Domestic Violence and Abuse

Are you or someone you know in an abusive relationship? Are you unsure whether the dynamics are actually abusive, or what to do if they are? Statistics indicate that 1 in 4 women is experiencing or has experienced some form of abuse in her lifetime (and 1 in 8 men).

There are many names for abuse:  domestic violence, family abuse, intimate partner violence, dating violence and abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and assault, physical abuse. Although there are many ways to describe the dynamics, the underlying issue is about power and control.  Abuse occurs when one partner uses coercive, controlling tactics to gain or maintain a position of control within an intimate partner, family, or dating relationship.  These tactics may be physical or non-physical, and can include verbal abuse, emotional and psychological abuse, blame, isolation, threats, intimidation, financial control, spiritual abuse, stalking, manipulation, and others.

Abuse occurs across all socio-economic levels, no matter the level of education, income level, ethnic or religious group, age, or cultural background.  Abuse can occur in same gender relationships, heterosexual relationships, to women or men (although women are more likely to experience abuse at the hands of a male partner) and even may continue after a relationship has ended.  Sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse, and ongoing sexual abuse in adulthood all are traumatic, and the far reaching impact is often misunderstood.

Help is available.

The Growth and Recovery Center provides trauma-informed therapy to individuals and groups.  No matter whether a person has decided to stay in an abusive or violent relationship, or to leave, therapy provides a supportive space that promotes clarity, safety and healing.  The therapeutic approach is customized for each client’s circumstance, and sessions focus on the variety of unique needs and concerns that come with abuse.  Sessions may include psycho education, referrals and collaboration with other professionals, helpful resources, risk or danger assessment, and customized safety planning.  Safety plans are developed based upon discussions that guide clients through a series of carefully crafted questions designed to increase awareness of safety issues within specific situations inside and outside of the home.  These important tools help to prepare clients and their children in advance for the possibility of future violence.

Because abuse is often traumatic and ongoing, clinical work takes into consideration the need to explore trauma and painful experiences carefully and with an understanding of the complex dynamics in family and intimate partner relationships. In a confidential and relaxed setting, the therapist will employ a variety of techniques to help clients make life changes, heal from trauma, gain insight and shift relational patterns that may be blocking one from achieving new levels of personal growth and joy.

Professional consultations are available as well, with a special emphasis on consulting with attorneys, medical, social services, clinical and faith-based professionals who work with victim/survivors of family abuse, domestic and sexual violence, or related trauma.  Common treatment issues are discussed with the goal of unlocking complex key areas that may have become barriers for personal growth and forward movement with clients.