When your life is not your own

Dubrow-Marshall, LJ ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4092-6599 and Dubrow-Marshall, R ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6916-0780 2017, 'When your life is not your own' , Therapy Today, 17 (11) , pp. 24-27.

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The Serious Crime Act (2015) in the UK made controlling and coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship a criminal abuse, recognising the damaging effects of a pattern of psychological abuse. Yet, people in psychologically abusive relationships may not realise that they are in one. This article highlights how such clients may present in the counselling room and the signs counsellors and psychotherapists need to be alert to if they are to identify and support people who are affected by, or have survived, this hidden form of abuse. Very often a client may present with anxiety and depression or a problem that is seemingly unrelated to their ‘perfect’ relationship; it can take time and trust for the real picture to emerge. The signs can include missed counselling appointments within an overlying pattern of increased isolation, emotional withdrawal or numbing, dissociation, increased anxiety and nervousness, depression, and a change in personality or behaviour patterns Another warning for practitioners is to be sensitive to issues of power in the therapeutic relationship. Counsellors and psychotherapists have a vital role in supporting clients to grow in their confidence to form authentic relationships and overcome longer-term effects of coercive control and abuse.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Journal or Publication Title: Therapy Today
Publisher: British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
Depositing User: Dr Linda Dubrow-Marshall
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2018 11:15
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 18:37
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/45246

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