CWR Breaking The Cycle
Empowering Students and Connecting Worlds

Apr
25

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

The College World Reporter

Breaking The Cycle

April 2011

Let me tell you how defective you are” is a strategy that will yield a disconnection. Whereas, “here is what I need from you” lends itself to connection, communion and communication in marriage.

In domestic abuse counseling, couples find that the former is a relationship compromiser and the latter is a relationship enhancer. And learning this lesson is transformational to the individuals, as well as to the relationship.

Let Me Tell You How Defective You Are

Think about it. When your partner comes up to you and unloads his/her perception of how you are inadequate, incomplete, deficient, somehow other than they would be or do in similar circumstances, then what happens?

Disconnection happens. The person with the so-called feedback may momentarily feel good because they expressed themselves. But before you know it, the disconnect rushes in severing the two people. Why?

The person on the receiving end of this encounter feels judged, criticized, reprimanded, devalued… They hear their partner’s commentary as telling them how inadequate, deficient, defective, less than, and the list goes on…as do the hurt and angry feelings.

The last thing this person wants to do is embrace their partner’s commentary. To the contrary, they seek to run. They reflexively pull back and disconnect from the encounter. Self-preservation takes over and their guard steps in while combat brews… As an outsider looking in, it is obvious why this resulting relationship conflict ensues.

Here Is What I Need from You

Now, let’s rewind the encounter and play it back…this time injecting the vital missing piece and eliminating the part that got this couple into trouble. Or, shall I say the part that nets them a disconnection in their interaction.

First of all, the obvious missing piece in an interaction like this is what the person giving the commentary needs. The “let me tell you how defective you are” approach fails to identify what the person expressing the negative commentary is really seeking from his/her partner. All it offers is his/her judgments, critique and ridicule.

When the person looks within for that which they want from their partner, what springs forward is an unmet need longing to be filled. Satisfying their need trumps spewing derogatory commentary.

And the judgments…are really their own projections which truly come from within. Now that doesn’t mean that what they see in their partner is not true. It might be. But, that “truth” has nothing to do with the person giving the commentary getting their needs met.

Less War; More Love

When we leave the judgments out of the equation and focus on what we long to receive from our partner, then we open the door for connection and the continuation of the interaction. Sharing the request invites having the unmet need satisfied.

And the best part is…no one is hurt. No one is diminished. Rather, the relationship is enhanced as the people become fulfilled.

To learn more about the signs of domestic abuse, browse our domestic abuse resources and obtain Instant Access to Free Survivor Success eInsights visit:

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/domestic_violence_trt.php 

And obtain Instant Access to Free Survivor Success eInsights.
 
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse.

Copyright 2010 Jeanne King, Ph.D.  

 

About Dr. King:
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D., author, speaker, psychologist and leading expert in the subtle communication patterns of domestic abuse, helps people break the cycle of abuse and heal the wounds of relationship violence. She is founding director of Partners in Prevention, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping bridge healthcare delivery and domestic abuse victim advocacy. 
 

About Partners in Prevention:
Partners in Prevention is devoted to insuring that healthcare intervention and treatment for domestic violence survivors supports these patients in regaining their safety, health, and well-being.  For survivor and advocate educational resources on domestic abuse. Please visit

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/ebooks.php, www.EndDomesticAbuse.org

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Apr
25

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

The College World Reporter

Breaking The Cycle

March 2011

“What’s wrong with you that you can’t forget about that…I haven’t hit you in five years.” Sound familiar?

Abusers think that once they offer up an apology that you should get over it. While it’s true that with time, domestic abuse victims can heal…the legacy of playing the violence card lives on.

Shattered Trust and Physical Abuse

Once you introduce violence into an intimate relationship, the dynamics radically change. The imbalanced “power and control” within the relationship intensifies and influences everything, because it’s constantly there.

She knows what he is capable of and the threat of his physical violence remains. This threat becomes her reality despite his apology.

In many respects a fundamental piece of trust is shattered, which cannot be undone. You cannot take back what has been delivered, even though you are genuinely sorry.

The Legacy After the Violence

Abusers need to accept the legacy of their violence. And domestic abuse victims need to come to grips with this legacy in their own way.

It’s not about getting her to “forget” about it or “get over it.” Rather, it’s about discovering how to rebuild in the context of this legacy.

Far too often, what we see is another round of abuse with his insistence that something is wrong with her because she won’t let it go. He will batter her about her inability to heal and her unwillingness to forgive. 

However the fact that she is with him after the assault, implies that she is in the process of healing and forgiving his violent transgression. Yet, the threat of his becoming violent again remains and it affects the way she sees him and the way see feels in his presence.

If you are in an abusive relationship struggling with the aftermath of a domestic assault, be patient with yourself and seek patience from your partner as you heal. His task as you are doing this is to accept the legacy of his playing the violence card.

To learn more about the signs of domestic abuse, browse our domestic abuse resources and obtain Instant Access to Free Survivor Success eInsights visit:

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/domestic_violence_trt.php 

And obtain Instant Access to Free Survivor Success eInsights.
 
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse.

Copyright 2010 Jeanne King, Ph.D.  

 

About Dr. King:
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D., author, speaker, psychologist and leading expert in the subtle communication patterns of domestic abuse, helps people break the cycle of abuse and heal the wounds of relationship violence. She is founding director of Partners in Prevention, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping bridge healthcare delivery and domestic abuse victim advocacy. 
 

About Partners in Prevention:
Partners in Prevention is devoted to insuring that healthcare intervention and treatment for domestic violence survivors supports these patients in regaining their safety, health, and well-being.  For survivor and advocate educational resources on domestic abuse. Please visit

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/ebooks.php, www.EndDomesticAbuse.org

Apr
25

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

The College World Reporter

Breaking The Cycle

February 2011

Sometimes things are not as they seem when it comes to domestic violence counseling. On the outside looking in, one might think the striking person is the “real” abuser in the relationship. But with closer analysis, it becomes evident that the person holding the control is the psychological abuser.

This psychological abuser may be polite, stable, manipulative and nonaggressive outwardly…and they can even present in therapy as the abused. He/she may be a victim of verbal assault by their partner. But they hold the “control” and they know it. Their intimate partner, however, may not know it.

Instead, this partner who is outwardly aggressive is led to believe that they are the “attacker” and thus the abuser in the relationship. While he/she may be the attacker outwardly, their striking is not about control–to the contrary it’s about a lack of control or a loss of control.

Outward Aggression and Abusive Control

What is the difference between outward aggression and abusive control? If you are familiar with the domestic violence literature, you know that domestic abuse is fundamentally about control. And in abusive relationships, violence is recognized as a manifestation of control. It’s a means by which control is established and maintained.

Therefore, the assumption might be that the attacker is the “abuser,” i.e. the one who holds greater power and control in the relationship. The problem with this simplistic interpretation is that it fails to take into account the etiology of the aggressor’s violence.

Some “abusers” (outward aggressors) strike to regain control…but, by and large, they are not the controlling party in the relationship. These individuals characteristically have an intermittent explosive disorder. And their actions, while on the surface are violent, inappropriate and outwardly abusive, they are reflexive in nature.

In other words, these outward aggressors are mindlessly seeking to level the playing field in their intimate relationships. Yet, at their core, they remain under the psychological control of their partners. Their use of violence has more to do with inadequate conflict resolution skills, rather than a pathological addiction to control.

Mental and Psychological Abuse Trumps Violent Aggression

So, which person is the real abuser when one party is verbally aggressive and the other is psychologically controlling?  I’d say both individuals are abusers and both are victims in their abusive relationship.

This closer analysis is essential to treatment planning for successful outcome in domestic violence counseling. If you are the labeled abuser in an abusive relationship, be mindful of the more complex dynamics in play. If you are the labeled abused, be honest with yourself in your efforts to remedy the violence in your relationship.

If you are a treatment provider, study the abuse dynamics from the inside out, not from the outside in. Your mindful analysis as such will increase your success in treatment planning for the couples you help in domestic abuse counseling.

To learn more about the signs of domestic abuse, browse our domestic abuse resources and obtain Instant Access to Free Survivor Success eInsights visit:

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/domestic_violence_trt.php 

And obtain Instant Access to Free Survivor Success eInsights.
 
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse.

Copyright 2010 Jeanne King, Ph.D.  

 

About Dr. King:
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D., author, speaker, psychologist and leading expert in the subtle communication patterns of domestic abuse, helps people break the cycle of abuse and heal the wounds of relationship violence. She is founding director of Partners in Prevention, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping bridge healthcare delivery and domestic abuse victim advocacy. 
 

About Partners in Prevention:
Partners in Prevention is devoted to insuring that healthcare intervention and treatment for domestic violence survivors supports these patients in regaining their safety, health, and well-being.  For survivor and advocate educational resources on domestic abuse. Please visit

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/ebooks.php, www.EndDomesticAbuse.org

Apr
25

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

The College World Reporter

Breaking The Cycle

January 2011

“When I tell you ‘no’ and you whine, get angry…etc, then my job is to simply allow you the space to experience that which you feel.”

If you live in an abusive relationship or have left one, this probably doesn’t sound familiar. But you know in your heart that if it were this way, your relationships would be more satisfying.

Who Owns Whose Upset

In abusive relationships here’s what more typically happens. The controlling partner expresses a desire for something, and the less empowered partner replies affirmatively or avoids offering up a response knowing it will not fulfill the other person’s desires.

They know from the core of their being that there will be consequences if they do not “make their partner happy.” And this ridiculous thinking trips them up in subsequent intimate relationships until they change the pattern.

Domestic abuse survivors are conditioned to believe that they are responsible for the other person’s happiness. They believe that if they say “no,” it will be followed with disappointment that leads to conflict and danger toward themselves.

The net result for them with this thinking and victimization habit is that they shoulder the responsibility for their partner’s well-being. That’s a tall order for anyone in any relationship.

Each Owns Their Own Upset

Let’s imagine that one person makes a request of you, and you know your answer is not what they are seeking. But you are forthcoming with it, hoping they will respect your wishes. Instead, they don’t. To the contrary, they let you know that they are miserable. And your reflex then is to make it better for them by yielding to their wishes.

In doing this, what have you done? You have taken responsibility for their experience…the creation of their upset and the remedy toward their well-being.

If, on the other hand, you step back and allow them their upset, without rushing in to regulate it, something else could happen. They may find within themselves a way to deal with what comes up for them. And you may hold your own and do what’s right for you.

Boundaries and Responsibilities in Intimate Relationships

I do not mean to suggest that you should not compromise with your partner. To the contrary, compromise is good when the “give and take” comes from a sincere place. What I do mean is that you will not be genuinely happy if you compromise yourself.

Fully grasping boundaries and responsibilities in intimate relationships is central to healing from domestic abuse and treatment for domestic abuse. It is truly in the subtle that we manifest the most significant, whether we say “yes” or “no” to our partner.

To learn more about the signs of domestic abuse, browse our domestic abuse resources and obtain Instant Access to Free Survivor Success eInsights visit:

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/domestic_violence_trt.php 

And obtain Instant Access to Free Survivor Success eInsights.
 
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse.

Copyright 2010 Jeanne King, Ph.D.  

 

About Dr. King:
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D., author, speaker, psychologist and leading expert in the subtle communication patterns of domestic abuse, helps people break the cycle of abuse and heal the wounds of relationship violence. She is founding director of Partners in Prevention, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping bridge healthcare delivery and domestic abuse victim advocacy. 
 

About Partners in Prevention:
Partners in Prevention is devoted to insuring that healthcare intervention and treatment for domestic violence survivors supports these patients in regaining their safety, health, and well-being.  For survivor and advocate educational resources on domestic abuse. Please visit

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/ebooks.php, www.EndDomesticAbuse.org

Apr
25

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

The College World Reporter

Breaking The Cycle

November 2010

When I say, “No” to a request of yours, whose problem is it? Is it your problem or is it mine?

Your answer to this question can give you insight into whether you are in an abusive relationship. It is also the answer to whether you are still practicing habits of victimization.

When My “No” Is My Problem

For example, let’s imagine that your partner makes a request and your immediate reaction is one of “uneasiness” wherein your gut is saying “no.” Yet, you hesitate in putting that out there, and instead you keep it to yourself and yield to his request.

In this scenario, you have made your “no” your problem. You have attached consequences to your saying “no” to your partner’s request that have negative implications for you. Essentially, you have made your “no” your issue-your problem.

But the fact is your “no” is not your problem. It’s the other person’s problem…unless you are dealing with someone who makes it your problem, as in the case of abusive relationships.

When My “No” Is Your Problem

Now imagine someone asking something of you wherein you experience that same uneasy feeling that tells you, “I don’t want this…This is not for me…My choice is ‘no’.” And you simply relay that to the person making the request without becoming attached to and entangled in how they deal with your “no.”

You may be mindful that your response will not be to the other person’s liking, but you don’t reflexively make that your problem. Instead, you trust that the other person will find it within himself/herself to cope with your reply without it having negative consequences for you.

Moreover, you trust that in clearly stating your preferences on the matter in question, you enhance the relationship. You are giving yourself permission to be genuine with that person, and you’re giving them an opportunity to know you and your preferences.

Breaking Habits of Victimization 

When you feel as though you need to regulate the other person’s reaction to your involvement in the relationship, then you are cooperating in creating a dysfunctional interaction. You are supporting an arrangement that provides for the existence of one person in the relationship. And in doing this, you eliminate the other-yourself.

If you are in an abusive relationship or have been in an abusive relationship, you may have cultivated habits of victimization that support your being disempowered in relation to others.  When you break these habits, you will discover how satisfying it is to be yourself in relation to others.

To learn more about the signs of domestic abuse, browse our domestic abuse resources and obtain Instant Access to Free Survivor Success eInsights visit:

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/domestic_violence_trt.php 

And obtain Instant Access to Free Survivor Success eInsights.
 
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse.

Copyright 2010 Jeanne King, Ph.D.  

 

About Dr. King:
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D., author, speaker, psychologist and leading expert in the subtle communication patterns of domestic abuse, helps people break the cycle of abuse and heal the wounds of relationship violence. She is founding director of Partners in Prevention, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping bridge healthcare delivery and domestic abuse victim advocacy. 
 

About Partners in Prevention:
Partners in Prevention is devoted to insuring that healthcare intervention and treatment for domestic violence survivors supports these patients in regaining their safety, health, and well-being.  For survivor and advocate educational resources on domestic abuse. Please visit

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/ebooks.php, www.EndDomesticAbuse.org

Apr
25

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

The College World Reporter

Breaking The Cycle

October 2010

People say that domestic violence victims have serious boundaries issues…which they do. And so do the perpetrators that they live with. It comes with the territory of being in an abusive relationship.

You might think of it as two people having a tolerance for the actions of the other. Or, it can be seen as operant conditioning in play wherein one person conditions the other to surrender their boundaries for safety in the relationship. Abusive relationship help typically recognizes these boundary issues.

Abuser’s Lack of Boundaries

From his point of view, “If you are in relation to him, he has the right to all that is you.”  For example, when he asks you a question, he expects you to deliver an answer-no matter what.

From his perspective, she merely appears as an extension of him. She does not come to the relationship with boundaries. To the contrary, should she interact with him as though she does have personal boundaries, then there are consequences.

These so-called consequences may be a continued tug-of-war, an attack on another front or some subtle punishment simply for her attempt to be herself. For when she is herself, he experiences it as his being slighted-the nerve of her not to deliver what he wants or expects.

Victim’s Lack of Boundaries

Now whether she came to the relationship with porous boundaries or developed them in the context of the abusive relationship is debatable. Some people will tell you she lost her boundaries to stay “alive” amidst domestic abuse.

Other people will say that she wouldn’t have gravitated to nor remained with an abusive partner if she had boundaries in the first place. The implication, of course, is that her lack of boundaries is what led to her staying in an abusive relationship. I think both are true.

Healing Boundaries Issues for the Abuser and for the Abused

A cornerstone of abusive relationship help involving effective domestic abuse counseling is teaching both people how to access, exercise and honor personal boundaries for themselves and for each other. This requires a relearning of interaction skills. And the good news is that it can indeed be done.

Both batterers and victims recognize that they are not responsible for the faulty learning that resulted in their boundary issues; rather, they are responsible to acknowledge and counteract their boundary issues. Their respective jobs are self-discovery, responsible interactive assertion and the ongoing honoring of one another, while honoring oneself.

If you are in an abusive relationship, which fails to honor and respect your personal boundaries, initiate a domestic violence intervention to ultimately break this dysfunctional dynamic before it spirals out of control.

To learn more about the signs of domestic abuse, browse our domestic abuse resources and obtain Instant Access to Free Survivor Success eInsights visit:

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/domestic_violence_trt.php 

And obtain Instant Access to Free Survivor Success eInsights.
 
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse.

Copyright 2010 Jeanne King, Ph.D.  

 

About Dr. King:
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D., author, speaker, psychologist and leading expert in the subtle communication patterns of domestic abuse, helps people break the cycle of abuse and heal the wounds of relationship violence. She is founding director of Partners in Prevention, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping bridge healthcare delivery and domestic abuse victim advocacy. 
 

About Partners in Prevention:
Partners in Prevention is devoted to insuring that healthcare intervention and treatment for domestic violence survivors supports these patients in regaining their safety, health, and well-being.  For survivor and advocate educational resources on domestic abuse. Please visit

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/ebooks.php, www.EndDomesticAbuse.org

Apr
25

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

The College World Reporter

Breaking The Cycle

September 2010

Domestic violence is recognized as a “condition” that exists within an intimate relationship. But its source is intra-psychic, meaning arising out of an individual-namely, the batterer. Most people will acknowledge this as true.
 
I often hear domestic violence survivors tell me that they want to help their partners once they learn of the intra-psychic issues underlying their partner’s inappropriate abusive aggression. The question is, how?
 
Abuser as Victim
 
Months and, in some cases, years may have gone by wherein the survivor struggles with staying in the abusive relationship or merely leaving it. Then in a fragile moment, typically following a heated violent altercation, the perpetrator may share his childhood memories of being abused, beaten and/or tormented in some fashion.
 
Empathy pours out of his partner as she goes from his victim to his caretaker. She realizes that he was once where she is now. She sees the “little battered boy” inside and she wants to help him.
 
Suddenly what was happening to her is happening to “us” because of what has happened to him. She recognizes that some psychological “fix” is in order and she seeks to secure it for her partner for the sake of their relationship.
 
Victim-Batterer Psychological Fix
 
Having identified their abuse problem as stemming from his past and lingering within him, she seeks to find a mental health intervention to help him. In her mind, it’s no different than looking for a GI specialist if her partner has bleeding ulcers.
 
Her efforts to find the “right” psychological care for him are pure, and his mind is open to trying the counseling she has found for him. The question is, will it work?
 
The only problem with this picture is that the batterer ends up in general psychological care. He is given psychotherapy to help him unravel the past and better appreciate its relevance to what’s present in his current intimate relationship.
 
While the insight and newly gained perspective are all well and good, in and of itself, it doesn’t stop the battering behavior. It doesn’t arrest the abusive thinking and actions. It doesn’t “fix” the abuse problem.
 
Psychotherapy Versus Domestic Violence Treatment
 
An intervention that specifically focuses on changing the abusive thinking and behavior would, on the other hand, inspire the result these couples seek. And sadly, they don’t know that they are NOT getting the appropriate intervention until it is too late.

We frequently see couples in abusive relationships spending their earnest effort on psychotherapy to fix the batterer or fix their marriage, and they end up carrying the same patterns of interaction throughout and after the psychotherapy.
 
If these couples would instead bring the abuse problem to an authentic abuse specialist (not one that just says they are an abuse specialist), then the outcome could look much different. The treatment outcome could be the interactional behavior change that they desire.

To learn more about the signs of domestic abuse, browse our domestic abuse resources and obtain Instant Access to Free Survivor Success eInsights visit:

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/domestic_violence_trt.php 

And obtain Instant Access to Free Survivor Success eInsights.
 
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse.

Copyright 2010 Jeanne King, Ph.D.  

 

About Dr. King:
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D., author, speaker, psychologist and leading expert in the subtle communication patterns of domestic abuse, helps people break the cycle of abuse and heal the wounds of relationship violence. She is founding director of Partners in Prevention, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping bridge healthcare delivery and domestic abuse victim advocacy. 
 

About Partners in Prevention:
Partners in Prevention is devoted to insuring that healthcare intervention and treatment for domestic violence survivors supports these patients in regaining their safety, health, and well-being.  For survivor and advocate educational resources on domestic abuse. Please visit

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/ebooks.php, www.EndDomesticAbuse.org

Apr
25

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

The College World Reporter

Breaking The Cycle

August 2010

Emotional psychological abuse from your intimate partner is as clear as the day is long when on the receiving end. But for the bystanders, it’s ambiguous.
 
Some people will even tell you that when you are the abused, on some level, you become a bystander. It is as though you take yourself out of the line of fire simply to survive the blows of spousal emotional abuse…and ultimately exist.
 
You hate being hated. You tire of being told how inadequate you are, how you are lacking…deficient…defective. You grow to expect darts in your own home and recoil in anticipation.
 
Your body is numb with the overwhelming disregard that colors your day. But none of this is distinct enough for you to put your finger on, much less identify definitively. All you know is that you feel “put down” and unsafe in your own home.
 
Shining the Light on Emotional Psychological Abuse
 
Most likely your partner doesn’t even know when he/she is abusing you emotionally and psychologically. It is so automatic that he/she is unaware of this reflexive disregard so freely expressed.
 
Imagine for a moment being blasted abusively and a whistle being blown from the sidelines. With the whistle sound comes a directive for both you and your partner to check in with yourselves. What do you imagine you feel? What do you expect your partner feels?
 
Chances are you experience your wounded vulnerability. Correct? And it hurts. You feel small and stuck under the outpouring of innuendo, gestures and commentary crafted to make you less…to make you wrong…to disempower you relative to your partner.
 
Your partner, on the other hand, is consciously aware of the impact of his/her emotional psychological abuse on you. And, unfortunately, this is satisfying to him/her. What your partner may be unaware of is his/her own vulnerability in the moment that he/she is being emotionally abusive toward you.
 
With closer reflection, it may be clear that the emotional verbal attacks keep the abuser’s vulnerability at bay. The abusive gestures keep him/her from addressing his/her own inadequacy. The emotional psychological abuse quickly shifts the scales to empower oneself by diminishing the other.
 
Breaking the Cycle of Emotional Psychological Abuse
 
By looking openly in the moment of the interaction with the commitment for understanding and insight, couples can break the cycle of emotional psychological abuse. The abuser can grow to recognize his/her own personal vulnerabilities. And most importantly, he/she can learn to choose from other options to self-comfort without violating his/her partner. 

To learn more about the signs of domestic abuse, browse our domestic abuse resources and obtain Instant Access to Free Survivor Success eInsights visit:

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/domestic_violence_trt.php 

And obtain Instant Access to Free Survivor Success eInsights.
 
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse.

Copyright 2010 Jeanne King, Ph.D.  

About Dr. King:
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D., author, speaker, psychologist and leading expert in the subtle communication patterns of domestic abuse, helps people break the cycle of abuse and heal the wounds of relationship violence. She is founding director of Partners in Prevention, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping bridge healthcare delivery and domestic abuse victim advocacy. 
 

About Partners in Prevention:
Partners in Prevention is devoted to insuring that healthcare intervention and treatment for domestic violence survivors supports these patients in regaining their safety, health, and well-being.  For survivor and advocate educational resources on domestic abuse. Please visit

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/ebooks.php, www.EndDomesticAbuse.org

Apr
25

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

The College World Reporter

Breaking The Cycle

May 2010

“If someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Sounds so sensible, doesn’t it?
 
If this bit of common sense were practiced more often by women and men before their abusive relationship fully establishes, then there would be far less intimate partner violence.
 
Why do people choose not to factor in truths already revealed? Why do people turn their head and look the other way? Why do people say to themselves, what is isn’t?
 
If you have ever been in an abusive relationship or if you are standing in the path of one developing, this article is for you.
 
Let’s take a look at the underlying psychology between you and the reality of your circumstances.

1) You so want it to be as you fantasize it to be, more than anything else. So you may minimize behaviors that, under different circumstances, are obvious red flags. And to help you with this mind game with yourself, you embellish that which is “right on” and compensate for that which is not.
 
2) You think that what you have witnessed and experienced with this new partner is your “faulty take” (inaccurate perception) on the matter. In other words, it’s your perception driven by your own problems. Inherent in this is your distrust in yourself and your inner knowing.
 
3) You think that, even if you spot something that’s just not right, you can change it or get your desired partner to change it. This is a very dangerous expectation. It’s a setup for you to become responsible for another person’s behavior. It’s an invitation to live in another person’s business. And, as you probably know, when you’re in someone else’s business, who then is available to take care of yours? No one.
 
“If someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” These simple little words could save you from the nightmare of domestic violence, if you know the signs of domestic abuse. 

To learn more about the signs of domestic abuse, browse our domestic abuse resources and obtain Instant Access to Free Survivor Success eInsights visit:

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/domestic_violence_trt.php 

And obtain Instant Access to Free Survivor Success eInsights.
 
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse.

Copyright 2010 Jeanne King, Ph.D.  

 

About Dr. King:
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D., author, speaker, psychologist and leading expert in the subtle communication patterns of domestic abuse, helps people break the cycle of abuse and heal the wounds of relationship violence. She is founding director of Partners in Prevention, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping bridge healthcare delivery and domestic abuse victim advocacy. 
 

About Partners in Prevention:
Partners in Prevention is devoted to insuring that healthcare intervention and treatment for domestic violence survivors supports these patients in regaining their safety, health, and well-being.  For survivor and advocate educational resources on domestic abuse. Please visit

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/ebooks.php, www.EndDomesticAbuse.org

Apr
25

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

The College World Reporter

Breaking The Cycle

April 2010

There is a lot of confusion over whether marital/couples therapy will help couples in abusive relationships.
 
You may have heard that marital therapy is not the proper modality for domestic abuse. Even stronger, you may realize that marital therapy is actually contra-indicated in the treatment of intimate partner abuse.
 
Then, you may also realize that some couples who deal with abusive control issues in their relationship can learn to develop new skills to facilitate their use of non-violent and non-abusive behavioral responses with their intimate partner.
 
With this apparent contradictory information, one remains confused as to whether marital therapy works or does not work. Does marital therapy help or hurt in the treatment of domestic violence?
 
When Marital Therapy Can Help
 
Marital therapy can help couples in which there is interactional relationship violence. That is when the abusive control dynamics go both ways between the parties.
 
At one time, one of the people uses power and control tactics, and on other occasions the other party employs the same tactics of abusive control. These dynamics continue within the relationship with the partners merely alternating roles of perpetrator and victim.
 
For the marital/couples therapy to work as an effective intervention with these couples, it must have both a psychotherapeutic component and a domestic violence corrections component.
 
When Marital Therapy Can Make It Worse
 
Alternatively, if the couple is dealing with classic “intimate partner violence,” marital therapy will not work to remedy their dysfunctional relationship.
 
That is, if the abusive control dynamics go in one direction, and one direction only, as in the case of intimate partner violence, then marital therapy is not indicated…and will not alleviate the abuse dynamics.
 
If there is one abuser and one victim and both parties consistently operate from their respective position, marital therapy can serve as a platform to exacerbate the battering dynamic…posing greater risk for the victimized partner.
 
If you have tried marital therapy and notice that the abuse in your home escalates after your therapy sessions, then you are best to find an alternative solution to remedy the abuse in your relationship. Chances are you and your partner are better suited for a treatment intervention that addresses battering and victimization separately-individually.

When Marital Therapy Can Hurt or Help Abusive Relationships
 
If it is the case that your couples therapy appears to give your battering partner a stronger edge in maintaining his/her abusive control, recognize why this is so and you will be best guided to the proper intervention for your relationship.
 
Marital therapy is based on a systems approach. The goal of the therapy is to maintain the homeostasis of the system. Each party in the relationship is part of the system, and the responsibility for marital discord and dysfunctional interaction is spears across the system.
 
The problem with this approach, when treating classic unidirectional intimate partner abuse, is that it demands that the victim assume partial responsibility for the battering behavior. Moreover, it gives the perpetrator permission not to become accountable for his/her use of power and control tactics in the relationship. The net result strengthens the abuse dynamic, rather than interrupting the cycle of abuse.
 
In the case of interactional relationship violence in which the use of power and control tactics goes in both directions, couples can come to see the impact of their mutual behavior on one another. Under these circumstances, marital therapy gives a voice to both parties and can be a platform to facilitate change within the relationship.
 
What Therapy is Right for Your Abusive Relationship
 
If you are in an abusive relationship, take a hard and fast look at the dynamics that you live. Ask yourself these two very important questions: Are there one or two victims? Are there one or two abusers (“control freaks”) in your relationship? …Your answers to these questions will guide you to the proper course of treatment for domestic abuse.
 
For information about effective domestic violence therapy for classic intimate partner abuse, visit:

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/domestic_violence_trt.php 

And obtain Instant Access to Free Survivor Success eInsights.
 
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse.

Copyright 2010 Jeanne King, Ph.D.  

 

About Dr. King:
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D., author, speaker, psychologist and leading expert in the subtle communication patterns of domestic abuse, helps people break the cycle of abuse and heal the wounds of relationship violence. She is founding director of Partners in Prevention, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping bridge healthcare delivery and domestic abuse victim advocacy. 
 

About Partners in Prevention:
Partners in Prevention is devoted to insuring that healthcare intervention and treatment for domestic violence survivors supports these patients in regaining their safety, health, and well-being.  For survivor and advocate educational resources on domestic abuse. Please visit

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/ebooks.php, www.EndDomesticAbuse.org

Apr
25

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

The College World Reporter

Breaking The Cycle

March 2010

One of the challenges for battered men, as it is for battered women, is taking responsibility for their own victimization. Once this is done, a window opens for change…for reform…for transformation.
 
When we hear the word “victimization,” we hear something “happened to” the injured party. While something probably did happen to the victim, one must ask: what can this person do to insure their own safety and well-being in their given situation?
 
How can the abused man or battered woman take responsibility for their victimization? Here are some essential steps to taking responsibility for your being abused.
 
1) See the battering for what it is. In a nutshell, it’s all about control. Domestic abuse is fundamentally about control, wherein one partner seeks to establish and maintain an unequal amount of power in the relationship.
 
Violence may be a manifestation of abuse, but abuse is essentially about control. You see, when the perpetrator in an abusive relationship feels that they are losing control (i.e. losing their grip), violence will escalate so as to re-establish control. This so-called violence can take the form of verbal abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse as well as physical, financial and sexual abuse.
 
2) Separate yourself from the assaults, whether verbal, emotional, psychological or physical. They’re not about you.
 
Battering is fully owned, operated and controlled by the batterer and no one else. While the abusive wife (or abusive male partner) will want you to believe that you “provoked” that which they delivered, always be mindful of the fact that they had and have options. And their choice to exercise violence as an option is theirs and theirs alone.
 
3) Recognize how you enable that which is dished out by your battering partner, simply by remaining on the receiving end. When you accept responsibility for the assaults as though you “deserved” it, you enable it.
 
When you seek to regulate the battering as something you can control, you also enable it. Honestly, you do not have the “Job” nor do you have the wherewithal to fix it, because it’s not yours to fix. In fact, your campaign to do so is the very thing that keeps you on the receiving end of being abused.
 
4) Find the fine point of ownership of what is actually yours here and what is theirs. The moment this becomes clear to you, the dynamic entrapping your victimization loses its hold on you.
 
You are exclusively responsible for your safety and your well-being. You are never responsible for another person’s safety and well-being unless that person is a minor, elder or disabled individual for whom you have explicitly assumed responsibility for their welfare.
 
You must realize that when you engage in possessing ownership of another person’s happiness, you are out of your business and utterly out of your mind. Let’s face it, if you lose yourself in minding their business, who then is available to tend to yours? Easy answer: no one. 
 
5) Most importantly have compassion for yourself as you give yourself permission to take responsibility for your victimization.
 
This, of course, will necessitate that you embrace the shame and embarrassment that you experience over the fact that you are involved in an abusive relationship, being the victimized partner or doing any of this, including even reading this article.
 
When you stop defining yourself as the shame, but instead place a blanket of understanding around that which makes you shameful, you open to the changes you long to live.
 
For more help for abused men, visit:
http://www.preventabusiverelationships.com/abused_men.php

And claim your Free Instant Access to your survivor success eInsights.
 
Dr Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps battered men and women recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse.

Copyright 2010 Jeanne King, Ph.D. 

 

About Dr. King:
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D., author, speaker, psychologist and leading expert in the subtle communication patterns of domestic abuse, helps people break the cycle of abuse and heal the wounds of relationship violence. She is founding director of Partners in Prevention, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping bridge healthcare delivery and domestic abuse victim advocacy. 
 

About Partners in Prevention:
Partners in Prevention is devoted to insuring that healthcare intervention and treatment for domestic violence survivors supports these patients in regaining their safety, health, and well-being.  For survivor and advocate educational resources on domestic abuse. Please visit

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/ebooks.php, www.EndDomesticAbuse.org

Apr
25

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

The College World Reporter

Breaking The Cycle

January/February 2010

What is the difference between jealousy and envy? You know each of these feelings like the back of your hand if you have ever lived in an abusive relationship.

Jealousy is that feeling of wanting to control what another person appears to be having…attracting…experiencing. We think of it in terms of romantic relationships where one person wants the other person to be nourished by their affections.

When they sense attention and/or attraction from a third party, they feel this uneasiness that we call jealousy. It’s a feeling that says, “I don’t feel stable with respect to ‘you and I’ when you are getting ABC from this other person and/or this other experience.”

If you are in an abusive relationship, you know this experience of your partner being jealous of that which brings you pleasure outside of and beyond his/her control. 

When you are on the receiving end of jealousy, your natural instinct-as a domestic abuse victim-is to minimize your partner’s jealousy, as you know its ramifications. And you likely believe you have the job and wherewithal to regulate it.

You may even go out of your way to indulge that of which he/she is jealous …privately…covertly. And should you get caught in the act, you may find yourself downplaying or minimizing the importance of his/her object of jealousy…all in an effort to lessen the jealously.

Envy, on the other hand, is more about you relative to the object of your envy, not the person having, being…embodying it. It’s more of a feeling of wanting for yourself that which you see the other person having-without them in the equation.

There isn’t a control component in envy, which is another primary distinction between jealousy and envy. However, as a domestic abuse survivor, you may have been envious of your partner’s domination, power and control. On some level, you may have longed to have some of that power for yourself. But it was the power that you desired in and of itself, irrespective of your partner.

Understanding this subtle distinction will serve you next time you experience or encounter jealousy and envy. It will tell you what it is that you are actually longing in the moment.

For more information on recognizing, ending and healing from verbal abuse in marriage, visit:

http://www.preventabusiverelationships.com/emotional_verbal_abuse.php, and get Free Instant Access to your survivor success eInsights. Dr Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people recognize, end, and heal from emotional verbal abuse.

Copyright 2009 Jeanne King, Ph.D.

  

About Dr. King:
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D., author, speaker, psychologist and leading expert in the subtle communication patterns of domestic abuse, helps people break the cycle of abuse and heal the wounds of relationship violence. She is founding director of Partners in Prevention, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping bridge healthcare delivery and domestic abuse victim advocacy. 
 

About Partners in Prevention:
Partners in Prevention is devoted to insuring that healthcare intervention and treatment for domestic violence survivors supports these patients in regaining their safety, health, and well-being.  For survivor and advocate educational resources on domestic abuse. Please visit http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/ebooks.php, www.EndDomesticAbuse.org

Apr
25

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

The College World Reporter

Breaking The Cycle

November 2009

The mind-emotion-body connection is something some of us take for granted, while others remain in awe. I do both.
 
Now here is a little psychological insight that will open doors for your recovery from psychological, mental and emotional abuse.
 
Go ahead and get your coffee or herbal tea because we’re going to have another one of those psychological conversations.
 
Thought-Emotion-Physiology
 
When a little thought registers in our minds-when we intentionally or unconsciously think a thought-limbic system activation occurs. Now the limbic system is the emotional brain. It’s the place in the brain where emotion registers.
 
This limbic system activation triggers a hypothalamic-pituitary response, as though the emotional brain is telling the primitive brain how to gear up in order to prepare the body to meet the demands of what IS…what lies before you.
 
Now this primitive brain (hypothalamic-pituitary) triggers specific glandular activation that subsequently sparks specific body system responses that prepare the body to carry out the necessary action, or inaction, to meet the demands before it.
 
So it is apparent that the thoughts we think and the images we hold in our mind’s eye yield what we feel and how we act, right?
 
Finding the Thought Behind Distressful Experience
 
Now let’s imagine that you are experiencing the emotional distress associated with current or past verbal, mental or emotional abuse.
 
You feel the upset emotionally. And, fortunately for you, you can find the thought that is driving this emotional discomfort. Here’s how.
 
If you close your eyes and pay attention to the part of the body where you usually feel things, chances are the emotional distress will both magnify and localize in that region.
 
By staying with this bodily “felt sense” with bare attention (i.e., not analyzing; instead, merely witnessing), words can then bubble up as though to articulate (explicate) what’s internally meaningful. As renowned psychologist Gene Gendlin, showed me in the 70’s: what’s implicitly meaningful becomes explicit.
 
Releasing the Thought Driving the Distressful Experience
 
Now once the words speak themselves, you have the thought behind the distressful experience. If you put that thought to inquiry, guess what happens? You will discover that you have indeed attached to a thought that is NOT true for you. It is a thought that has separated you from what is more authentically YOU.
 
As the work of Byron Katie demonstrates so eloquently, once this cognitive lie makes itself apparent, that is once your story is seen as no more than just “a story,” then the thought can let go of you.
 
And once this happens, the emotional distress associated with that thought vanishes, leaving you at peace with yourself emotionally and psychologically. I have both experienced and witnessed this thousands of times and to this day I still hold reverence and awe around the precision of this psychotherapeutic technique for healing emotional abuse.
 
Now I’m aware that I have provided you with some rather esoteric practices here, but I promise you that inside this article is a message of hope. In summary:
 
a)     You can pick your thoughts.
b)     You can find the thought behind emotional distress.
c)     You can engineer the release of thoughts that cause
        emotional discomfort.
 
In a nutshell, you can heal the emotional pain from psychological, mental and emotional abuse.

For more information about healing from emotional abuse see Domestic Abuse Healing from Within:

http://www.preventabusiverelationships.com/healing_from_within.php
 
 
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse.

Copyright 2009 Jeanne King, Ph.D.

About Dr. King:
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D., author, speaker, psychologist and leading expert in the subtle communication patterns of domestic abuse, helps people break the cycle of abuse and heal the wounds of relationship violence. She is founding director of Partners in Prevention, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping bridge healthcare delivery and domestic abuse victim advocacy. 
 

About Partners in Prevention:
Partners in Prevention is devoted to insuring that healthcare intervention and treatment for domestic violence survivors supports these patients in regaining their safety, health, and well-being.  For survivor and advocate educational resources on domestic abuse. Please visit http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/ebooks.php, www.EndDomesticAbuse.org

Apr
25

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

The College World Reporter

Breaking The Cycle

October 2009

I often hear domestic violence survivors complain that the counselor they are seeing with their partner has sided with him/her. These victims expected to seek therapeutic remedy for the dysfunction that they live, and they discover they have gained another “enemy.”
 
Here are some things you will want to know if you are going to a therapist with your partner for domestic abuse.

1) Expect the therapy to be fertile ground for a continuation of what you experience in the privacy of your own home.
 
2) Anticipate that when you return home, the dynamics that you sought help for have solidified. That’s right you heard me: the abuse dynamic is stronger, bigger…you might even say, “more in your face.”
 
3) Expect that when push comes to shove, the therapist will most likely be singing the abuser’s song, and you will feel like you have two enemies.
 
4) Know AND trust it’s not about you. An open ear gravitates to the louder, more domineering voice. And when it comes to abusive relationships, we all know which partner will have the more convincing voice, no matter how compelling the victim’s story.
 
5) As soon as you are willing to take responsibility for your error in choosing this type of therapist/therapy, request termination. You see, you are in the wrong kind of therapy for domestic violence. Marital and couples therapy is actually contra-indicated for domestic abuse. It’s more likely to exacerbate intimate partner violence.
 
6) Find a therapist, who has expertise in domestic violence intervention, to work with you individually. And encourage your partner to seek individual therapy if he/she is willing. If he/she does (which is not likely), request that your two individual therapists interact from time to time.
 
There are as many ways to impact change in a dysfunctional relationship as there are dysfunctional relationships. One thing is for sure: marital and couples therapy is not appropriate for domestic abuse.
 
You see marital therapy is based on a “systems” approach. And the goal of the system is to maintain its homeostasis (that is, its balance). To this end, the responsibility for the dysfunctional dynamics within the system is spread equally across the system. However, this is what solidifies the abuse dynamic.
 
Suffice it to say, marital therapy and couples counseling is not the right therapy for your problem. The sooner you find the appropriate type of intervention and the right therapist for yourself, the sooner you will be on your way to safety and peace in your life.
 

To learn more about the signs of domestic abuse, browse our domestic abuse resources and obtain Instant Access to Free Survivor Success eInsights visit:

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/consulting.html.

Dr. Jeanne King is a seasoned psychologist and domestic violence intervention expert.

Copyright 2009 Jeanne King, Ph.D.
 
 
 

About Dr. King:
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D., author, speaker, psychologist and leading expert in the subtle communication patterns of domestic abuse, helps people break the cycle of abuse and heal the wounds of relationship violence. She is founding director of Partners in Prevention, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping bridge healthcare delivery and domestic abuse victim advocacy. 
 

About Partners in Prevention:
Partners in Prevention is devoted to insuring that healthcare intervention and treatment for domestic violence survivors supports these patients in regaining their safety, health, and well-being.  For survivor and advocate educational resources on domestic abuse. Please visit http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/ebooks.php, www.EndDomesticAbuse.org

Apr
25

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

The College World Reporter

Breaking The Cycle

September 2009

Verbal abuse, as well as emotional abuse, result in wounds and scars deep within. In the following interview we look at the impact upon the victim and offer recommendations for her surviving and thriving beyond the battering.
 
The following is part two of an interview with Kate Carlson, OTR/L interviewing Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D., leading expert in the subtle communication patterns of battering relationships.
 
KATE CARLSON: What would you tell a person who is being verbally abused? How would you help her help herself?
 
Dr. Jeanne King: The most important thing to realize is the verbal licks and kicks are not about you; rather they say more about your battering partner. And what it typically says is, his felt impotence is longing omnipotence in that particular moment in time.
 
As far as helping her help herself, this is the most important goal. Because as she does, she grows to no longer tolerate abuse and acquires skills for dealing with it. I would help her by first facilitating her awareness of the way in which the verbal abuse impacts her physically, emotionally and psychologically. From here, the prognosis improves manifold…because no one truly wants to be abused.
 
KATE CARLSON: Do you discuss listening to one’s inner voice? What do you recommend listening for in your inner voice? Can this be a contrast to the verbal abuse? If so, how?
 
Dr. Jeanne King: Not only do I discuss listening to one’s inner voice, I help my patients find and hear their inner voice. This is central to, even more…critical to, finding and knowing what’s right for oneself.
 
You ask if the message of the inner voice is a contrast to the verbal abuse. It most definitely can be. You see, the inner voice is the message of what’s right with you and reflects your highest good. So, you can pretty much expect this to be the opposite of the verbal licks and kicks intended to knock one down.
 
KATE CARLSON: How would someone know if a friend may be being verbally/emotionally abused? Especially if it happens when the friend isn’t right there to hear it? (Could you notice personality changes? What else?)
 
Dr. Jeanne King: When you are with your friend and you observe her to be less than herself in the company of her partner, then you may suspect the strain of an abusive relationship. She may appear somewhat repressed, less spontaneous, more guarded when she is in public with him.
 
KATE CARLSON: In abusive relationships, does verbal abuse/psychological abuse always precede physical or sexual violence – if these other abuses occur within a relationship? How do they “work” together/how do they interrelate?
 
Dr. Jeanne King: This is an excellent question. First and most obvious, yes verbal and psychological abuse typically precede physical and sexual abuse in abusive relationships. Then once the relationship battering escalates to more physical altercations, a shift occurs. That is, from here on, the emotional and verbal abuse can then serve to let the victim know the big one is right around the corner.

KATE CARLSON: How does a verbal abuser’s reaction to a victim’s speaking up work to silence her? (ex. When he says, “You’re too sensitive” or “You’re making a mountain out of a molehill” etc. How do these responses effectively silence her?)
 
Dr. Jeanne King: Those responses discourage her connecting with her inner reality, and rather prompt her to question what she feels to be true. These responses by the batterer are intended to do exactly what you point out: silence her. They are comments of minimizing, externalizing, rationalizing, outright denying…all intended to maintain the status quo.
 
KATE CARLSON: How does silencing her serve the (verbal) abuser?
 
Dr. Jeanne King: As I’ve said, silencing her, aids in maintaining the status quo. A batterer will use battering to both establish and maintain unequal power within the relationship. And the silencing serves to maintain the control having been established.
 
KATE CARLSON: Do you have any other comments regarding verbal abuse in general?
 
Dr. Jeanne King: Yes, verbal abuse can be regarded as friend, rather than foe. You see, when you use this indicator as a warning sign and if it co-exists in the context of the 5 red flags of an abusive relationship, you have all the information you need to make choices that serve your highest good…before and without ever getting hit. 

For more information on emotional and verbal abuse, visit http://www.preventabusiverelationships.com/emotional_verbal_abuse.php, and claim Free Instant Access to Survivor Success eInsights.  

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people identify, stop and heal from domestic abuse.  

www.PreventAbusiveRelationships.com.

Copyright 2009, Jeanne King, Ph.D. – Domestic Abuse Prevention and Intervention
 

About Dr. King:
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D., author, speaker, psychologist and leading expert in the subtle communication patterns of domestic abuse, helps people break the cycle of abuse and heal the wounds of relationship violence. She is founding director of Partners in Prevention, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping bridge healthcare delivery and domestic abuse victim advocacy. 
 

About Partners in Prevention:
Partners in Prevention is devoted to insuring that healthcare intervention and treatment for domestic violence survivors supports these patients in regaining their safety, health, and well-being.  For survivor and advocate educational resources on domestic abuse, please visit http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/ebooks.php, www.EndDomesticAbuse.org

Apr
25

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

The College World Reporter

Breaking The Cycle

August 2009

Lack of “emotional safety” is the number one indicator of a potentially dangerous relationship. It may seem subtle, yet it is ever so significant with respect to your well-being.
 
When you have emotional safety, it’s palatable. You can feel it in every fiber of your being. When it’s missing, you may feel its loss. Or, you may simply know of it not being there by the presence of these five glaring signs.
 
1) Not honoring your privacy.
 
If something is in a drawer, it’s in a drawer out from public display. Someone having no business in that drawer may be drawn to explore its contents. And further, this uninvited explorer may take issue with what is discovered. Beware of these signs of emotional abuse.
 
2) Not respecting your boundaries.
 
If you say “no,” will it be the end of discussion or beginning of a negotiation? When “no” means “maybe,” and becomes a challenge to convert into a “yes,” beware of emotional abuse! You may be enticed to surrender your initial preferences simply to divert the consequence of your failure to agree.
 
3) Not appreciating your experience and or your feelings.
 
If your inner world is not noticed, nor factored into decisions involving both of you, beware of this non-empathic partner. Your inner world may interest him or her when, and only when, it serves them. Having an interest in your experience merely because it’s an expression of you is not to be expected with an emotional abuser.
 
4) Not being willing to have mutual involvement in your interests.
 
Mutual involvement doesn’t mean equal time doing your interests verses theirs. Rather, it is reciprocal interest in that which interests you. The emotional abuser does not show an interest in your interests because these activities or things please you. Instead, he or she shows an interest as it serves him/her.
 
5) Not honoring you for who and what you are.
 
Intentionally seeking to alter who and what you are to suit one’s own preferences, rather than accepting you as you are, is the most glaring of these signs. (Be mindful of the distinction between someone’s efforts to alter you to suit their needs verses offering constructive criticism to contribute to your growth.) The emotional abuser will seek to mold you to become who and what he/she desires.
 
While each one of these undermines emotional safety, in combination they make it impossible. If you encounter this cluster of signs, you are probably looking at an emotionally abusive relationship. Seek to understand the constellation of symptoms defining intimate partner abuse, before the emotional abuse spirals out of control.

For more information about recognizing and ending emotional abuse, see:

http://www.preventabusiverelationships.com/emotional_verbal_abuse.php, Emotional Verbal Abuse.  Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people recognize, end, and heal from verbal emotional abuse.  
 
Copyright 2009 Jeanne King, Ph.D.

About Dr. King:


Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D., author, speaker, psychologist and leading expert in the subtle communication patterns of domestic abuse, helps people break the cycle of abuse and heal the wounds of relationship violence. She is founding director of Partners in Prevention, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping bridge healthcare delivery and domestic abuse victim advocacy. 

 

About Partners in Prevention:
Partners in Prevention is devoted to insuring that healthcare intervention and treatment for domestic violence survivors supports these patients in regaining their safety, health, and well-being.  For survivor and advocate educational resources on domestic abuse. Please visit http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/ebooks.php, www.EndDomesticAbuse.org

Apr
25

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

The College World Reporter

Breaking The Cycle
Survival In The Age Of Tolerance
April 2009
 
 

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D., serves as a consulting expert in criminal and civil cases of family violence, she has been featured in dozens of newspapers and has appeared on numerous radio and TV talk shows across the country.  Her work is known as the bridge between psychology, healthcare, and domestic abuse advocacy.

Her groundbreaking book, All But My Soul: Abuse Beyond Control, has been used as a college textbook, and has helped thousands of people break the cycle of abuse and reclaim a life of peace, dignity, and respect.

In our interview with Dr. King, who has personally encountered family violence, we take a further look at the effects of domestic violence.  We asked Dr. King what, if any preventive measures can be taken, what to do to get out of an abusive relationship, and where to find help.

CWR:  In recent weeks, the alleged attack of popular recording artist Rihanna by her boyfriend and fellow recording artist Chris Brown, has focused attention on domestic violence. Many of our readers are college students and young adults. Please explain for them the magnitude of this problem, in regard to how widespread it is.
 
Dr. King:  One out of every three women will be assaulted by an intimate partner in her lifetime. Domestic abuse knows no barriers. Battered women are black, white, yellow, rich, poor, educated, uneducated, professional, unemployed. They represent all walks of life.
 
CWR:  Based on clinical studies, empirical data, and other research, what are the causes of domestic abuse, and for the sake of this interview, we are speaking specifically about men physically abusing women? Is it the result of the abuser being abused as a child? Is it the result of some mental disorder? Just what are the known causes?
 
Dr. King:  Causes are a mystery, or shall I say a topic of diverse theories. Some experts claim that battering is learned behavior; others will tell you it is a function of one’s personality and predisposition. Then, there are those who look to biochemical factors in the brain that are associated with aggression. Most evidence, however, supports that battering is learned.
 
CWR:  For our young female readers in particular, and all of our female readers, are there indicators or red flags to look for at the very beginning, when considering having a relationship with a man? For someone who does not possess the professional knowledge, are there certain personality types or personality traits or other characteristics, that an ordinary person would be able to identify that may signal trouble ahead, and what are they?
 
Dr. King:  Yes, most definitely! There are numerous red flags that are clear warning signs of an abusive relationship. These signs are: controlling, manipulative behavior; excessive jealousy, possessiveness; lack of empathy; tendency to externalize blame and isolate one’s partner from all sources of support beyond the relationship. Knowing whether one’s relationship actually fulfills the criteria for intimate partner abuse can be established instantly, privately and accurately with the online (http://www.preventabusiverelationships.com) Intimate Partner Abuse Screen.
 
CWR:  In addition to what we have previously discussed, what are your recommendations for our readers in regard to what they can and should do to avoid getting into an abusive relationship in the first place. Is there some step-by-step, easy to use guide that is effective?
 
Dr. King:  Prevention is the cure for domestic violence and education is prevention. So our recommendation is: know this syndrome before you become a part of it. As once you do, it is far more difficult to “see the forest for the trees.”
 
CWR:  In some cases, the victim goes back to the abuser over-and-over again. It is reported that Rihanna and Chris Brown have reunited. Why is it that the victim in many cases will return to the abuser, with the knowledge that the physical abuse will most likely continue? Do they feel in some way responsible for the physical abuse, do they blame themselves, or just why is it that they keep going back and are willing to remain in an abusive relationship indefinitely?
 
Dr. King:  It is estimated that battered women will return to their abusers seven times before finally ending the abusive relationship. The back and forth is more common than not. As to why does she return, it could be any combination of things: from lack of resource to unrealistic hopes, dreams, personal expectations, perceived love…to a very realistic fear that things (the danger) will escalate upon her departure.

CWR:  Would you explain in detail, what the many consequences of staying in an abusive relationship are?
 
Dr. King:  The most serious is you could lose your life, your health and most defiantly your well-being, your sense of personal esteem, your liberties… It is a very self-destructive spiral that goes in one direction: It gets worse over time.
 
CWR:  If a young lady finds herself in an abusive relationship, please explain the steps that she should take to protect herself, and get out of the relationship safely.
 
Dr. King:  It is always best to consult with an expert in this area before taking action, as they will advise you of proper safety measures to take to prepare for and execute a safe departure. They will know of the specifics to be mindful of in light of one’s particular situation. In general though, leaving an abusive relationship is best done quickly, quietly and as completely as possible.
 
CWR:  What can those who are aware of the abuse do, are we doing enough when we are aware of someone being physically abused, and if not why, and how can we overcome any trepidation that we may feel, or feelings of indifference and not wanting to get involved?
 
Dr. King:  There is much one can do if you suspect your friend or loved one is in an abusive relationship. First and foremost, one must suspend judgment in their dealings with the domestic abuse survivor. Secondly, help them see the subtle signs of abuse, not just the gross and more obvious, because acknowledging the subtle is very significant in recognizing and owning one’s predicament. Most importantly, help them find their inner voice. And if you are not skilled at that, get them to a professional who is skilled in therapeutic communications and domestic abuse intervention.
 
CWR:  Where can those who are experiencing abuse, especially young women on college campuses, find help, through hotlines, online sources, on their college campus, and organizations?
 
Dr. King:  Most communities have domestic violence agencies that serve the public and many colleges have trained individuals who can assist survivors. There are national hotlines, 211 service, and websites, forums and blogs on the internet. We offer seven domestic abuse resource e-Books at

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/ebooks.php, on identifying emotional verbal abuse, the dynamics of abusive relationships, breaking the cycle, psychological healing, mind-body mending, legal social politics and how to help others break the cycle of abuse. For more information on domestic abuse prevention and intervention, visit: 

http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/ebooks.php and http://www.EndDomesticAbuse.org and claim your free Survivor Tips and eInsights.
Copyright 2009 Jeanne King, Ph.D. – Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention

 
About Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.
 
 

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D., author, speaker, psychologist and leading expert in the subtle communication patterns of domestic abuse, helps people break the cycle of abuse and heal the wounds of relationship violence. She is founding director of Partners in Prevention, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping bridge healthcare delivery and domestic abuse victim advocacy.

 

 
About Partners in Prevention
 
Partners in Prevention is devoted to insuring that healthcare intervention and treatment for domestic violence survivors supports these patients in regaining their safety, health, and well-being.  For survivor and advocate educational resources on domestic abuse. Please visit