Therapeutic Issues in Couples Therapy with Emotional/Verbal (Psychological) AbuseMoshe Rozdzial, PhD, LPC*
Intimate partner (domestic) abuse is a pattern of intentional physical, emotional, verbal (psychological), and sexual mistreatment to gain and maintain differential power and control within an intimate relationship. Verbal and emotional abuse in relationship are part of a range of coercive behaviors and tactics that include domestic violence, but, without direct physical harm, are often dismissed, as there are no legal ramifications, yet, have deep psychological harms to the victim, including depression, isolation, fear, and guilt, and vulnerability to various health issues.
Working with Gay and Lesbian Couples with Emotional/Verbal (Psychological) AbuseMoshe Rozdzial, PhD, LPC*
Intimate partner abuse exempts no race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexual orientation or social status. On a daily basis, issues of dominance, power, and control in relationships are rooted in the oppressive systems to which we are all conditioned. Heterosexual hegemony normalizes the types of abusive behaviors that are both physically and mentally harmful, with the identified victim typically being the female and the perpetrator being male. Less universally recognized is the occurrence of domestic abuse among same-sex partners.
Regardless of habitation status, research indicates...
Gender nonconformity is the expression of gender characteristics that are socially and culturally associated with the opposite sex. Gender roles, femininity, and masculinity are concepts that have social and cultural meaning and agreement. Because male gender roles and masculinity are culturally more restrictive than femininity (women can wear pants, but men can't wear skirts) gender nonconformity (femininity) in boys, whether straight or gay, is often treated as more serious and results in stronger rejection compared with gender nonconformity (masculinity) in girls. Gay, Lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth and adults, who express gender-atypical characteristics, are more apt to be targeted for...
GLOW (Gays and Lesbians Out and Well) is psychotherapy and counseling with a gay-affirming focus for the Denver, Colorado, LGBT community.
Domestic abuse and violence is blind to sexual orientation or social status. On a Daily basis, Issues of dominance, power, and control in relationships are rooted in the fabric of the oppressive systems we live in. Although there is overlap between the issues faced by survivors of domestic violence and partner abuse in straight and gay relationships, GLBT persons struggle with some unique challenges and vulnerabilities that may be exploited in same-sex intimate partner abuse. These include:
Somewhere between 6 million and 12 million children have been blessed with gay parents. Yet, gay and lesbian parents continue to struggle on a daily basis with the challenges of a homophobic society and institutionalized oppression. Gays and lesbians are the only population facing restrictions on the rights and privileges of parenthood.
When it comes to parenting, as well as other civil rights, gays and lesbians are de facto second class citizens:
Many states still bar adoptions and foster parenting by gay men and lesbians. Family courts have taken children away from gay parents and awarded custody...
Coming out is the very personal process of making your identity, as a member of a sexual minority, visible in the world, to one degree or another. The coming out process is different for every person, occurring at different ages, life stages, and in different ways and settings (see also 10 Anti-Gay Myths Debunked). Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Coming Out GLBT/Gay:
I have same-sex attraction. Am I Gay or queer?
Sexuality in on a continuum and only you get to define it. Coming out is part of a journey of identity formation, self understanding, and self-acceptance. The coming...
A healthy relationship requires the ability to tolerate and deal with conflict in a respectful way that maintains personal dignity and avoids hurt and wounding. Conflict is normal and teaches us about our differences. The skills of friendly conflict require a couple to agree to rules of engagement that allow them to work out differences without triggering their deepest fears of criticism or rejection. It means engaging without hurting or blaming one another. Here are some tips to ensure that conflicts will strengthen your relationship instead of harming it. In my Denver couples counseling practice, I offer counseling that recommends these seven rules of health relationship engagement:
Communication is an important aspect of all relationships. Couples that have healthy relationships communicate love and respect to each other. Effective communication requires not only listening and empathy skills but also the ability to express thoughts and feelings without criticism or attack of the partner. Feeling safe to express emotions and thought are therefore primary to good communication. If you are afraid of being hurt or rejected for your emotions or thoughts you will be reluctant to communicate. Good communication doesn't mean that you won’t have any conflict, it involves how honestly you express your thoughts, ideas, and feelings to others, especially in what you say and how you...
Are you dissatisfied, questioning, feeling stuck or anxious about your relationship or career choice?
Are you struggling with the meaning of your life as an empty-nester?
Are you worried there’s little time left to materialize your dreams?
Are you being confronted by your own mortality?
Are physical, sexual, and health changes diminishing your confidence?
Are you depressed, irritable, and indecisive, as life seems to pass you by?
If you are between your late Thirties and late Fifties, you are probably undergoing a natural life cycle change or transition often labeled as the “midlife crisis”. This developmental transition is marked both by physical changes, as the body ages, and by...
Are you challenged by gender roles and expectations in your relationship?
Are you wanting equality in your relationship but don't know how to manifest it?
Do you suffer with competition and one-upmanship in your relationship?
Do you struggle with differential power, racial, or religious dynamics?
Are you burdened by with issues of homophobia or bi-phobia?
Is one of you considered to be better looking by the culture?
Do you deal with unequal resources or finances in your relationship?
Do you have painful discussions about money?
Some power differentials in relationships include financial, educational, and ethnic or religious affiliation. Position differences include social support differences, beauty, sexual availability, emotional wherewithal, resiliency,...