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Ryan LCSW, Mental Health
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 872
Experience:  Individual and Family Therapist
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My partner (woman now 39) was abused by a family member as a

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My partner (woman now 39) was abused by a family member as a child, and whenever she spoke up about it to her mother she was locked in a cupboard to keep her quiet. She no longer has a relationship with her mother (who has chosen to ignore the truth) and wishes she was dead (her mother) so she can be rid of the feelings. This trauma is surfacing in so many ways in her life as a destructive force, incessant and uncontrollable thinking and feeling, unfinished projects, regular suicidal tendencies, extreme bouts of violent anger, depression, broken relationships etc. etc. What should we do?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Ryan LCSW replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for your question. My name is ***** ***** I'd like to help you out.

I do understand your analogy about not taking a car to be fixed when it's working. However, many people who have been through childhood abuse are able to maintain a relatively functional lifestyle, but still struggle in the ways that you've described. In this way, it may not necessarily seem like an urgent problem since she has been coping with it for so long, but most likely what you are seeing is a manifestation of problems that have not been dealt with, or have been pushed aside over the years. Because of that, the car may still be running fine in many way, but is still in need of maintenance so that it does not break down from the additional stress it has been under all this time.

Hypnotherapy tends to be beneficial for some people and not others. There are very mixed feelings in the professional mental health community as far as whether this is an appropriate way to handle these types of issues. One of the most effective and well studied methods of working on these types of issues would be Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is a very widely practiced and accepted form of treated trauma and the associated problems. Most likely if your partner were to look into some local counselling services she would not have too much difficulty in finding someone who can help her to start managing her symptoms more effectively and get these problems more under her control.

The good news is that with the right help, most people are able to make a lot of progress. A lot depends on your partner's willingness to admit that there is a problem, and seek help for herself. As long as she is motivated to do that, there is certainly reason to be optimistic that she will be able to manage her emotions more effectively. I definitely wish you and your partner the best with all of this, and if there's anything else I can do to help just let me know.


Expert:  Ryan LCSW replied 4 years ago.
Hi again, I haven't heard back from you so I hope that I was able to help you out. Feel free to send me a follow-up if you need any more help, otherwise I'd appreciate it if you'd leave me a positive rating so that I'm compensated for my time. Thanks a lot and take care.


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