Abuse Trauma and PTSD

Hypnotherapy and Neuro Linguistic Programming for Domestic Physical and Sexual Abuse Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD – Hypnosis and NLP in IPSWICH Suffolk from Graham Howes

Domestic Violence Physical Psychological and Sexual Abuse (More on PTSD Below)

Adapted from Authors: M Smith, M.A., and J Segal, Ph.D.

When we think of domestic abuse, we often focus on domestic violence. But domestic abuse can also occur whenever one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person.

Domestic violence and abuse are used for a singular purpose: to gain and maintain total control over you. An abuser won’t “play fair.” Abusers use fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under his or her thumb. Your abuser may also threaten you, hurt you, or hurt those around you.

Domestic violence and abuse don’t discriminate. Abuse happens among heterosexual couples and in same-sex partnerships. It occurs within every age range, ethnic background, and economic level. And while women are more commonly the subjects of abuse, men are also abused —especially verbally and emotionally. The bottom line is that abusive behavior is NOT acceptable, whether it’s coming from a man, a woman, a teenager, or an older adult. You deserve to feel valued, respected, and safe.

Recognising signs of abuse is the first step to getting help

Domestic abuse can escalate from verbal abuse and threats to physical attack. And whilst physical injury may seem to be be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are usually severe. An emotionally abusive relationships could destroy your self-worth, leading to depression and anxiety, and make you feel helpless and alone. These conditions can also feed the abuse. Nobody should be in a position to endure this sort of pain—and the first step to breaking free is to RECOGNISE that your situation is abusive. Once  the reality of the abusive situation is clear then there is help available to you.

I am trained in Psychological Trauma and PTSD and can help you.

What are the signs that you are in an abusive relationship?

There are many indicators of an abusive relationship. The most telling one is fear of your partner. If you feel as if you have to walk on eggshells around your partner—constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-up — the chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive. Other signs that you may be in an abusive relationship include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.

Answer the questions below to see whether your relationship is abusive: The higher the “yes” answers, the more likely it is you are in an abusive relationship.

Are you in an abusive relationship?
Your inner thoughts and feelings:
Do you:

  • often feel afraid of your partner?
  • avoid certain topics for fear of angering your partner?
  • feel you can’t do anything right for your partner?
  • believe you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
  • wonder if you’re the one who is the crazy one?
  • feel emotionally numb and / or helpless?
Your partner’s belittling behaviour
Does your partner:

  • humiliate or shout at you?
  • criticise you and put you down?
  • treat you so badly that you are embarrassed for your friends or family to see this?
  • ignore or belittle your opinions or accomplishments?
  • say that you are responsible for their abusive behaviour?
  • objectify you as their property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
Your partner’s violent behaviour / threats
Does your partner:

  • have a bad and seemingly unpredictable temper?
  • hurt you, or even threaten to hurt or kill you or other loved ones?
  • threaten to take the children away or harm them?
  • threaten they will commit suicide if you leave?
  • force you to have sex?
  • destroy your possessions?
Your partner’s controlling behaviour
Does your partner:

  • act in an excessively jealous and possessive way?
  • control where you go or what you do or who you see?
  • keep you from seeing your friends or family?
  • limit access to money, the car, or the phone/mobile?
  • frequently check up on you?

Physical abuse and domestic violence

“Physical abuse is the use of physical force against someone in a way that injures or endangers that person.”

Physical assault or battery is a crime, whether it occurs inside or outside of the family. The police have the power and authority to protect you from physical attack.

Sexual abuse is a form of physical abuse

Any situation in which you are forced to participate in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity is sexual abuse. Forced sex, even by a spouse or intimate partner with whom you also have consensual sex, is an act of aggression and violence. Forced sex with another person is also a crime.

Importantly, people whose partners abuse them physically and sexually are at a increased risk of being seriously injured or killed.

It is still abuse if…

The incidents of physical abuse seem minor when compared to those you have read about, seen on television, or heard other people talk about. There isn’t a “better” or “worse” form of physical abuse; you can be severely injured as a result of being shoved, for example.

The incidents of physical abuse have only occurred “a few” times in the relationship. Studies indicate that if your partner have injured you once, then it is likely they will continue to physically assault you.

The physical assaults ceased when you became passive and gave up your right to speak as you wish, to go where you want and see who you want, and to make your own decisions. It is not a good place to be if you give up your rights in exchange for not being assaulted!

There hasn’t been any physical violence. Many people are psychologically, emotionally or verbally assaulted. This can be just as frightening and can be often more confusing to attempt to understand.

Source: Breaking the Silence Handbook

Emotional abuse: It is a bigger problem than you might think

Not every abusive relationship involves physical violence. Just because you’re not physically beaten doesn’t mean you’re not being abused. Many men and women suffer from emotional abuse, which is no less destructive. Unfortunately, emotional abuse is often minimised or discounted — even by the person being abused.

What is emotional abuse

Emotional abuse is about chipping away at your feelings of self-worth and independence—leaving you feeling that there’s no escape from the relationship, or that without your partner you have or are nothing.

Emotional abuse can include: verbal abuse such as shouting, calling you abusive names, blaming you, or shaming you. Isolating you, intimidating you, and controlling you fall under emotional abuse. In addition the abusers who use emotional or psychological abuse, will often throw in threats of physical violence, or other consequences if you won’t do what they want.

You might think that physical abuse is much worse than emotional abuse, since physical violence can send you to the hospital and leave you literally scarred. The effects of emotional abuse are very real, however, and they run deep. In fact, emotional abuse is just as damaging as physical abuse— often more so.

Economic or financial abuse: A subtle form of emotional abuse

Remember, an abuser’s goal is to control you, and he or she will frequently use money to do so. Economic or financial abuse includes:

  • Rigidly controlling your finances
  • Withholding money or credit cards
  • Making you account for every penny you spend
  • Withholding basic necessities (food, clothes, medications, shelter)
  • Restricting you to an allowance
  • Preventing you from working or choosing your own career
  • Sabotaging your job (making you miss work, calling constantly)
  • Stealing from you or taking your money

Abusive behavior is the abuser’s choice

Despite what many people believe, domestic violence and abuse is not due to the abuser’s loss of control over his or her behavior. In fact, abusive behavior and violence is a deliberate choice made by the abuser in order to control you.

Abusers use a variety of tactics to manipulate you and exert their power:

Dominance – Abusive individuals need to feel in charge of the relationship. They will make decisions for you and the family, tell you what to do, and expect you to obey without question. Your abuser may treat you like a servant, child, or even as his or her possession.

Humiliation – An abuser will do everything he or she can to make you feel bad about yourself or defective in some way. After all, if you believe you’re worthless and that no one else will want you, you’re less likely to leave. Insults, name-calling, shaming, and public put-downs are all weapons of abuse designed to erode your self-esteem and make you feel powerless.

Isolation – In order to increase your dependence on him or her, an abusive partner will cut you off from the outside world. He or she may keep you from seeing family or friends, or even prevent you from going to work or school. You may have to ask permission to do anything, go anywhere, or see anyone.

Threats – Abusers commonly use threats to keep their partners from leaving or to scare them into dropping charges. Your abuser may threaten to hurt or kill you, your children, other family members, or even pets. He or she may also threaten to commit suicide, file false charges against you, or report you to child services.

Intimidation – Your abuser may use a variety of intimidation tactics designed to scare you into submission. Such tactics include making threatening looks or gestures, smashing things in front of you, destroying property, hurting your pets, or putting weapons on display. The clear message is that if you don’t obey, there will be violent consequences.

Denial and blame – Abusers are very good at making excuses for the inexcusable. They will blame their abusive and violent behavior on a bad childhood, a bad day, and even on the victims of their abuse. Your abusive partner may minimize the abuse or deny that it occurred. He or she will commonly shift the responsibility on to you: Somehow, his or her violent and abusive behavior is your fault.

Abusers are able to control their behavior—they do it all the time

Abusers pick and choose whom to abuse. They don’t insult, threaten, or assault everyone in their life who gives them grief. Usually, they save their abuse for the people closest to them, the ones they claim to love.

Abusers carefully choose when and where to abuse. They control themselves until no one else is around to see their abusive behavior. They may act like everything is fine in public, but lash out instantly as soon as you’re alone.

Abusers are able to stop their abusive behavior when it benefits them. Most abusers are not out of control. In fact, they’re able to immediately stop their abusive behavior when it’s to their advantage to do so (for example, when the police show up or their boss calls).

Violent abusers usually direct their blows where they won’t show. Rather than acting out in a mindless rage, many physically violent abusers carefully aim their kicks and punches where the bruises and marks won’t show.

The cycle of violence in domestic abuse

Domestic abuse falls into a common pattern, or cycle of violence:

Cycle of violence

Abuse – Your abusive partner lashes out with aggressive, belittling, or violent behavior. The abuse is a power play designed to show you “who is boss.”

Guilt – After abusing you, your partner feels guilt, but not over what he’s done. He’s more worried about the possibility of being caught and facing consequences for his or her abusive behavior.

Excuses – Your abuser rationalizes what he or she has done. The person may come up with a string of excuses or blame you for the abusive behavior—anything to avoid taking responsibility.

“Normal” behavior – The abuser does everything he can to regain control and keep the victim in the relationship. He may act as if nothing has happened, or he may turn on the charm. This peaceful honeymoon phase may give the victim hope that the abuser has really changed this time.

Fantasy and planning – Your abuser begins to fantasize about abusing you again. He spends a lot of time thinking about what you’ve done wrong and how he’ll make you pay. Then he makes a plan for turning the fantasy of abuse into reality.

Set-up – Your abuser sets you up and puts his plan in motion, creating a situation where he can justify abusing you.

Your abuser’s apologies and loving gestures in between the episodes of abuse can make it difficult to leave. He may make you believe that you are the only person who can help him, that things will be different this time, and that he truly loves you. However, the dangers of staying are very real.

The full cycle of domestic violence: An example

A man abuses his partner. After he hits her, he experiences self-directed guilt. He says, “I’m sorry for hurting you.” What he does not say is, “Because I might get caught.” He then rationalizes his behavior by saying that his partner is having an affair with someone. He tells her, “If you weren’t such a worthless whore I wouldn’t have to hit you.” He then acts contrite, reassuring her that he will not hurt her again. He then fantasizes and reflects on past abuse and how he will hurt her again. He plans on telling her to go to the store to get some groceries. What he withholds from her is that she has a certain amount of time to do the shopping. When she is held up in traffic and is a few minutes late, he feels completely justified in assaulting her because “You’re having an affair with the store clerk.” He has just set her up.

Source: Mid-Valley Women’s Crisis Service

Recognizing warnings that signal others are being abused

It’s impossible to know with certainty what goes on behind closed doors, but there are some telltale signs and symptoms of emotional abuse and domestic violence. If you witness these warning signs of abuse in a friend, family member, or co-worker, take them very seriously.

Warning signs of abuse in others
People who are being abused may:
  • Seem afraid or anxious to please their partner
  • Go along with everything their partner says and does
  • Check in often with their partner to report where they are and what they’re doing
  • Receive frequent, harassing phone calls from their partner
  • Talk about their partner’s temper, jealousy, or posessiveness
Warning signs of physical violence:
People who are being physically abused may:

  • Have frequent injuries, with the excuse of “accidents”
  • Frequently miss work, school, or social occasions, without explanation
  • Dress in clothing designed to hide bruises or scars (e.g. wearing long sleeves in the summer or sunglasses indoors)
Warning signs of isolation:
People who are being isolated by their abuser may:

  • Be restricted from seeing family and friends
  • Rarely go out in public without their partner
  • Have limited access to money, credit cards, or the car
The psychological warning signs of abuse:
People who are being abused may:

  • Have very low self-esteem, even if they used to be confident
  • Show major personality changes (e.g. an outgoing person becomes withdrawn)
  • Be depressed, anxious, or suicidal

Speak up if you suspect domestic violence or abuse

If you suspect that someone you know is being abused, speak up! If you’re hesitating—telling yourself that it’s none of your business, you might be wrong, or the person might not want to talk about it—keep in mind that expressing your concern will let the person know that you care and may even save his or her life.

Talk to the person in private and let him or her know that you’re concerned. Point out the things you’ve noticed that make you worried. Tell the person that you’re there, whenever he or she feels ready to talk. Reassure the person that you’ll keep whatever is said between the two of you, and let him or her know that you’ll help in any way you can.

Remember, abusers are very good at controlling and manipulating their victims. People who have been emotionally abused or battered are depressed, drained, scared, ashamed, and confused. They need help to get out, yet they’ve often been isolated from their family and friends. By picking up on the warning signs and offering support, you can help them escape an abusive situation and begin healing.

Do’s and Don’ts
Do: Don’t:
Ask if something is wrong Wait for him or her to come to you
Express concern Judge or blame
Listen and validate Pressure him or her
Offer help Give advice
Support his or her decisions Place conditions on your support
Adapted from: NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Present Life Regression, Clearance Protocol, Inner Child Healing and Hypnoanalysis

I use regression frequently to enable a person to move on from trauma or when they have a feeling of being blocked in their progress or unable to move on from some tragedy. Often a fear or phobia might be based in a past experience or experiencing a parent or care giver displaying a fearful or phobic response. Perhaps they told them to stay away from dogs as dirty or dangerous or shrieked at a spider!

Sometimes we need clearance to clear away old habitual ways of thinking and responding. We know we cannot change what happened but we can change how you feel and respond to similar triggers. At other times we need to ask the unconscious mind. The unconscious or subconscious mind “knows” or it wouldn’t trigger that craving to self medicate or that anxiety or panic!

Perhaps if there was a traumatic childhood or event their inner child needs reassurance or comfort.

Perhaps we need to use rewind therapy to undo the response.

Each intervention is benign and I have no person shaped hole in my front door!

More on Trauma:

Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the mind that occurs as a result of a severely distressing event or events. Trauma is often the result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one’s ability to cope, or integrate the emotions involved with that experience.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD:

PTSD occurs when there are persistent and repeated traumatic events leading to a re-experiencing of the trauma or a generalising of the trauma and linking it to other situations or leaving a person with severe anxiety or panic attacks which may lead to self tranquillising with alcohol or drugs. It could lead to a dependency on drugs of various kinds. It may even lead to mental collapse or outbursts of violence or even self harm. It could lead to marked personality changes. 

A large number of homeless people are ex services:

In 20 Jul 2013 – “Up to 9,000 British heroes who served Queen and country were homeless after leaving the military,”… It was further suggested that as many as one in 10 homeless people in parts of the UK are former service personnel. This is down from the previous 20% thanks to services charities. Source: Daily Mirror

 The harsh fact remains that there is not enough effective provision to treat PTSD.

PTSD EFFECTS NOT ONLY SERVICES PERSONNEL BUT ALSO UNIFORMED SERVICES LIKE POLICE PARAMEDICS AND ALSO PEOPLE WHO HAVE SUFFERED TRAUMATIC EVENTS.


Treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD with Hypnosis and NLP

I am trained and qualified in PTSD and Psychological Trauma having taken a Continuing Professional Development course with ex Army Soldier John Hutchings at the Institute of Clinical Hypnosis in 2010.

PTSD is much more widespread than we like to admit 1 – 2% of the population suffer diagnosed and undiagnosed PTSD. We know of the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when it comes to the Armed Forces  – Army Navy Air Force from being involved in Armed Conflict. PTSD can also come about from any persistent exposure to horrific scenarios by Medical and Police staff, Witnesses or Victims involved  in accidents.  Sexual and Physical Abuse and Domestic Abuse can lead to painful flashbacks. There are many persistent stimuli which can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Psychological Trauma

Counselling and CBT may help you understand your problem areas – but I am about giving you practical strategies to move on and put the past where it belongs – behind you.

I can help you move on from Psychological Trauma or PTSD. I could see you in Colchester Essex if Ipswich is too far.

Disclaimer:  As with any therapy individual results will vary.  The best way to discover if hypnotherapy and NLP is for you is to take a look through the site and come for a free initial consultation so that you can make an informed decision.

NHS ON PTSD:

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events.

Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt.

They may also have problems sleeping, such as insomnia, and find concentrating difficult.

These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s day-to-day life.

Read more about the symptoms of PTSD.

Causes of PTSD

The type of events that can cause PTSD include:

serious road accidents

violent personal assaults, such as sexual assault, mugging or robbery

prolonged sexual abuse, violence or severe neglect

witnessing violent deaths

military combat

being held hostage

terrorist attacks

natural disasters, such as severe floods, earthquakes or tsunamis

PTSD can develop immediately after someone experiences a disturbing event or it can occur weeks, months or even years later.

PTSD is estimated to affect about 1 in every 3 people who have a traumatic experience, but it’s not clear exactly why some people develop the condition and others don’t.

SOURCE: NHS site

brain prison
Psychological Trauma can seem like a prison from which it is difficult to escape

Previously I worked as a Hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner in Harley Street London W1 and have since been working extensively in Suffolk and Essex and by Skype Worldwide with many people who have suffered because of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Psychological Trauma such as Sexual and / or Physical or Domestic Abuse.

People who suffer Domestic Abuse, Sexual abuse or Physical abuse, often have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and there are many things that can trigger unpleasant memories – we can gently allow you to put those behind you – we cannot change what happened but we can change how you feel about it with Hypnosis and NLP.

I use gentle non invasive methods to help you turn the trauma into a memory – we cannot change what happened but we can change how you feel about it WITHOUT having to experience the traumatic incident/s again – so that you feel that you can move on with your Life and put the past where it belongs.

Not everyone who has a traumatic event or events suffers PTSD. Some will successfully compartmentalise it but, for many, typically a smell or sound or some other similar trigger can trigger a panic attack or severe anxiety many years after the original event without warning. It can be dormant for many years and suddenly emerge. This may seem strange but a car backfiring can trigger a reaction related to being under sniper fire many years previously.

Talk to me for a FREE no obligation consultation:

Call: 01473 879561

Text or Call: 07875720623

Email: grahamahowes@me.com

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Special rates for Emergency Services and Armed Forces – if you are wondering whether this works .. my trainer ex Army John Hutchings had PTSD from his time in Bosnia, the first Gulf War and Northern Ireland – and recovered using this approach and I have many satisfied clients that for reasons of confidentiality I cannot name – this is a sample testimonial from a Senior Officer in the Emergency Services:

“When you told me that I had PTSD I scoffed at you – but you were right … and your diagnosis was not only confirmed independently … but also by my collapse. You helped put me back together and gave me my Life back.

I cannot thank you enough.”

There are some related conditions not listed here but you might find on my Hypnotherapy Treatments page – I work Holistically with you to help you resolve your issues

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Talk to me for a FREE no obligation consultation:

Call: 01473 879561 

Text or Call:07875720623

Email: grahamahowes@me.com

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Graham Howes ASHPH GHR registered GHSC regulated CNHC Approved Professional Hypnotherapist (Previously in Harley Street) and NLP Practitioner Specialising in Psychological Trauma and PTSD in Ipswich Suffolk

Advanced Hypnotherapy Hypnoanalysis Timeline Inner Child Therapy Neuro Linguistic Programming

You are not a victim let me help you find your equilibrium again – Armed Forces: Army Navy Air Force, Police Force, Medical Profession, those who had sexual abuse or domestic violence or suffered traumatic incidents are all people that I have helped

Graham Howes Hypnotherapy Hypnoanalysis and NLP for Domestic Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Physical Abuse, PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks – 3 Clinics through Colchester Essex and Hadleigh and Ipswich in Suffolk.