Control Issues – Inner VS Outer Control
in Battering and in Anxiety Disorders

Dr. King

by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

Control issues are central to many psychological disorders. Certainly it is the case in battering, and it is also true for anxiety disorders.

The lack of inner control is compensated for by an attachment to controlling what’s external. The external control is experienced as inner control through it, because the “external” that you control on some level defines you. This is more clearly evident in obsessive compulsive disorders.

Shifting from Outer to Inner Control

If the experience of mastery shifts from outer to inner, a more authentic well-being sets in. And the anxiety previously being held in check via the external control is a non-issue. The distressed feelings are instead regulated from within.

For example, when a patient diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder cultivates the capacity to sustain inner ease and inner well-being, a fundamental shift occurs mitigating the need to control that which in and of itself has no particular meaning beyond keeping anxiety in check.

Inner Control and Battering

While most of my work is with the victimized person in the battering dynamic, I do have considerable contact with interactional relationship abuse. In working with patients who are both victims and perpetrators in their abusive relationships, I have repeatedly observed this same outer to inner control shift and its impact on their condition.

Patients learning self-regulation grasp the basic principles that enable their release of control with respect to their partner. The impact on both battering and victimization is huge—more clinically described as transformational.

If you are an individual struggling with control issues, seek to understand the principles of self-regulation. You will discover a way of being with yourself and with others that is truly satisfying.

For more information about self-regulation training and healing control issues, visit Or, you may want to simply read Domestic Abuse Healing from Within. Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. is a seasoned psychologist and domestic abuse intervention expert. Copyright 2009 Jeanne King, Ph.D.

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. – Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention

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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.