How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Lively Your Own Question
Lively, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 260
Experience:  Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, 10 years experience working with individuals, couples, & families
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Lively is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Is verbal, mental and emotional abuse detrimental to a 7 yr old from father

This answer was rated:

He has been getting every other weekend visits for 1 1/2 yrs, and got him 1/2 of last summer. He is and has been tormented with long hostile lectures late at night in a closed room with no one else around (girlfriend lives with him) but not allowed to be in front of her when lecturing. stating how much he hates his mother and tells him he is going to come live with them one day, speaks abusively of mother constantly, uses big words that he does not understand for long lecture then makes him repeat what he just told him. tells him he is not 'allowed' to tell his mother anything that goes on during his visits there and makes him go into a separate room and close door when talking to mother from his own home during the week. do you agree that this is detrimental and abusive to the child, scaring him and possibly threatening? no physical abuse reported by child, nor signs of physical abuse. father has history of Multiple Personality Disorder, Alcoholic, victim of child abuse when younger


Yes, I would agree that what you describes sounds abusive and potentially emotionally and/or psychologically damaging to the child. But it sounds like you already knew this based on your own instinct and also on the testimony and opinions of other children and therapists. Do you feel that the child is being helped by therapy?

Lively and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Would you advise me request supervised visitation by father based on this mental anguish he puts him through every Fri and Sat night , let alone upcoming 7 wks in summer. son says the late night episodes of mental and verbal abuse makes him afraid to go to sleep there, so he says he can't sleep there, very hard to fall asleep then he wakes up soon after and just lays there til morning and is then very tired next day. he says he does not want to go for summer, father laughs at him and teases him when he plays mean jokes on him, when he gets hurt he laughs at him and calls him names, then yells at him if he cries, constantly telling him to stop being like his mother and that he hates his mother. my son says he scares him. he has only been to therapy 2X, sometimes he answers questions, but mostly afraid his dad will find out, always asking that. Also blocks things out that he had told me right after the weekend visit, he will not remember when in session with therapist, or it's not bothering him at the time like it did when it happened.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
see first reply of mine, not sure this was seen

I'm sorry for the delay in getting back to you.


Yes, based on what you've said about what their visits are like, it seems totally reasonable to request supervised visits- at a minimum. Would it be possible to stop visits entirely based on what's going on? I would think that the child's therapist could testify to this and also perhaps the other children involved might be willing to come forward on his behalf as well.


I would strongly encourage you to continue taking the child to therapy- treatment of abused children is often long, slow and painful work but very important to do in order to help him to not only feel happier and safer now but to preempt all kinds of relationship problems in his adult life.

Lively and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

Related Mental Health Questions