Tag Archives: Victims

A Look Inside

A Look Inside: My Parkinson’s Life in Poetry by me, Dean G. Parsons.

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There’s No Escaping the Truth

I have been reflecting on my work as a Counsellor and Psychotherapist and about society and humanity.  I wish to share with you a simple truth that I always find underneath any problem behaviour in people.  The good news is that problem behaviour can be overcome.

You are responsible for your own behaviour, in the present day.  No matter what you have been through in life, no matter what historic people, circumstances or events have hurt you, today you are responsible for your own behaviour.  That is the simple truth.

You have already survived everything that has ever happened to you, right up to this very moment in which you are reading this article.  How you decide to behave today, is a choice that you make.  That is your responsibility and yours alone.  You may be behaving in a way which is detrimental, damaging or harmful to yourself or to somebody else.  No matter what you have been through in life, you could treat yourself more kindly.  How you decide to behave is within your power.

Whatever hurt you carry inside, from your life experiences before this very moment, today you can choose how to respond to that pain.  The way that you decide to behave.  The things you choose to do.  The way you treat yourself and others.  The way you treat your community, society and even the environment and world around you.

Whatever you do today is for you to decide.  It is your responsibility to make the decision about how you are going to behave.  People can always blame historic situations, circumstances or people from the past, for problematic behaviour today.  There is truth in that, for we will have been affected by adversity.  Nonetheless, will you continue to act out on your hurt from the past?  How would that serve you?

When are you going to stop treating yourself, others or the world around you badly or unhealthily?  When are you going to stop acting out your hurt and take responsibility to deal with how you feel?  When are you going to stop using the past as a justification for problem behaviour today?

It’s not easy.  If you are struggling, ask for help.  If not from a person in your life, then from a charity, agency, medical professional or private therapist.  Life can be better.  Help is available.  You can do this.  Make change happen.  Let go of suffering.  Life truly can be good, even if you cannot see that right now.

This message is not to any specific individual.  It is to all individuals; all people.

But it starts with you, the individual reader.

(C) Dean Parsons. 2018.

You Do What You Believe

Aaron Beck (born 1921) is known for further developing Cognitive Behaviour theory.  I have found that he is known to have developed studies and clinical observations of clients, in the 1960’s, in relation to the treatment of depression.

Beck became known for having further developed Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and a ‘Model of Depression’.  The aim of this was to enable a client to change their unhelpful and unhealthy thought processes into helpful and healthy thought processes.  Beck suggested that depressed clients may see themselves as a failure and more paranoid clients may see themselves as victims.

Beck described how a person has a system of beliefs and rules, which he called Schemas. The model works with clients to explore their thought processes, beliefs and their experience of ‘automatic thoughts’.  Beck suggested that people experience sudden ‘automatic thoughts’, which are unconscious to the conscious mind and, if the person is anxious or negative, these thoughts may reinforce anxiety and negative beliefs. 

Schemas themselves are developed from the way in which a person evaluates their life and life events.  These events are, in turn, translated into ways that a person may regard themselves, others and perhaps even society; becoming new belief systems.

Negative belief systems may reinforce unhelpful or unhealthy thoughts and emotions.  This may, consequently, influence behaviour negatively.  Cognitive Behavioural Therapy aims for clients to reconsider their thought processes and underlying beliefs.  The aim being to replace negative thought processes and beliefs with more positive ones.  This may then influence positively upon the person’s subsequent behaviour.

The change, from unhelpful and unhealthy thought processes, is achieved by helping the client to achieve rational thinking.   This then results in more positive beliefs, positive behavioural changes and, importantly, more positive outcomes.  With a more positive belief system, anxiety is then more easily reduced.

This article is just a very brief overview of Beck’s work in further developing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.  I would suggest further reading on the subject.

(C) Dean Parsons  April 2018.

The Blood Soaked Brick

She made her way toward the line
The place the bridge gave cover
Where in the depths the people cried
Each wishing for their Mother
Above the ground the siren whined
She thought just of her lover
She stopped to hear the silent sign
London hit by another

Right then she fell unto the ground
A lightening strike so quick
Unable to tell up from down
Beside her a blood soaked brick
She prayed hard either to be found
Or for her end to be quick

From chaos she was found alive
In anger she felt no fear
No one beneath the bridge survived
Drowned by The River so near
If blood soaked brick had not arrived
Her fate at the bridge was clear

The woman in this story told
Was my Gran whom I loved so
If the brick had not knocked her cold
She’d have died at the bridge, I know
She lived to be a lady old
My amazing Grandma Flo

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(C) Dean Parsons. 2017.

 

 

 

 

Psychological Abuse in Law

Here in the UK, at the end of 2015, a landmark new law came into effect that criminalises the act of Psychological Abuse perpetrated against a Spouse, Partner or Family Member.  This is a major step forward in addressing the broader problem of Domestic Abuse where, historically, Domestic Abuse was only considered to be physical abuse and violence.  This change in law recognises that Domestic Abuse includes isolating a person, controlling them, creating structures that lead to degrading, dehumanising and humiliating the person or threatening to expose a private or personal aspect relating to the person.  This law is part of the Serious Crime Bill.

I would describe Psychological Abuse as an abuse that may have either an intentional or an unintentional cause; namely the behaviour of another person or people, culture or institution.  I would describe Psychological Abuse also by its effect upon the person or people who experience the effect; the victim/s.  The effects are largely emotional, though can also be neurological; with cognitive functioning potentially becoming disordered or adversely affected by trauma as a consequence.  Physical health can be adversely affected, too, as a consequence of the emotional and neurological impact.

How a person experiences their physicality and physical world may also be affected; for Psychological Abuse can come in the form of physical threats such as written threat and intimidation, ostracisation, exclusion, alienation and other bullying tactics or there may be an illness or physical symptoms that accompany the emotional or neurological effect.  I believe that Psychological Abuse often involves an element of misuse of ‘power’ by the perpetrating person / people, culture or institution; the aim, where there is intent, being to hold power over the victim, in some form.  This includes the element of control.

I mention intentionality, for I believe that Psychological Abuse can also be an effect, when caused unintentionally by the ignorant or bad behaviour of others, by outdated, unhelpful or unhealthy cultural structures or practices and policies of institutions that are inherently working against those that are employed, or served, by them.

What I have described, thus far, is based on my view that there is a cause and an effect that describes Psychological Abuse. I also believe that Psychological Abuse can be broader than just the actions of one person exerting power over another; for it may be cultural or institutional, within society. I reiterate that Psychological Abuse may be intentional or unintended and, therefore, a by-product and a consequence of damaging societal structures.  Currently in the media; discussion about how Religious institutions or indeed Governments may be intentionally, or unintentionally, responsible for the Psychological Abuse of those such as Lesbians, Gay Men, Bi-Sexual people and Trans people, for example.

In my line of work, as a Counsellor and Psychotherapist, I have found that people present to me evidence of emotional and / or neurological effects as a result of Psychological Abuse but there can also be physical consequences; psychosomatic disorders, for example.

This brings me to the subject of trauma, for trauma can be a significant and debilitating effect of experiencing Psychological Abuse. The impact of this can be fundamental; particularly when the perpetrator of the Psychological Abuse, triggering the trauma, is personally close to the victim; for example, a colleague, friend or loved one.

A person that has been Psychologically Abused is usually aware that what they have experienced is abuse but, sometimes, a person may be unaware that they are, or have been, in an abusive situation, despite experiencing symptoms of the effect of the abuse.

Counselling and Psychotherapy offer an opportunity to help the person with their emotional and physical symptoms and help the person to recognise the abusive nature of their situation, for themselves. In such circumstances, the Counsellor or Psychotherapist can help the person to effect self-change that may empower them to achieve their goals and restore their perspective and their sense of hopefulness in their own future.

John Bowlby (1907-1990) suggested that a person’s view of him/herself may be adversely affected; given that the perpetrator of their Psychological Abuse (whether a person, a culture or an institution) may have become an ‘attachment’ figure / authority during the time of the abuse.  This can sometimes deeply affect the person’s ability to trust others or take a step away to manage for themselves.

The consequence of the person’s self-esteem / self-concept being adversely affected, as a result, may have broader social implications; social isolation, withdrawal, maladaptive thinking that could affect friendships and other relationships, low self-confidence, inability to carry out basic life skills, difficulty in the workplace or education system, economic instability, health issues, mental health issues, rejection of one’s own culture or of the abusing culture and associated ‘norms’, rebellion against institution, substance abuse, self-harm, developmental problems, difficulty with parenting skills (potentially causing dysfunction or damage to a new generation) and many other issues.

Again, at this point, Counselling and Psychotherapy can be incredibly helpful in assisting a person to recognise these adverse effects and helpful at supporting the person to bring about positive change in their thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviours; empowering the person to regain a sense of who they are, control of their life in the present and creating the basis for building a brighter future.

(C) Dean Parsons. 2016.