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Overcoming the Challenges of Domestic Violence Work

13 Nov

I'm a Minnesota clinical psychologist with specialized training in treating complex trauma (EMDR, TFT and Somatic Experiencing). Most of my clients are adults who were abused or neglected as children. I recently began getting referrals from a battered women's shelter.

It's been challenging on many levels, not the least of which is worry over my clients' physical safety. I'm a big guy, and nothing would please me more than to clock the psychopaths who stalk and terrify my clients, but providing full-time protection services is not my job description.

I do want to thank you for your helpful blog posts on domestic violence, however. I've been using them as an educational intervention. I've been able to use your posts to reinforce the insights that have emerged in treatment with 3 of my people.

The 1st article on the 7 easy steps to becoming a victim of domestic violence, helped my clients get even clearer about the perpetrator seduction and facilitated their feeling less alone and less ashamed. They recognized themselves in that piece and considered that they might even be in pretty good company.

The 2nd one on staying safe while leaving the abuser was especially useful, because there is so much denial about just how dangerous these guys are. The police and criminal justice system are structured to fail them. They must look out for themselves in the ways you suggest. Having that list to point to was a big help in driving the point home that they are in serious danger.

So thank you. Too many therapists are in denial of this fact as well, so by writing this to you, I'm hoping you will give those two posts another shot at getting recycled to a larger audience – including the professionals.

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Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award.