Unfortunately, abuse is extremely extensive and common. It includes emotional, physical, sexual, verbal, spiritual and vicarious abuse. All abuse is destructive to the spirit and the heart of the person. It erodes trust in self, in others, in community, and in perceptions and interpretations of the world and its citizens.
The role of the therapist is to validate (make real) the experience of the person of abuse. It is to separate past from present from future. It is to adjust perceptions from the past to fit the reality of the present, to develop new expectations to reflect the world they now live in, and to help people create a vision for the future that is not contaminated by past experiences.
The goal of therapy is to see people shed the self images of the past and to create their own, present day, identify. It is to see people become empowered and claiming the right to dream of a future free of abusive thoughts and feelings.