Healing from Emotional Abuse – Battered
Women and the Practice of Psychology
by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.
It is no wonder that abused women are skeptical about the work of psychologists and psychiatrists. I’m reminded of a line in Shutter Island... “Reasonable protest is ‘denial;’ legitimate fears are ‘paranoia,’ and survival instincts are ‘defense mechanisms’.”
And when these desperate battered mothers stand at the threshold of judgment day in their custody trials, they are told that their suspicions of collusion among court agents are delusional thoughts of conspiracy theory.
Battered women know the skill of unethical psychologists and psychiatrists to see the facts and portray the dynamics as they desire. And they know their own feelings of helplessness when subjected to psychological evaluations hired by their opposition.
It’s understandable that these women would lose faith in the practice of psychology and question the ethics of mental healthcare providers. Many of these women have never experienced genuine psychotherapeutic process, much less clear and clean objective psychological assessment.
Bridging Battered Women and Professional Psychology
As a practicing psychologist and individual who once knew domestic violence firsthand, I seek to bridge these two groups of people. Yet, I realize that the ocean separating them is huge.
If you are in therapy, bring your skepticism to the forefront first. As you sort out your misgivings, you increase the likelihood of a successful therapeutic process. Even though you may have encountered foul play as portrayed in “Whores of the Court,” you don’t have to let your biases prevent you from benefiting from a profession that is legitimately designed to aid in your psychological healing from emotional abuse.
In my own practice, I have observed that when these women reconcile their beliefs about the “practice of psychology,” they open up to healing beyond their imagination. Seek to go beyond your crash as you put your life together after your domestic violence divorce.
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Dr. Jeanne King is a licensed psychologist and domestic abuse consultant. Feel free to contact us if you need help with physical and/or emotional pain, stress-related illnesses, or relationship abuse issues at home or in court. Contact Us to reach Dr. King.