EMDR — Transforming Stress and Trauma
• Enhancing Performance
Domestic Abuse or Violence Therapy and Treatment
Short and Simple List of Abuse Examples:
- Emotional Abuse
- Humiliating comments in private or public
- Verbal assaults with judgmental or loud language
- “You” statements that assume “I know more about you than you do about you”
- Unrealistic demands
- Over-controlling (can be disguised as jealousy)
- Unexpected, abrupt vacating of plans, commitments, or conversations
- Actions designed to increase your feelings of insecurity and/or isolation
- Physical abuse
- Hitting or Punching
- Applying painful pressure
- Throwing or breaking something ordinary or special
- Attacking with objects or weapons
Emotional and physical abuse, whether of a bullying nature among peers at school, in the neighborhood, at the workplace, or of a personal nature such as what happens in the home within a family, become significant factors in people’s lives. Abuse can severely harm self-esteem, the ability to trust others, and impact one’s goals and dreams for the future.
Treatment options depend on who is seeking treatment. If it is for the aggressor, that person is often court-ordered to treatment and will be choosing a therapist from a list of court-approved therapists. If the aggressor is pro-actively concerned about this behavior before the law gets involved, and is determined to change, that person will have many more choices in treatment providers. Also see Anger Management Therapy and Treatment.
Our Certified EMDR therapists can help such a person to identify the triggers for anger and aggression and desensitize those triggers, helping the client to stay better in touch with the rational brain and problem-solving options. They will also explore where the person learned anger and aggression. The therapist can help the client deal with any historical issues that fuel the intense feelings that seem unmanageable. In very profound ways, trauma therapies can clear the high charge surrounding such disturbing memories and leave the client freer to cope in the present without the weight of the past.
If the person seeking treatment has been the victim of abuse, then the treatment will be somewhat different. The first concern will be to make sure the victim is now safe. If not, the first stage will focus on seeking and creating safety.
Next, We will desensitize past traumas of abusive experiences. Additionally we will be looking at the triggers that immediately preceded acts of abuse. Clients have learned to fear all those triggers, even in the company of non-violent people. Thus, a victim’s world can be very small because he or she has learned to avoid other people in an effort to avoid more triggers and more hurt.
Many victims do not have resources to seek a therapist in private practice. For these individuals, there are many resources listed at the bottom of this page.
The trauma therapist will also look at the history of early experiences through which the client learned that “if someone wants to hurt me, there’s not much I can do about it.” We will clear those experiences and watch for positive new beliefs to begin to arise, such as, “I did the best I could then, but I have choices now," and “I deserve trusting relationships.”
Often there are clients who have played both roles. Both aspects will need to be addressed in treatment for these individuals. In addition to calming emotions and bringing to surface new positive beliefs about yourself and your life, EMDR therapy can be of value in helping you to build new skills for living a healthy life in healthy relationships. You can overcome your past and create a better present and even better future, free of abuse.
Crisis Stage Treatment Options:
Here are Community Resources in San Diego that can help you address this important problem in a supportive, safe and effective way, including safe shelter:
Center for Community Solutions - (858) 272-1767,
YWCA's Battered Women's Services - (619) 234-3164,
San Diego County Domestic Violence 24 hour hotline - 1-888-DVLINKS
All services are 24-hour hotlines that are staffed with persons who can evaluate situations and make referrals for counseling, legal assistance, shelters, support groups, etc.
Options if you are past the crisis stage:
All of our therapists can help you deal with the trauma and PTSD you have experienced. Check out our Geographic Search to find a trauma therapist near you.
Also see Anger Management Therapy and Treatment and Therapy or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Therapy and Treatment (PTSD)