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Forums / Treatments, health professionals and therapies / How to Discuss Emotional Abuse with Psych?

Topic: How to Discuss Emotional Abuse with Psych?

8 posts, 0 answered
  1. Nimi
    Nimi avatar
    80 posts
    12 June 2020

    Hi guys,

    I'm not sure really if this is what has happened to me, but I want to talk about it with a therapist because I feel like I have to know if I'm overreacting. I'm not really sure how to approach the subject with them? I've been to therapy for anxiety and depression before, but I haven't felt the need to discuss a subject like this before and I'm still kind of in shock about the possibility of it even being true and I have a lot of self-doubt. I've tried to talk about it a bit before with a therapist but I ended up getting nervous and sad and just crying a whole lot. Maybe I wasn't ready to discuss it back then, I'm not sure. Is it normal to be scared about this? I just wanted to know if anyone has any strategies or advice for talking about painful subjects like this. The last two times I tried I broke down and couldn't talk about it, because I felt I was being cruel by claiming that I had been abused by someone, or that it wouldn't sound believable.

    I hope that makes sense and I hope I posted this in the right place. I'd really like to try again, I'd like to have the confidence to be able to talk about it.
    Thank you for reading.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. ecomama
    Valued Contributor
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    ecomama avatar
    1100 posts
    13 June 2020 in reply to Nimi

    Hi Nimi

    You know you can discuss anything you need to here. But YES I've had a lot of anxiety about bringing up things with counsellors etc. I still do with some things. This is perfectly understandable for people with anxiety - we get anxious :-)

    I'm already sensing it has not been a GOOD experience otherwise you wouldn't be so upset about it.
    It sounds like even talking about it at all is triggering for you, is this correct? Otherwise you may have given us an example.

    Could you manage writing down a "key word" for one event that upsets you on your thread here?

    Then if you can here (and wait for us respond or not), then you may be able to bring up that ONE with your counsellor.

    Nimi you don't even have to call it psychological abuse or anything. You can just ASK your counsellor why you might feel upset about _______ and tell one thing.

    Sometimes, as a result of our life's experiences, we find it very difficult to trust. In my case it was from harsh judgement and a lot of abuse by people "close" to me. Not in my life any more btw.

    Does any of this resonate with you?


    1 person found this helpful
  3. geoff
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    13090 posts
    13 June 2020 in reply to Nimi

    Hello Nimi, Ecomoma (EM) has given you some great advice.

    If this particular point is such a difficult one to discuss then it could be a major part to the base and perhaps if you do write what is involved down on some paper, then you can hand it over to the therapist.

    They will then take it slowly and if by chance it's going too fast, then tell them.


    2 people found this helpful
  4. Hope3110
    Hope3110 avatar
    7 posts
    14 June 2020 in reply to Nimi

    Over the many years of counselling I’ve done. I have just tried to give it a chance and if I don’t feel comfortable I find a new psych. You don’t need to feel bad about being uncomfortable, just don’t give up, :) you’ll find someone you feel comfortable with eventually. Otherwise try and talk to a close friend you trust what you would like to discuss with a counsellor and see how it goes!

    let us know how you go x

    2 people found this helpful
  5. Nimi
    Nimi avatar
    80 posts
    18 June 2020
    Thank you Ecomama, Geoff and Hope. Those are all very helpful suggestions, I have written down a list and will remember to go at a pace that is comfortable and not try to force anything. I really appreciate it, thank you so much.

    Ecomama, yes, that does resonate with me. I think my biggest fear is going in to a psychologist and being told that I am being irrational, or that I am too sensitive and am blowing something out of proportion, even though thinking in that way is also expecting the worst, it's really scary to talk about. I get triggered by hearing things on tv, and have passed out at work due to anxiety, I don't want to pass out in therapy.

    I just don't feel I can trust my own judgement anymore. Like maybe I brought it on myself or something, even though I am doing my best to practice compassion for myself I still trip up when I start thinking about these things. If I had to choose a key word for these events it would be "fear". Anxiety about messing up and eventually shame.

    I am glad to hear that you aren't around those people anymore Eco, it's really inspiring to hear that. Thank you again so much.

    I was considering getting a new referral from my GP, because I originally thought a lot of this was anxiety and depression, but now I am not so sure.
    1 person found this helpful
  6. ecomama
    Valued Contributor
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    ecomama avatar
    1100 posts
    18 June 2020 in reply to Nimi

    Dear Nimi

    I'm glad that posting here has given you some positives to take away and try, that's awesome!

    My thinking is that once you have a Counsellor that you have established some measure of trust in AND you feel safe with, then and only then would you be able to talk more openly about your fears. Just to help you, Counsellors and Psychs have probably heard IT ALL. They are seldom shocked, I've known many who are waiting...waiting... waiting for us to open up fully and THEN they can help us more effectively once we acknowledge 'the thing'; whatever that thing is. It's not their job to think little of us or more of us, we are simply their client or patient end of.

    I will call you sensitive, I'm sensitive too as are so many people on these forums.
    The world needs more of us.
    Being sensitive is a HUGE positive, if we were all a$$holes then could you possibly even imagine the state of the world?

    It's hard enough.

    So I say to my Counsellor and psych "I know I'm sensitive but this stuff is ....."

    My friends and family LOVE that I'm sensitive. They are too.

    The wisdom comes in knowing WHEN to be sensitive and when to not give a darn. What really helps me and I do this with my children too, I draw concentric circles on a page and in the inner circle are ALL things I have some influence over.. next circle out are all the things I have no control over.

    When we focus fully on the inner circle, then watch.... more of the other things move into the inner circle.
    This exercise and many others are from Stephen Covey in his "7 habits of highly effective people".

    I digress lol. Maybe you have more than anxiety IDK but working on your depression is important.
    Another BB member told me about Kristen Neff and I've probably watched ALL her YouTube talks lol. I;ve also ordered her Self-compassion Workbook.

    But this alone would not help me leave the triggers in the past. If you read some of the PTSD threads here, you may see yourself reflected in these posts IDK, you will see many people trying different therapies.

    Love EM

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Sleepy21
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Sleepy21 avatar
    1189 posts
    18 June 2020

    Hey Nimi

    You are not cruel!!

    It could be that you feel loyal or protective to the one who abused... it's okay to let that go. You don't need to worry about being seen as mean - do you have any other words we could replace it with?

    Discerning, observant, wise, strong, perceptive, assertive, intuitive, and smart. Trust your feelings. When you share them you will be safe beacuse they are yours, there's a lot of wisdom in them.... don't doubt yourself at all.


    2 people found this helpful
  8. Nimi
    Nimi avatar
    80 posts
    15 July 2020 in reply to Sleepy21
    Hi guys,

    I wanted to say thank you again. I feel the anxiety crawling up on me because my appointment with my psychologist is soon, but I am going to try!

    I have been getting terrible headaches and anxiety keeps hitting really hard, sometimes I just don't want to move or I sit down on the ground because I can't understand why I am struggling! It's so frustrating! I am going to check out Kristen Neff and I will try my best to believe in my feelings.

    Thank you again, please take care and stay safe. I will remember your wonderful advice and I am really appreciative of it. Thank you.

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