How to Start Healing from Emotional Abuse

Guest Post by Dr. Gregory Jantz

The message of emotional abuse is often “You never do anything right.” The reverberations of this message may cause you to set the bar too high on what counts as progress in recovering from the effects of emotional abuse. Healing isn’t a task you have to be perfect at, nor a race that only has one finish line. Healing is a process.

You know this from physical healing. A person who has broken a leg isn’t expected to walk overnight, even with a cast. Emotional injuries can be like physical injuries; they take time to heal. With that in mind, here is one of my ten steps to healing from emotional abuse to help guide you through the process.

Step 1: Moving Beyond Blame

When the truth of emotional abuse finally comes out, it hurts. And when we hurt, we search for the reason; we look for someone to blame. Some people I’ve worked with were the victims of truly evil people who took pleasure in creating pain for others. However, most people were emotionally abused by someone who meant better than what they did, tried less than they should, or who chose not to know better.

Sometimes, an emotionally abusive pattern is perpetuated because those are the behaviors the abuser knows. Other times, it occurs because the abuser is simply weak. They know they should act and speak differently but they don’t have the strength, courage, or motivation to do so. When you are in relationship with these types of people, you desperately want them to overcome their weakness so they can love you like they should. But they don’t and that hurts.

DISCRETION WILL PROTECT YOU, AND UNDERSTANDING WILL GUARD YOU.

Proverbs 2:11

When we’re in pain, we seek to know why, what, and who is responsible. I’ve found when a person who has suffered emotional abuse works through the temptation to blame him- or herself, the next stop on the blame train is the abuser. Understanding why, what, and who is responsible for emotional abuse is a valuable destination. Staying stuck in blame is not.

The truly evil person is immune to blame. The weak person is often blind to it. Sometimes the person to “blame” is dead, and vindication is not possible.

Blame doesn’t stick. These situations leave the person who is recovering from emotional abuse unsatisfied and empty.

Instead of seeking blame, I encourage people to seek understanding. If your abuser is truly evil, then you are not to blame. You can move on from that relationship. If your abuser acted out of faulty parenting patterns, you can come to understand such lack of awareness. If your abuser was tired, overwhelmed, stressed, distracted, or moody, then you can understand their weakness. Understanding can shift the causes of the emotional abuse away from you and onto the other person without leaving you stuck in a toxic pool of blame. Blame continues to fan the fires of anger, bitterness, and resentment, but too often you’re the one burned. Understanding can provide you with a protective barrier of insight.

Action Step

Fold a piece of paper in two lengthwise. On the left side, write down a short description of the wrongs done to you by an abuser. On the right side, write down any extenuating circumstances or situations that might have contributed to those actions.

Unmasking Emotional Abuse: Start the Healing

Not all abuse is physical. The wounds of emotional abuse may not be visible, but they still leave scars. Whether a stabbing comment or constant putdowns, most people face emotional abuse at some point in their lives, so how can you learn to detect it and stop the cycle of abuse? How can you heal after enduring it? This practical and handy guidebook examines the different descriptions of emotional abuse, and includes stories from people who have found healing in Christ.

Unmasking Emotional Abuse, by notable author and mental health professional Dr. Gregory Jantz, helps readers who have been victims of emotional abuse heal and move forward in God’s truth. It also includes 10 concrete steps to healing. Emotional abuse limits your choices, your value, and your worth. Healing from emotional abuse opens you up to regaining that full life. This book will help get you there, and offers 10 biblically-based steps for healing.

10 Bible-Based Steps to Healing

  1. Stepping Out of Blame
  2. Granting Forgiveness
  3. Reclaiming Personal Power
  4. Avoiding Conflicts
  5. Addressing Hurts
  6. Maintaining Healthy Relationships
  7. Healthy Communication
  8. Discovering Gifts and Talents
  9. Solving Problems
  10. Recognizing Progress

As a child of God, you were created to have emotional freedom, a strong sense of self, and a peace that surpasses understanding. Emotional abuse and its false messages keep you from finding and understanding the truth of who you are. The good news is that what others may have sabotaged, God is able to rebuild. Jesus said knowing truth has the power to set you free, and Dr. Gregory Jantz helps you recognize emotional abuse and its effects.

Paperback, 4.5 x 6.5 inches, 112 pages, ISBN 9781628628203.

4 Key Features: Quickly Find the Information You Need for Overcoming Emotional Abuse

Using real-life stories, biblically based suggestions, proven tips, and practical steps that you can take today, Dr. Gregory Jantz will help you detect and heal from emotional abuse. Enjoy having these key features:

  1. Simple summaries and easy-to-understand explanations
  2. Practical steps backed by science and by scripture
  3. Charts that show key information at a glance
  4. Relatable stories that show you how to apply its truth to your life

Perfect for:

  • Group and individual use
  • Church library
  • To hand to a friend
  • Biblical & pastoral counseling
  • And more

About the Author: Dr. Gregory L. Jantz is the author of over 30 books, the host of a national radio program, and a regular contributor to Psychology Today. Recognized as a leading authority on family relationships and much more, he appears as an expert on media such as CNN, FOX, ABC, and NBC. Under Dr. Jantz’s leadership, “The Center: A Place of HOPE” has been voted in the top 10 facilities for the treatment of depression in the United States.

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