What’s domestic abuse?

couple sitting back to back on a bed, only holding hands

Domestic abuse is defined as a pattern of behaviour in any relationship that’s used to gain or maintain power and control over another relation or relative, over 16yrs of age.  It is far more common than people realise.  It’s also very complex and can be emotional, sexual, psychological and/or physical.  It’s not only women abused by male partners, it can be partners of either gender, in any relationship – parents abused by their children, siblings by siblings etc.    A central factor in domestic abuse is trying to take control over the other person – their lives, their behaviour, who they see and contact.  Support services like First Light in Cornwall offer excellent specialist advice and support for free.

What impact does suffering domestic abuse have?

treetops st austell

It has a deep it impacts on the person experiencing the abuse, on a number of levels.  They are forced to find a way of being that is acceptable to the abuser.  That means making a lot of compromises – not speaking up when they want to, not seeing family or friends, not doing what they want.  Living under constant threat of criticism or attack is exhausting.  That high level of stress will result in physical symptoms of stress too.  Most importantly the sufferer is unhappy and not able to be authentic – honest and true to themselves.  They become a smaller, quieter version of themselves often, and cannot see a way out.

How does experiencing abuse affect the brain?

st austell

Living in a constant state of stress and anxiety effectively rewires the brain to become highly vigilant and fearful – always dreading the worst and looking out for the next criticism or problem.  When we are in this state we are not able to think clearly.  We cannot make clear logical decisions because we are constantly in the anxious negative part of our brain.  Being under threat in this way is exhausting.  It may not be a physical threat, but the threat of criticism, insults or verbal abuse is just as damaging to the mind and emotions.  Sufferers are likely to feel like they are living on their nerves. People forget who they are because they constantly give in to reduce the risk of criticism.  Sufferers are isolated and feel alone with it.

Hypnotherapy helps domestic abuse sufferers in 2 ways;

  • It helps you get into a mentally stronger and more positive, confident place – either to leave the relationship or make rational decisions about your future.
  • Hypnotherapy helps you rediscover who you really are – not who you’ve been forced to become to survive the relationship.

Hypnotherapy offers a chance to focus on yourself, just you; your needs and your future.  Regardless of whether you are still in the relationship, or separated and recovering from it, hypnotherapy can help you achieve what you want for yourself.

woman silhouetted at sunset

Being a solution focused hypnotherapist we do not talk about the problem after (briefly in) the first session, because we are looking to creating a better future for you.  In whatever way you can, you are supported to move forward and imagine positive progress.  Trance work will help you to use your mind more positively, and the whole focus on the session is how you can make positive changes – what little bridges you can build to a better future…

a couple, the man is holding the womans arms.

While your mind is in panic mode – fearful and anxious – it is impossible to logically plan for change.  Hypnotherapy helps you to move out of that negative mind and into your more positive constructive mind, which helps you to think more clearly.  As you start to take more control of your mind and use it more positively for your own good, it will become easier.  When we are able to think clearly and logically, then solutions are more likely to appear.  Obviously it is not my role to offer advice.  My role is to support you to get in control of your mind.  Then you will be able to plan and think more clearly to enable you to move forward…



A massive thank you to Julie, what a wonderful lady,
Julie helped me in overcoming my past trauma in domestic abuse caused many years ago and some other ongoing issues.  I never thought that hypnotherapy would help me, but it did with Julie’s help and with the tools she gave me.  Julie made me feel relaxed and calm, she listened to me.  Can’t thank you enough for your help.
Now I can move forward, getting my self esteem back and my way of thinking and I can actually be me again.
Thank you again.   SHARON