Abuse and bullying can come in a number of different forms; it could be sexual, physical or emotional. One of the main characteristics of any abusive relationship is control. This is where one (sometimes more than one) person is trying to control the behaviour of another person. Abuse can emerge slowly over a period of time, often starting as some form of jealousy, but can develop into something much more controlling such that the victim becomes isolated and vulnerable.
Abuse and bullying can have a long-term effect on a victim. This will ultimately impact on their ability to form healthy relationships and on their self-esteem. The behaviour of victims of abuse is often the consequence of the abuse they have received many years ago, be that, bullying, sexual, or psychological. The effects of this abuse need to be gently explored so that the victim is able to understand what has happened, why it has happened and how it has impacted on their lives.
In my career I have worked with many people who have been bullied or abused. I was able to assist them to understand how this negative experience has impacted on their lives and most importantly to explore feelings from their past which they had been unable to talk about.
Counselling may help to restore self-esteem and re-examine how the victim could seek help and move on to form healthier relationships.