Westminster Therapy Associates
|9th December 2023|
TraumaThere is a grim truth that half of us will be exposed to at least one traumatic event in the course of our life. It may be a single incident such as a traffic accident or a burglary or, like domestic violence and abuse, it may be a series of attacks spanning months or even years. It might be a physical attack on your body or an assault on the mind caused by sharing in someone else’s trauma. No one can predict the impact that trauma will have for it overwhelms you, reducing your capacity to think. Flashbacks and nightmares make you feel compelled to repeat the experience over and over again in your head as you try to work out what has happened. It can feel horribly isolating as if no one could possibly understand what you have been through. With your mind battling to make sense of the experience, it is especially helpful to seek the assistance of a professional specifically trained to help you deal with these disturbing feelings.
Domestic ViolenceDomestic violence appears in the form of a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviours not all of which are, in themselves, inherently “violent” but which aim to gain and maintain total control over the victim. Abusers may use many tactics to exert power over their spouse, partner, ex-partner or family including dominance, humiliation, threats, intimidation, denial and blame. This may take the form of physical, sexual, verbal, psychological or financial abuse. Domestic violence can be repetitive, life-threatening, and can destroy a victim’s life.
There are three described phases in the “Cycle of violence”:
1. Tension Building Phase (where tension, arguments and poor communication begins)
2. Violent Episodes (where the abusive incidents take place)
3. Honeymoon Phase (affection, apology, apparent end of violence)
The characteristics of these stages mark a vicious cycle where the abuser will gain more and more power over the victim.
Counselling can offer a confidential, safe, non-judgemental and supportive space for those surviving domestic violence to break the silence by discussing their fears and concerns at their own pace and it can support them in learning to identify the three phases of the Cycle of Violence within their own experiences of abuse.
BereavementThe loss of a loved one demands time to think. How to continue with your own life when it feels that a part of you has been taken. How to respect the importance of the departed but move on. No matter how prepared you might be, how it can be bearable in practical terms, sometimes our emotions are not so easy to come to terms with. Often it takes time just to accept that your loved one really has gone, you might feel furious that it has happened, you may feel depressed or isolated. Every relationship is different and we grieve in our own individual way. Westminster Therapy Associates has therapists who can help you through this difficult and painful time.
BullyingBullying creates shame, undermines self esteem and too often destroys lives. If only it was left behind in the school playground but unfortunately too many of us know how prevalent it is in the work place. It may be a legacy of the vulnerability of childhood, it may be a reaction to the encouraged competitiveness of the job. All too often, the bullied boy grows up to be an adult man, demeaning his colleagues, his wife or his children as he tries to bolster his own damaged ego – and of course bullies aren’t all male. There is stigma attached to bullying that makes it especially hard to talk about and although no one likes a bully, it is a brave champion that intervenes. But intervention is what is needed, the spiral of suffering needs to be broken. In the therapy room, the ego can be rebuilt, the self esteem rediscovered and shame can be replaced with pride.
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