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Here are some of my most popular articles on a variety of topics related to healing from emotional abuse in intimate relationships. I continue to add new articles every month. You can also find more articles on my Psychology Today blog, From Charm to Harm.

I hope my blog will be helpful to you in some way. If you’re looking for more information, I cover many more topics on my YouTube channel.

Blog

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Recognizing the Effects of a Controlling Relationship couples counseling emotional abuse relationships

Controlling behaviors are often hard to distinguish from the normal experience of being in a relationship. If you suspect your partner is controlling, look for clues in how your partner’s behavior affects you. 

Do you feel like you’re twisting yourself into a pretzel to...

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Recognizing the Pain of Emotional Invalidation couples counseling emotional abuse family dynamics relationships

“You’re overreacting,” Jake told Amanda. “It’s no big deal.” Amanda looked at Jake with disbelief. He said he planned to go on a fishing trip with his male friends over the weekend. But he neglected to tell her that his ex-girlfriend would be there. When Amanda...

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Childhood Pain Can Lead to Adult Relationship Abuse emotional abuse family dynamics relationships

Inside the Mind of One Man

Children who sustained painful emotional wounds from their parents and others can carry that pain into adulthood. Their adult relationships bring up their original pain and cause a lot of inner conflict. Often it is easier to inflict that pain onto their partners rather...

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Emotional Abuse is a Key Sign of Toxic Shame: From Childhood Anguish to Adult Dysfunction emotional abuse family dynamics

In my experience over the years as a psychotherapist, many individuals have come to me in despair over their troubled relationships. They tell me that their partners profess to love them and yet treat them with disdain, contempt and disregard.

They are deeply confused because their partners...

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The Real Reasons for Emotional Abuse and What to Do About It emotional abuse relationships

Note: Belinda is a composite of many individuals who have come to me for counseling over the years. Jake is a composite of their intimate partners.

Belinda didn't know that Jake had a serious psychological disorder when they got married 10 years ago. She saw him as a normal man with the ability...

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Victim Blaming: A Tactic for Avoiding Emotional Intimacy couples counseling emotional abuse family dynamics relationships

“I can’t be wrong all the time,” laments a woman who needs counseling for her troubled relationship. After some probing, I discover that her partner is controlling and blaming is one of the tactics he uses against her.

If she disagrees with him, he retaliates with anger or...

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When Elderly Parents Are Abusive emotional abuse

Attempting to take care of an abusive elderly parent is fraught with problems and limited options, more so now as family members shelter in place during the Covid-19 pandemic. But there are some actions to take that can help create a safer caregiving experience.

What You Can Do If Your Elderly...

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Is it a Love Spat or Emotional Abuse? emotional abuse relationships

When stirring up trouble is used as a control tactic in relationships

It takes maturity, self-reflection, and mental discipline to be in a healthy relationship. These traits are useful when conflicting needs, opinions, and expectations cause disharmony between intimate partners.

Couples who...

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How Much Conflict is Normal in a Relationship? Twelve Signs You’re Tolerating Emotional Abuse couples counseling emotional abuse family dynamics relationships

In healthy relationships, partners may argue, criticize each other, and use hostile language, but perpetrators know their behavior is hurtful and inappropriate. They feel remorse, have meaningful discussion about what happened, and make genuine efforts to improve. The conflict can make a...

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Helping Loved Ones in Emotionally Abusive Relationships emotional abuse family dynamics relationships

Navigating a potential minefield

I often get requests to provide therapy for family members who want to help loved ones in emotionally abusive relationships. Their previous rescue attempts resulted in frustration, anger, and estrangement.

There are ways to help. But first helpers must consider...

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Moodiness Is a Key Sign of Controlling Behavior couples counseling relationships

Know when your partner's moods are hiding bigger issues

It’s exasperating when your intimate partner alternates between warmth and coldness. You never know what mood will appear. The trouble is usually blamed on you and you struggle to understand what you did.

Your response may be to cater...

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