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Old 08-11-2017, 12:52 AM
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Default Successful therapy program for Domestic Violence recovery

Have any of you had a really successful therapy program? I have tried a few different therapists with different approaches. The last/current one specializes in EMDR, but it isn't really helpful. Also, even though I really like him as a person, I often feel like he has said that the abuse was my fault and that it is completely irrational for me to still be afraid of my ex, even though there are plenty of professionals still afraid of him and he is still stalking me and taking me to court. Is this just my over-sensitivity? I already feel responsible and irrational. I really don't want to see a professional who just validates all of that. It seems like a waste of time- his and mine.
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:01 AM
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I know for me myself therapy was not the answer. I am basically a very strong willed person for some reason my abuser got a real thrill out of dominating and destroying my personality and life. All the psycho babble in the world couldn't help. I finally got angry and took control back. I still have issues don't get me wrong I'm sure I will always have issues. But I am the only one who has control over my life. I used to be very much the party girl, now I'm not. I'm a better person then I used to be. I never understood why anyone would put up with any kind of abuse. That's most likely why I didn't see the warning signs and believe me they were there. I also was so naive to think it could never happen to me. Funny all my friends and family hated him. My pride was my biggest problem admitting I was in a situation I needed help getting out of was harder then actually getting out. I still fear this man I always will, for me the fear is what keeps me on my toes. Don't get me wrong I still have severe anxiety attacks and pstd. I don't think they will ever go away. I've tried to get over it but I don't believe you get over such physical and mental trauma ever. Sometimes I think of myself as a vase that's been broken and been glued back together, looks ok but there will always be weak places. I know my weaknesses and try to avoid those places. Anyway that's how I cope.
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:28 AM
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The therapist at the domestic abuse agency I used was quite good. Can't tell you what her approach would be named, but it got me through. We never went far enough to fully attack all the issues my mother left behind in me, but we managed to sort out mot of the other stuff. Not much psychobabble, but a good amount of something akin to DBT, and a little role-playing (most uncomfortable!).
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:02 AM
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Blaming the victim of domestic violence is the usual excuse heard from the abusers. Normal, rational people don't harm their loved ones, so that's all it is, a lame excuse for inexcusable behavior.
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:18 AM
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If I remember your situation correctly, your abuser lived with you briefly in a roommate sort of situation and has since been making your life hell despite moving, changing your phone number and the like? And while you were technically in a DV situation, much of the violence has been unexpected attacks since leaving that situation?

If this is the case, typical DV counseling is not what you need. You need counseling aimed at the victims of stalking and obsession. Unfortunately, there isn't a ton of that out there as the obsessed is far more studied than the impact of the obsession on the what do they call it, target? Can't remember - it's been a lot of years since I've read any of this, but there's a very objectifying name for those on the receiving end of these sorts of obsessions.

Anyway, at this juncture, since the trauma cannot be stopped as your abuser cannot be found half the time, just doing some basic psychodynamic therapy might be the place to go. The idea is not so much to heal past pains, but to prevent the damage he's doing right now and capable of doing in the future from making huge wounds. Finding a therapist who understands that you are currently in the trauma, are not able to get out (it's not under your volitional control), and need to mitigate the damage of the continuing trauma is key. Most are going to go into more of a victim blaming modality from DV wherein the patient gets challenged as to why they choose to stay and be victimized. This is not you. You cannot make an escape plan. You cannot choose to leave. You have an obsessed stalker who will make your life hell no matter what you do.

In other words, if you go the dv route, you need a dv therapist who's competent enough to see the difference between what you are currently going through and somebody who chooses to stay with their abuser. This takes more than your average competence.

I'm wagering your best bet is to attend to your emotional health as best as you can in the here and now, and not to try to heal past hurts as there is not the time. And your psyche is probably rebelling against it simply because you know that you need to be hyper vigilant. You're not PTSD if you're actively in the trauma, and you are in a horror movie.

I'd also look at most therapies as something like a gym program and not a course of antibiotics. Gym, it takes a while of hard work before you even start to see results. Antibiotics, you take the drug and in a few days start feeling markedly better.

In a sense, your "problem" is the exact opposite of your stereotypic dv victim. Most dv victims who are actively in trauma are there until they can start breaking the psychological bond that drives them to stay in jeopardy. They have the physical ability to leave but not the psychological ability. DV counseling for them is aimed at fracturing that psychological bond enough so that the patient can leave. You, otoh, are psychologically repulsed by your abuser and have done everything to physically get away from him. He's not letting you get physically away.

Anyway, I'd stay away from anybody slipping into a victim blaming modality at this point. Your trauma is active and should be treated as such, and not as something you can actually leave.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:31 PM
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Thank you, Yourself. This has been going on off and on for almost 12 years. I actually was married to him and have a child, but you are correct. Our situation is very different in that I have tried to get away from him for years. He is a genius level (quite literally) sadistic psychopath (he loved sadistic sexual torture that he knew I would never talk about the most, along with making me choose between submitting to torture and protecting children), and used the baby, business, lack of training here where we live, technology, hacking, stalking, etc. to continue to torment me and threaten us all of these years. Separating did not help. I have not been in the honeymoon cycle. He is always dangerous and let me know it after I became pregnant. Even though he has threatened social workers, officers, and told the prison psychiatrist that he would kill me when he was being evaluated to be released, I have had to spend tons of money and time fighting for a protection order (I finally got one for myself and children) and fighting to enforce and protect it. Countless therapists and attorneys refuse to work on our case because they are afraid of him. The social worker did not turn her report over to the child protection team because he threatened her convincingly. He has now filed to have it dismissed again. I cope pretty well most of the time, especially during the day. When he is going through an active stalking phase where he ambushes me all of the time and glares at me, I try therapy because the flashbacks and panic attacks at night get so intense. Now he has filed to dismiss the protection order, which means he will then fight to gain visitation. All of my children have PTSD. It has been a long road. Every time that I think it is over, he does something new. I appreciate your advice. Every time that I try therapy, it feels wrong. I did everything that I could to escape from him while protecting my children, which is what makes the therapist's comments so frustrating. I think that what you are saying is the missing piece. It wasn't a "typical" (as if there is such a thing) DV situation. It was more like a prisoner of war/ ongoing hostage situation. He never hit me. He relentlessly and increasingly tortured me and threatened everyone around me. It was more He seemed to be a perfect, Christian gentleman when we met. He is cunning. Later, I learned that he had even paid an older gentleman at church, the adult Sunday school teacher, tens of thousands of dollars to tell me what a wonderful man he was for a year before we "dated." He has frequently outsmarted psychiatrists, so I try not to feel too stupid for not seeing through him initially. His IQ and psychopath (anti-social personality disorder to be more politically correct) traits make him an accomplished liar. That may be why therapy goes awry and I feel as if the therapist does not have a clue what I am talking about. We did not go through the promises of being better/ escalating DV wheel. I have worked for advocates since then. My situation is not like anything I have encountered in training. I do probably need to look for someone else and do an interview to see if they cover this. You are correct, one of my big disconnects has always been that therapists want to work on past DV stuff and that is not what I am struggling with. I am struggling with current threats and stalking, which seem dangerous and frightening because I know what he is capable of. My biggest fear is for our child, who has never been anything but a tool he uses to threaten and control me, and they aren't idle threats. He has proven that he is willing to destroy him. I really appreciate all of your help. Clearly, I need to look in a different direction.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:56 PM
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Have you looked into Gavin de Becker's work?
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Old 08-13-2017, 12:07 AM
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I haven't seen his. I will read more! Thank you. I have consulted with some other (smaller time) people and implemented their suggestions, which is undoubtedly how we made it the last 4 years since his release. I will read this guy's stuff tonight, thank you!
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Old 08-13-2017, 10:32 AM
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See also the book "How to be Invisible" about being hard for stalkers to trace.
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Old 08-13-2017, 05:13 PM
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I will, thanks!
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xolady View Post
I know for me myself therapy was not the answer. I am basically a very strong willed person for some reason my abuser got a real thrill out of dominating and destroying my personality and life. All the psycho babble in the world couldn't help. I finally got angry and took control back. I still have issues don't get me wrong I'm sure I will always have issues. But I am the only one who has control over my life. I used to be very much the party girl, now I'm not. I'm a better person then I used to be. I never understood why anyone would put up with any kind of abuse. That's most likely why I didn't see the warning signs and believe me they were there. I also was so naive to think it could never happen to me. Funny all my friends and family hated him. My pride was my biggest problem admitting I was in a situation I needed help getting out of was harder then actually getting out. I still fear this man I always will, for me the fear is what keeps me on my toes. Don't get me wrong I still have severe anxiety attacks and pstd. I don't think they will ever go away. I've tried to get over it but I don't believe you get over such physical and mental trauma ever. Sometimes I think of myself as a vase that's been broken and been glued back together, looks ok but there will always be weak places. I know my weaknesses and try to avoid those places. Anyway that's how I cope.
'
I feel like this also! I left my abuser and he is currently detained. I still haven't gone to therapy because I feel I'm the only one that can help myself heal.
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:39 PM
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I feel like this also! I left my abuser and he is currently detained. I still haven't gone to therapy because I feel I'm the only one that can help myself heal.
Look, try some therapy. If you don't like it, you can always drop it and gut it out yourself. But if you do, and its helpful, then you may find a shortcut and feel better sooner. The idea is to move from victim to survivor in the best way possible. Use your resources. It doesn't make you weak, and you might find more people who thought they could do it just fine on their own.

One of the things abusers do is isolate their victims. They lose their friends. They lose their family. They lose everybody in their lives except their abuser so that they have to rely totally on him/her for everything. They gain control over finances, cars, where and when the person goes, and all of that. So when the abuser is out of the picture, there is a sudden freedom because they don't have to constantly check in, have approval of wardrobe choices, and be on the clock for everything. That is really liberating, but don't forget the other half - the total isolation from outside supports.

build up family and friend connections. Get into therapy - it's cool because it's at a defined time with a start and stop with pretty rigorous boundaries. Since your boundaries have been violated repeatedly until its normal to have those boundaries violated, being in therapy can really help. It's good reality testing. You need people in your life if you are going to move on.

The liberation is great, but you need people, and you need to explore healthy boundaries and boundary setting. This is best done and most efficiently done through therapy.

Can you do it on your own? Sure. Read a ton, design your own program, reconnect with lost friends and family, and identify all of your issues as a result of abuse as well as a treatment methodology for addressing those issues. But it's more efficient through therapy, and therapy seeks to create a healthy relationship where you can talk about boundary issues among other things.
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:44 PM
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Look, try some therapy. If you don't like it, you can always drop it and gut it out yourself. But if you do, and its helpful, then you may find a shortcut and feel better sooner. The idea is to move from victim to survivor in the best way possible. Use your resources. It doesn't make you weak, and you might find more people who thought they could do it just fine on their own.

One of the things abusers do is isolate their victims. They lose their friends. They lose their family. They lose everybody in their lives except their abuser so that they have to rely totally on him/her for everything. They gain control over finances, cars, where and when the person goes, and all of that. So when the abuser is out of the picture, there is a sudden freedom because they don't have to constantly check in, have approval of wardrobe choices, and be on the clock for everything. That is really liberating, but don't forget the other half - the total isolation from outside supports.

build up family and friend connections. Get into therapy - it's cool because it's at a defined time with a start and stop with pretty rigorous boundaries. Since your boundaries have been violated repeatedly until its normal to have those boundaries violated, being in therapy can really help. It's good reality testing. You need people in your life if you are going to move on.

The liberation is great, but you need people, and you need to explore healthy boundaries and boundary setting. This is best done and most efficiently done through therapy.

Can you do it on your own? Sure. Read a ton, design your own program, reconnect with lost friends and family, and identify all of your issues as a result of abuse as well as a treatment methodology for addressing those issues. But it's more efficient through therapy, and therapy seeks to create a healthy relationship where you can talk about boundary issues among other things.
I see your name.. you are an Attorny ? I have a question. I'm not sure if you seen my post .. it's the one with Pregnancy and wanting to tell the father who is detained. Any advice?
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:22 PM
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I see your name.. you are an Attorny ? I have a question. I'm not sure if you seen my post .. it's the one with Pregnancy and wanting to tell the father who is detained. Any advice?
I am an attorney. I've answered this question, I believe. And my opinion stays the same, especially if there is an OP or an NCO:

Get a family law attorney involved. Do all your communication with a family law attorney. If you're not married, the attorney will start with a Paternity Oetition, prove up that he is in fact the father for legal purposes. From there, a visitation and support agreement can be filed.

All communication should go through your attorney. In this way, you stay as free of him as possible, and there is no way that the OP/NCO gets violated.

The child may stay apart of his life, but he doesn't have to stay a part of your life. Use your legal resources to make sure that he toes the line and your child is at least supported financially.

If you do not have the resources to retain an attorney, you may be able to get an attorney through legal aid in your state or through a family law clinic at an area law school (assuming they have such a clinic). You can also contact a domestic violence shelter as they act as a clearing house for a lot of information including low/no cost legal help.
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Old 10-02-2017, 08:18 AM
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Not all therapeutic approaches are going to work for all individuals. Find a counselor or therapist well versed in domestic violence training and has an understanding of how it works and impacts the client. You can ask upon calling and scheduling an appointment.

Yes. There are different approaches that work for different people. I had a counselor who simply listened and validated my experiences that I went through. I am well versed in dv counseling and already have the knowledge, as well as training in cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness based approaches. Those are things I implemented in my own life to discount the irrational and understand what was rational and validate what I did fear and the experiences that did impact me. I made sure to know and understand the warning signs to never get into another situation with someone like that again but to also understand that whatever man I get with in the future is not my past abuser and to not allow them to experience my pain of that.

There's a lot of work to be done and you have to feel safe, comfortable and confident that your clinician knows what they are doing. Call around and ask what therapy that particular therapist offers, how long they have been in practice. This is your process ask and gain the knowledge to find what will work best for you. Try it out and if you don't feel comfortable try someone new but give it time.
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Old 10-03-2017, 02:57 PM
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Have you looked into Gavin de Becker's work?
This book of Mr. de Becker's is responsible for saving my life, I have little to no doubt about that. I am not sure what you will find helpful for yourself and your family but I am sure that something will hit home. I second this recommendation most highly.
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Old 10-03-2017, 03:12 PM
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For anyone who's wondering, he's got several books out. The one most likely to help most people is "The Gift of Fear", https://www.amazon.com/Other-Surviva...avin+de+becker
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