skip to main content

Currently browsing For Helping Professionals

Connections between abuse, anxiety and depression

It is normal for a woman to experience some level of anxiety or depression if she is experiencing abuse from her partner. Often times women are seen to have some form of mental illness when they are actually just having a normal human reaction to oppression, hurt and crazy-making behaviour. One woman reported that she […]

Read more

New study reports one-third of mothers experience violence from spouses

A new study out of the UK followed over 1,000 mothers for 10 years. Among the findings: More than one-third reported suffering violence from their spouses. Those who suffered abuse were twice as likely to develop depression as women who were not experiencing abuse. The study cited is: “Intimate partner violence and new-onset depression” by […]

Read more

“All sorrows can be borne if put into a story”

In our support groups, stories are central. The group is a safe place for women to talk about what is happening or has happened in their lives. For many women, the group is the only place they can talk about these things. We see how, by getting to tell the stories of their lives, women […]

Read more

What does a full, real, apology look like?

Ever wondered what a full apology might look like in the face of real harm or abuse? A friend of mine is a counsellor who works with men who have been abusive. She shares with them the 3 steps to a full apology. A man who has been abusive, who wants to start to heal […]

Read more

How abusive men use texts to continue the abuse

Many women report that their ex-partners will continue to verbally and emotionally abuse them, after separation, using texts. Sometimes a woman will come in to an appointment with me and hand me her cell phone. We will scroll through the texts together and the pattern of abuse is clear. Sometimes the abuser may do what […]

Read more

Anxiety that may lead to suicidal thoughts

I recently heard Dr. Ronald Siegal of Harvard medical school speak about suicide and anxiety. He said that studies have shown that most people who attempt suicide later describe that it was not depression but rather anxiety that drove them to depression. That’s interesting because I think most of us think of depression as being […]

Read more

When helping professionals mirror controlling behaviour

Sometimes ‘helping professionals’ do harm to women. This is not their intention but it does happen. How is this possible? Well, let’s think about the dynamics of abuse. Men who are abusive are motivated by a desire to have power and control over their partner. They have a need to feel superior. Men who are […]

Read more

First do no harm

As helping professional we all have good intentions when it comes to supporting women who have experienced abuse. But if we don’t have specific training in this area, we can unintentionally end up harming a woman. Let me share one example of what I mean by this.  One counsellor advised a woman that she needed […]

Read more

Are women who experience abuse in denial?

Sometime people tell me that a woman is “in denial” about the abuse she is suffering. Such a comment makes me crazy. I realize that some women do not always dwell on the full gravity of their situation because it is just too overwhelming. They deal with as much as they can at any given […]

Read more

The Blame Game vs. the Consequences of His Actions

Abusive men blame their partners for everything. This is one of the hallmarks of abusiveness. They will blame their partners because their kids don’t want to see them. They will blame their partners for abandoning them. They will blame their partners for “destroying the family”. But really, the abusive man is just facing the consequences […]

Read more

“It takes two to tango”

I am sure you’ve heard it before. “It takes two to tango.” It’s a lie. If a person is actually talking about dancing, it may be true, but if they are talking about relationship problems, it is not true. It takes two people to make a healthy and happy relationship. It takes two people to be mature […]

Read more
When Love Hurts