Victims of sexual or physical abuse experience symptoms typical of trauma; refer to the PTSD section for additional information. Don Sizemore & Associates do not see children who are victims of sexual or physical abuse; there are good therapists who specialize in this area. What commonly occurs is that adult clients who were childhood victims of sexual, physical or emotional abuse come in for anxiety or depression and during the initial evaluation session or in an individual counseling session, the abuse is revealed. Growing up in an abusive family has dramatic and significant consequences on psychological development and must be incorporated into the current counseling program. It is important to note that emotional abuse is just as destructive as physical abuse and has similar symptoms.
Some female clients who are seen in treatment for other conditions are in abusive relationships. At times, males are the victim of an abusive relationship, maybe more prevalent than reported because of the stigma of being perceived as a “weak man”. One of the most insidious aspects of being in an adult abusive relationship is the difficulty the victim has in separating themselves from the relationship. They hold on to the fantasy that their partner will change because of the remorse the abusive partner expresses after an abusive episode and the promises they make to change. Unfortunately the cycle of abuse rarely stops.
A critical factor for recovery for victims of abuse of any kind is their “resiliency”. Resiliency in the context of abuse is the capacity to bounce back from traumatic experiences. This determines how well they endure and recover from abuse, or any trauma, they experience. There are several factors that affect resiliency, like genetic makeup, but probably the most significant is having a history of secure emotional connections in the past and present.
Don Sizemore & Associates is dedicated to helping individuals, couples, and families restore, renew, and transform broken and disconnected relationships and overcome mental, emotional and physical struggles.