Does “the therapeutic model” (as though there were only one) interdict practitioners from identifying or naming experiences such as emotional abuse? Should practitioners not say such things “as they might intrude upon their client’s reality”? I would say not: not to recognize such things is to ignore what is happening. I also wonder why emotional abuse should be something practitioners are not allowed to identify; they make wilder conjectures than that daily.
My information, gathered over the past years, is that people have not known a great deal about abuse, and that it is in fact hard to recognize. All the problems I have, have to do with dealing with abusive situations I do not know how to recognize or handle, and that I submit to but do not function well in. I can try to say I am depressed, I can try to say I have an anxiety disorder, I can try to say I have some form of ADHD, but the clear answer is always that the emotional abuse has kicked up again and I have been felled by it again.
I think that learning how to recognize it and not internalize it is an excellent project and I hardly think it would be inappropriate for therapy. And there is, efectivamente, therapy for this, that names it. Emotional abuse in the guise of advice is one thing I have suffered from, and I have always found it useful to identify what is happening.
Yesterday I was talking with some people who I would say are healthier than I am in this regard, about a situation we all have with someone. They see it more clearly than I do and apparently their friends also see it more clearly than do mine. I have learned that when I have difficulty thinking clearly it is invariably that I am in an abusive situation I do not recognize, and in which I am inadvertently complicit.
I had a screening psychotherapist tell me one time: “You are enmeshed in a system and you fear extreme violence.” This did not seem intrusive to me at all. It was illuminating. The person to whom I was funneled was, however, a Reeducator. According to him, the large space of health I had created in my life was not health but “denial.” “Honesty” was to reenvision myself as a victim and accept powerlessness. To live in the space of darkness and there to work not toward a future but merely through each painful day.
Someone else says something different: “The worst thing you can develop, in terms of your health, happiness, and deepest values, is an identity as a victim. Victim identity destroys personal power and undermines the sense of self. It makes you falsely identify with “damage” done to you or with bad things that have happened to you.”
And: “As you experience the enormous depth of your core value, the last thing you will want to do is identify with being a victim, or a survivor, for that matter. You want to outgrow walking on eggshells, not simply survive it, and you do that only by realizing your fullest value as a person.”
That is a very mainstream, even commercial person, writing in Psychology Today, and I hardly find these ideas intrusive.