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  • Writer's pictureKesley Cage

Empowering Yourself After Domestic Abuse

Please note: counselling is not a crisis service and to recover from domestic abuse you must first be in a safer place. If needed, please use this link to find a list of crisis support services or contact the 24-hour national domestic abuse helpline right away on 0808 2000 247.

I want to take a moment to acknowledge how difficult it can be to face the issue of healing from domestic abuse; it takes immense courage to leave an abusive situation and to move on with your life. If you or someone you care about has experienced domestic abuse, it is natural to feel uncertain and overwhelmed. But please know that it is possible to recover and live well again after this experience.

One important factor in recovery is the relationship between client and therapist. Carl Rogers, the founder of person-centred therapy, emphasized the importance of creating a safe and supportive environment where clients can feel seen, heard, and validated. This is especially important for survivors of domestic abuse, who may have experienced gaslighting, manipulation, or threats to their safety. By working together in a compassionate and non-judgmental way, we can explore your experiences and emotions with empathy and understanding.

Another crucial aspect of recovery is addressing the physiological impacts of trauma. Chronic exposure to abuse can cause dysregulation of the nervous system. This can lead to a range of symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, and dissociation. By understanding the physiological basis of these symptoms, we can work together to develop strategies that can help regulate the nervous system and promote healing.

Cultivating self-compassion and mindfulness may also be a part the recovery process, so you can approach your experiences with acceptance and kindness, rather than judgment and self-criticism. Many survivors of abuse struggle with feelings of shame, guilt, or self-blame. By learning to observe our thoughts and emotions without judgment, we can develop greater emotional resilience and inner strength.

It's important to acknowledge that domestic abuse can affect anyone, regardless of their gender, age, or sexual orientation. As Carl Jung once said, "I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become." This sentiment is echoed by many abuse survivors who have found a way to move forward and reclaim their lives. Oprah Winfrey, a famous media personality and abuse survivor, once said, "The only courage you ever need is the courage to fulfill the dreams of your own life." Additionally, many domestic abuse survivors have found inspiration from Rihanna, who has used her experience to raise awareness and support for others.

Each person's experience is unique, and recovery may look different for each individual. It can be difficult to navigate the process of healing and growth on your own, but with the help of a compassionate therapist, you can find your way towards a brighter and more peaceful future. As Oprah Winfrey once said, "You have within you right now, everything you need to deal with whatever the world can throw at you." I am here to support you in discovering and cultivating that inner strength.

If you are ready to take the first step towards healing and empowering yourself, please know that I am here to offer my support and understanding. Recovery from domestic abuse is possible. We can work together to improve your present and create a calmer future, where you can feel whole again.


Brazier, D. (2015). Not everything is impermanent. Psychodynamic Practice, 21(2), 135-148.

Cooper, M., & McLeod, J. (2011). Pluralistic counselling and psychotherapy. Sage.

Dana, D. (2018). The polyvagal theory in therapy: Engaging the rhythm of regulation. W. W. Norton & Company.

Rogers, C. R. (1957). The necessary and sufficient conditions of therapeutic personality change. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 21(2), 95-103.

Dutton, D. G., & Painter, S. L. (1993). Emotional attachments in abusive relationships: A test of traumatic bonding theory. Violence and Victims, 8(2), 105-120.

Herman, J. L. (1992). Trauma and recovery: The aftermath of violence—from domestic abuse to political terror. Basic Books.

Hodas, G. R. (2006). Responding to intimate violence against women: The role of informal networks. In Responding to intimate violence against women (pp. 135-148). Springer.

Walker, L. E. (1979). The battered woman syndrome. Springer Publishing Company.

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