Abuse can be emotional and physical, as well as sexual. You may have been abused when you were a child, a young person or as an adult, it may still be happening to you now. Abuse can happen to any person of any gender or sexual orientation. Violence often comes hand in hand with abuse and sometimes, it can be hard to feel safe enough to take the first step towards talking about what has happened to you.

Maybe you do not feel you could find the words to tell your story, but carrying the secret of your abuse around with you can feel like a heavy load. Overwhelming feelings of shame and anger may affect your physical health and your relationships too. And the accompanying sense of guilt can be confusing.

Counselling can offer you a safe place to begin to process your memories and feelings. It is important to find a therapist who you feel comfortable with and who is experienced in working with abuse. It is fine to meet with a few counsellors before making your choice.

My role as a psychodynamic therapist is to hear what you have to say and think together with you about some of the themes and feelings that you raise, but not to advise. I aim to support you in a way that feels useful to you, to discover your own solutions. I will go at your pace, you are in control. And the service is confidential. To contact me, see here.

Shame/Violence Intervention (SVI)

Alternatively, perhaps you have acted in a violent way towards someone and you want to find a way to stop. Sometimes the reason why your anger turns to violence may be linked to childhood trauma, something that happened to you in your early years.

Talking things through with a trained therapist can be one way of beginning to understand why you might be expressing yourself through anger and violence, and working towards finding the place within yourself where you can choose to begin to relate to others in a non-violent way. To contact me, see here.

Becoming aware of and understanding how shame is a trigger for violence can be useful in terms of personal development and/or recovery, regardless of how violence has affected your life. Read more …

  • When Shame leads to Violence – Jonathon Asser, BACP Journal, Dec 2009
  • Anatomy of Violence – includes documentary about SVI programme run by Jonathon Asser, then psychodynamic counsellor, in Wandsworth Prison until 2010. Also clips of group therapy sessions from ‘Starred Up’, a film directed by Jonathon Asser, based on his SVI experience in professional practice.