Child abuse can take many forms. Psychological abuse includes emotional abuse and mental abuse. Psychological abuse includes verbal or non-verbal behaviors intended to make a child believe that they are powerless, at risk of harm, unwanted or worthless. Verbal abuse is commonly a part of psychological abuse and can include name calling, verbal threats of harm to the child. Threats may not be limited to the child’s wellbeing and may include favorite toys, pets, or loved ones. Blaming may have been taught to these children by the perpetrator. They may be told that if they weren’t such a bad kid this wouldn’t happen. They may be told if they tell anyone, someone will be hurt, sometimes making the child feel guilty for the perpetrator’s legal consequences.
When psychological abuse happens directly to a child, psychoeducation helps children understanding that abuse includes name calling, excessive yelling, ignoring, etc. Children often have guilt and blame themselves for the arguments and fights. It is important to inform these children that abuse is not an indication of their worth as a person. They may need help understanding the difference between healthy and harmful discipline in a home.
Psychological trauma may occur when a child observes abuse toward a caregiver parent. When this happens it is important to provide information that will help children understand that violence is not an appropriate way to handle disagreements and anger. Psychoeducation can include providing information to help the children not blame themselves for their caregivers’ arguments and fights. Some of the guilt may be from children misunderstanding the complications of adult relationships and problems. It may be important to emphasize that most people can disagree and get angry without violence. Most likely, children who have suffered physical abuse will need some behavior modification.
Whether the abuse is aimed at a child, or they observe their caregiver being abused, psychological trauma may occur. It takes the care of a trained mental health professional to identify these guilty thoughts and help correct them. The therapist may include the non-offending caregiver to participate in therapy to enhance the caregiver/child bond.
If you have concerns that your child may be suffering from the effects of psychological abuse call today to help the healing begin. Call today 402-325-0117.