over 600 victims of violence and abuse,
I provide expert, knowledgeable therapy services for
victims of interpersonal violence.
comes in many forms and is known by several names, including family violence
violence. During my 12 years
counseling victims, I have seen violence between husband and
wife, live-in partners, roommates, caregiver and caregiven, parent and
child, employer and employee, couples who are dating, and people who
had previous relationships.
School bullying, stalking, and rape are forms of interpersonal
The Varieties of
While many people think that "violence" means only
physical violence, that is not always the case. Many previous clients
report that the physical part was the easy part because with bruises or
broken bones, everyone can see that something bad has happened.
The more difficult violence is often verbal, psychological, and/or
emotional--and sexual. These types of violence abuse the psyche, the
heart, the self. Victims may not even be able to identify that they are
being abused. They might report anxiety, sleeplessness, unhappiness,
sudden rage, or depression when in fact they are exhibiting signs of Post-Traumatic Stress
Disorder (PTSD), the same disorder returning soldiers may
exhibit. Many have tried several approaches to solving the
problems, including drug and/or alcohol abuse, leaving and returning to
the abuser, or hiding for periods of time before returning (usually for
"the children" or for financial reasons). Victims leave and return an
average of eight times before a final exit.
During my 12 years counseling
600 different victims and providing thousands of services to them, I
have experienced the diversity and complexity of the patterns of
by perpetrators against victims. Abusive financial control was
common. Isolating the victim from friends, family, church, and
education was almost predictable. Threats against children and violence
against pets were often reported. Stories from victims included control
of medical care, birth control, time, food, and education.
Jealousy--especially about imagined sexual infidelity--permeated many
Effective counseling for interpersonal violence
includes a legal component, as well. I have had experience with protective orders, court cases, filing charges against perpetrators,
and Child Protective Services
involvement with families where domestic violence is present.