Therapy Models Versus Abuse Models of Care

Therapy Models of Care versus Abuse Models of Care

Victim versus victimhood?

There is a disconnect between therapeutic models that discuss moving away from victimhood and abuse models that reinforce that there is no victimhood, just victims.

As an abuse survivor, I get upset when I read literature about owning agency and moving away from blaming and shaming others for our distress.

I understand that there is a turning point where one can reside in permanent self-pity that prevents us from taking ownership of our healing and moving forward, but a massive amount of self-shaming and blaming already exists in abuse victims. Shifting the blame to the abusers IS the turning point in recovery. A lot of trauma is a result of abuse.

switching focus

One must be very careful when discussing agency, victim, and shame. Therapeutic models and abuse recovery need to work together. Too many therapies focus on the internal self without enough attention to why there is internal dys-regulation. Abuse survivors spend most of their lives wondering what if and what is wrong with them. More internal analysis is not helpful. External acknowledgement is required. They must hear there is nothing wrong with them, that they were hurt. Their internal dysfunctions are survival strategies to prevent further harm, not a fault of psychological imbalances.

Therapists much switch from an internal focus on fixing to rebuilding strength and power. And teach clients how to block abuse and walk away from it.

I think the concept of victimhood needs to be applied to abusers themselves as they deflect, project, and manipulate others to gain control of their dys-regulation. It’s not something that abuse victims should wear, ever.

If you are a victim of abuse, I recommend sometimes putting down the therapy books (until later) and picking up books on abuse instead. They validate our internal distress when we are spiralling. Here are some great ones to start.

books on trauma

If you are interested in reading about healing trauma from a therapeutic perspective, check out my page:

Embodied Partnership Personal Support Program, Returning to Her, healing from harm

Embodied Partnership

Personal Support Program

Book of poems and essays on healing trauma, abuse, and radical feminism, Returning to Her, healing from harm.


Upcoming Book

Returning to Self

Journal of Practices

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