eggshells to avoid upsetting them.
- Invalidating you as human: intimidations, accusations, dismissing your needs and requests, dismissal, distortion, undermining of your reality, and refusal to accept your feelings.
- Unrealistic expectations: unreasonable demands, constant criticism, and an overly demanding attitude.
Should I Try Online Therapy for Emotional Abuse?
Online therapy for emotional abuse is a valuable step you can take to recover from the difficulties you face.
If you are being emotionally abused, the first thing you need to do is to seek help and support. Not just from friends or family members, but from professionals too.
Acknowledge that some behaviors by others are not acceptable. You do not have to live in fear, stress, and low self-esteem. Accept that the act of abuse is not your responsibility, but be determined to overcome the effects of emotional abuse.
Set personal boundaries, get out of that relationship, and give yourself some time to heal.
In order to learn how to heal from emotional abuse, you need professional help. Online counseling is the first and most important step in your recovery. But keep in mind that it’s a process. The more severe your abuse is, the more therapy you will need to manage its consequences.
No One Should Be Subjected To AbuseSpeak To A Licensed Therapist Today
How Does Online Therapy for Emotional Abuse Work?
Emotional abuse therapy starts with the victim’s preparedness to be open and honest as much as possible. Oftentimes, victims of emotional abuse decide to minimize the trauma they experienced.
A therapist can only help you when you understand the problem and are open about it. The main goal of online therapy is to improve your self-esteem and confidence. Additionally, it helps you identify healthy principles and behaviors in relationships.
As a victim of abuse, you need emotional support that will help you heal. That is where the therapist steps in. Through a healthy therapeutic relationship and empathy, the therapist helps you understand your own value.
Online therapy is a safe place for you to talk without judgment and work on yourself. During the sessions and regular communication with your therapist, you learn to understand your own worth and to recognize unhealthy relationships and stay away from them.
The greatest advantage of online therapy for emotional abuse is that you get to interact with your therapist by daily messages on top of the sessions.
The exact type of emotional abuse therapy depends on your specific needs. Since emotional abuse therapy is client-centered, therapists work closely with clients to recommend approaches that can provide the greatest benefit.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
CBT is a type of talk therapy that helps people overcome inaccurate or negative thinking. This type of therapy is based on the idea that psychological problems stem from unhelpful ways of thinking and learned patterns of unhelpful behavior. People can get better and be more effective in their lives by learning healthy and helpful ways of coping with their problems.
During CBT, you learn to recognize negative thinking patterns that create problems and gain a better understanding of your own behavior. You also learn to use problem-solving skills to cope with negative events and difficult situations.
Somatic therapy helps treat post-traumatic stress by focusing on the connection between mind and body. It may include yoga or meditation. Somatic therapists rely on mind-body techniques to alleviate the tension weighing on your physical and emotional well-being.
During somatic therapy, you learn to listen to the signals your body sends. Trauma, mental health problems, and emotional abuse have physical consequences, too, such as digestive problems, sexual problems, hormonal issues, and more. This is because our brain and body are connected.
By releasing the tension held by your body, somatic therapy helps improve the mind-body relationship. Besides yoga and meditation, somatic therapy may also include breathing exercises, dance, and sensation awareness.
You are encouraged to reflect on behavioral patterns and identify their influence on new experiences, emotions, or concerns during the therapy session. Somatic therapy is, essentially, about listening to yourself and the subtle messages your body sends.
Is Online Therapy for Emotional Abuse Effective?
It’s natural to wonder whether therapy is effective, particularly if you are a victim of emotional abuse. You want to know what exactly online therapy for emotional abuse can do for you.
Online therapy is an effective support system for people who have survived emotional abuse. Scientific evidence confirmed that therapy could alleviate depression and anxiety in victims of abuse. Psychological therapies are described as effective in improving emotional health and promoting healing from trauma.
Studies also found that trauma-focused CBT is an appropriate intervention to improve children’s social and emotional self-efficacy.
Not so long ago, the only way to get a therapist’s support was to go to their office and have a therapy session there. Today, you just need an internet connection to attend your therapy session or communicate with a therapist via messages.
If, for any reason, you want to remain anonymous, you can easily do so online. That's not possible with in-person therapy. Although the access to therapy is different (in-person vs. online), the concept is the same.
Finding the right therapist isn’t always easy. You have to contact a bunch of therapists or look up their credentials online to identify the best fit. With online therapy, this process is a lot easier.
The easy-to-start nature of online therapy allows you to get the ideal therapist in a matter of minutes to a few hours.
The opportunity to communicate with your therapist regularly allows you to cope with your trauma at a pace that works best for you. At the same time, you get stronger by the day and work on improving your emotional health and well-being.
No One Should Be Subjected To AbuseSpeak To A Licensed Therapist Today
In Conclusion About Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse is difficult to recognize and still largely misunderstood. Many people believe some behaviors are normal. Anyone can be an abuser, the same way anyone can be a victim of emotional abuse.
You deserve love, support, and respect. Behaviors that belittle, criticize, humiliate, and harm your self-esteem are unhealthy. They are telltale signs of emotional abuse.
Although this experience is traumatizing, you can overcome it. You just need proper support. In addition to leaning on your friends and family, you should also decide to see a therapist. Therapy is helpful because it creates a safe space for victims of emotional abuse.
Online therapy for emotional abuse is a practical, effective, and easy-to-use approach to manage your trauma, reduce anxiety and depression, and adopt coping mechanisms that will tackle the effects of emotional abuse.
The decision to start with online therapy gets you one step closer to a healthier and happier you.