How To Find Therapy for Emotional Abuse Victims 

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on May 14, 2023
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Emotional abuse is a serious form of abuse that can leave lasting emotional scars. It can take many different forms, such as manipulation, humiliation, and belittling.

Unfortunately, very frequently emotional abuse victims hide their symptoms or don’t report their abuser, or get the mental support they need to set boundaries.

Plus, emotional abuse is often misunderstood and overlooked as there are no visible injuries or marks that one can see. This can make it difficult for victims of emotional abuse or those around them to seek help.

The Online Mental Health Reviews team is qualified to write about therapy for emotional abuse because of their extensive knowledge and experience in the mental health field. We are well-versed in various therapeutic approaches and have a deep understanding of the complexities surrounding emotional abuse treatment.

In this blog, we explore why seeking therapy can be difficult for many emotional abuse victims. We’ll also provide resources on finding help for narcissistic abuse, and DIY strategies.

1. Fear of judgment and shame 

One of the main reasons victims of emotional abuse may avoid seeking therapy is because they may have a fear of being judged or ashamed of their experiences.

They may feel like they are weak or that they should have been able to handle the situation on their own. This can often lead to a sense of denial and minimize the abuse.

However, therapy is a safe space where a professional therapist can provide a non-judgmental listening ear and a safe space to verbalize feelings and experiences without fear of persecution. 

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2. Lack of awareness 

Emotional abuse can be challenging to identify, which in turn can lead to a lack of awareness about the issue.

Victims may not recognize that they are being emotionally abused, and therefore they do not understand the need to seek therapy.

This lack of awareness can be further complicated by gaslighting and manipulation tactics of the abuser. It is essential to raise awareness about the types, signs, the long-term effects and educate the public and victims that therapy is available and can lead to the victim’s healing and growth. 

3. Difficulty trusting others 

Trust is a fundamental aspect of any therapeutic relationship.

However, for emotional and sexual abuse victims, it can be difficult to trust anyone due to their previous experiences. They may have been betrayed or let down by people they trusted in the past, including friends and family members. This can make it challenging to build a new relationship with a therapist.

However, therapy for narcissism can give victims tools to build deeper and more meaningful relationships based on trust, respect, and open communication. 

4. Fear of retaliation 

Emotional abuse can often come with the fear of physical harm or retaliation from the abuser. It can be difficult for abuse victims to imagine a life without the abuser. Fear of leaving, retaliation, or the threat of harm can intensify trauma and anxiety, making it hard for some survivors to seek support.

However, it is essential to know that therapeutic relationships can be held in confidence. Support can be found in an experienced therapist who puts the safety and well-being of their clients as a top priority. 

5. Stigma surrounding therapy 

Unfortunately, therapy still has a great deal of stigma attached to it. It is seen as something only for those who are “crazy” or “weak.”

This can make it difficult for emotional abuse victims to seek therapy, as they may not want to be associated with such a negative label. However, more and more people are breaking the chains of stigma regarding mental health, and seeking therapy is much more widely accepted and embraced.

Through therapy, victims may learn that it is a positive thing that they are seeking help, and it shows the strength to recognize the effect emotional abuse has had on their lives and to seek tools to re-power themselves and make the changes. 

What are the 5 Signs of Emotional Abuse?

  1. Controlling behavior: This can include controlling who you talk to, where you go, and what you do. It also includes trying to control your emotions by making you feel guilty or ashamed for expressing them.
  2. Isolation: This involves cutting off contact with family and friends, or preventing you from participating in activities outside of the relationship.
  3. Emotional blackmail: This is when the abuser threatens to withhold something from the victim unless they give in to their demands.
  4. Gaslighting: This is a form of psychological manipulation that causes someone to question their sanity or reality by denying facts and making false accusations.
  5. Yelling: Abusers often use yelling as a way to intimidate and control their victims, which can lead to feelings of fear and helplessness over time.

What are the 4 Cycles of Emotional Abuse?

The cycle of abuse is well-known to therapists, but sadly many people experiencing abuse are not consciously aware of the emotional abuse cycle.

  1. Tension Building: This is the first stage of emotional abuse, where tension builds up in the relationship.
  2. Abusive Incident: This is when an abusive incident occurs, such as verbal or physical abuse.
  3. Reconciliation: This is when the abuser attempts to make amends and apologize for their actions.
  4. Calm: This is a period of relative peace after the abuser has apologized and made amends for their actions.

The Cost of Therapy for Emotional Abuse and Whether It is Worth the Investment

The cost of therapy for emotional abuse can vary depending on the type of therapy and the provider.

Generally, individual therapy sessions range from $50 to $250 per hour, while group or family therapy sessions may be less expensive. Insurance may cover some of the costs; for example, over 40 million Americans may access Talkspace online therapy for emotional abuse through their insurance provider.

When considering whether the investment in therapy for emotional abuse is worth it, it is important to consider the potential benefits that can come from seeking help.

Therapy for emotional abuse treatment can provide a safe space to process difficult emotions, learn new coping skills, and gain insight into how past experiences have impacted your current relationships. Additionally, therapy can provide a sense of support and understanding as you work through difficult issues related to emotional abuse.

Ultimately, only you can decide if the cost of therapy for emotional abuse is worth it for you. If you are struggling with mental health issues related to emotional abuse and would like more information about available treatments, speaking with a mental health professional may be beneficial.

Best Therapy For Help with Emotional Abuse

The best therapies for emotional abuse focus on helping you understand the underlying causes of the abuse, as well as how to cope and heal from it.

  • Counseling can help you learn how to recognize and set boundaries in relationships, and how to communicate your needs healthily.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is often used to help people identify and change negative thought patterns that may be contributing to the abuse.
  • Additionally, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy can be used to process traumatic memories associated with the abuse.

The Benefits of Therapy for Emotional Abuse

Therapy can be a powerful tool for those who have experienced emotional abuse.

It can help victims of emotional abuse to rebuild their self-esteem and confidence, identify healthy relationship principles, manage emotions and stress, gain a different perspective on their situation, and minimize negative beliefs.

Couples therapy is also an effective type of therapy in the case of emotional abuse.

Couples therapy helps partners understand each other, resolve difficult problems, and even help the couple gain a different perspective on their relationship.

No matter what type of therapy you choose to pursue, it is important to find a therapist that you trust and feel comfortable with. A therapist will be able to work with you to understand yourself, consider your feelings, thoughts, and ideas, and work with you to build your self-confidence.

If you are struggling with mental health due to emotional abuse, it is important to seek professional help through online or in-person therapy. With the right kind of support from a qualified therapist, you can start healing from the trauma of emotional and verbal abuse yourself.

Talkspace Couples Therapy

Discover a new way to create emotional well-being, instead of emotional abuse, with Talkspace’s Couples Therapy plan. Talkspace is a leading online therapy platform and their couples plan is designed to foster love, understanding, and growth between partners.

With over 40 million Americans benefiting from insurance coverage, Talkspace offers unparalleled access to licensed therapists, all from the comfort and privacy of your own home too.

You may experience the convenience of live video sessions, unlimited messaging, and same-day scheduling through the highly acclaimed Talkspace app, which has over 18K reviews and an impressive 4.8 average rating on the Apple App Store.

New users enjoy an exclusive $50 discount on sign-up. Embrace the freedom to access therapy sessions anytime, anywhere, and let Talkspace be your trusted guide in strengthening your bond as a couple. Say no to emotional abuse!

The Evidence Supporting the Effectiveness of Therapy for Emotional Abuse

Therapy is an effective way to help those who have experienced emotional abuse.

  • Studies have shown that therapy can help people build tools to manage emotions and stress, as well as rebuild self-esteem and confidence.
  • It can also help the emotional abuser address mental health concerns such as depression or substance abuse.
  • Therapy provides a safe space for victims of emotional abuse to come to terms with what is happening and navigate the safest steps forward.

Scientific evidence1 has confirmed that therapy can alleviate depression and anxiety in victims of abuse emotionally abusive relationships, while Emotional Focused Intervention (EFPEI) based on Emotionally Focused Therapy-Couples (EFT-C) is a proper treatment for decreasing emotionally abusive behaviors and improving marital satisfaction among married elderly couples.

How to Find a Therapist Who Specializes in Emotional Abuse

If you are looking for a therapist who specializes in emotional abuse, there are several options available. To find the right therapist for you, it is important to do some research and ask questions.

  1. One way to start your search is by asking friends or family members if they can recommend a therapist who specializes in trauma or emotional abuse.
  2. You can also look online for therapists in your area who specialize in this type of therapy. Many websites list therapists and provide reviews from past clients.
  3. When considering a therapist, make sure to check their qualifications and experience with emotional abuse. It is also important to ask about their approach to treatment and whether they use evidence-based practices such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
  4. Additionally, make sure that the therapist is licensed and has the appropriate credentials.
  5. It is also important to consider how comfortable you feel with the therapist. Make sure that you feel safe and respected during your sessions, as this will help create an environment where healing can take place.

Finding the right emotional abuse therapist takes time, but it is worth it to get the help you need. With patience and research, you can find a qualified professional who specializes in emotional abuse therapy that meets your needs.

Free Resources For Those Seeking Mental Health Support

If you’re looking for free resources to help with mental health, there are a variety of options available.

You may watch this playlist for more info about free mental health resources near you and how to find them.

What to Expect During Therapy for Emotional Abuse, Including the Techniques Used and Length of Treatment

Therapy techniques used in treating emotional abuse may include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), psychodynamic therapy, group therapy, and trauma-informed care. The length of treatment will depend on the individual’s needs and progress.

Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months or even years to fully recover from the effects of emotional abuse.

Alternatives To Traditional Therapy

People who have experienced emotional abuse may benefit from alternative therapies, support groups, or online and various therapeutic exercises such as yoga, meditation, or art.

  • Individual therapy can help a person process their emotions and develop healthier coping mechanisms.
  • Group therapy provides an opportunity for people to share their stories and receive support from others who have been through similar experiences. Online counseling can provide a sense of anonymity and convenience for those who are unable to attend traditional in-person sessions.
  • Alternative forms of therapy such as music, art, hypnosis, dance, yoga, or meditation may also be beneficial for those who have been emotionally abused. These therapies can help individuals express themselves in ways that they feel comfortable with while providing an outlet for healing.

Other Therapeutic Activities:

Other self-care and activities for positive mental health include physical activities such as yoga, dance, and exercise; meditation; art and music; journaling; reading; dietary supplements; chiropractic care; aromatherapy; massage therapy; progressive muscle relaxation; spirituality, and mental health apps.

Each of these alternatives has its benefits.

  • For example, physical activities can help reduce stress levels while meditation can help improve focus and concentration.
  • Art and music can be used to express emotions creatively.
  • Journaling can help you process your thoughts and feelings more effectively.
  • Reading can provide insight into different perspectives or situations that may help understand your own experiences better.
  • Dietary supplements may provide additional support for mental health issues.
  • Chiropractic care can reduce tension in the body which may affect mental health as well.
  • Aromatherapy, massage therapy, progressive muscle relaxation, spirituality, and mental health apps are other potential options to explore when looking for alternatives to traditional talk therapy.

Steps for Self-Healing, Including Practicing Self-Care

Self-healing is a process of taking care of your mental and emotional health. It involves setting boundaries, practicing self-care, and developing healthy coping mechanisms to help you manage stress and difficult emotions.

The first step in self-healing is deciding that you are ready to try it. This can be a difficult decision, but it is important to recognize that you have the power to take control of your healing journey. Once you have decided to begin self-healing, there are several steps you can take:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position and become aware of your breath. Taking time to focus on your breathing can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.
  2. Keep your hands (palms together) in front of you and rub them rapidly for 30-60 seconds. This simple exercise helps stimulate energy flow throughout the body and clear away negative energy.
  3. Start each morning with a routine that helps you feel connected to yourself such as meditation or yoga. This will help set the tone for the day ahead and provide an opportunity for self-reflection and growth.
  4. Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem! Acknowledging your successes will help boost your confidence and motivate you to keep going on your healing journey.
  5. Write love letters to yourself! Remind yourself of all the wonderful things about who you are, what makes you unique, and why you deserve love and respect from others as well as from yourself.
  6. Understand that healing is more than just physical; it also involves emotional well-being too! Take time for yourself each day by engaging in activities like reading, listening to music, or spending time with friends or family members who make you feel good about yourself.

Self-healing takes time but it is worth it! By following these steps, setting boundaries, and practicing self-care regularly, you can start taking control of your mental health today!

If you’re not ready for or don’t want therapy, you can take an online course instead.

What if you want to learn more about narcissism, like if your parent is narcissistic, or if you want to heal your damage from narcissistic abuse but don’t want to go to therapy or take medication?

There is an advanced course for therapists that gives them dynamic and specific skills to heal gaslighting, codependency, torn attachment, narcissistic abuse, and the grief caused by these relationships.

This course gives mental health professionals the tools they need to help their clients (or the people taking the course) move on with their lives. It does this by giving them easy-to-use treatments from the most popular approaches, like CBT, DBT, and EMDR.

Codependency, Narcissism, and Trauma Bonding: CBT, DBT, and EMDR Strategies to Free Clients from Toxic Relationships” (

An online course can be an excellent way to build motivation, especially if you’re not ready for therapy just yet.

What is Emotional Detachment a Symptom of Emotional Abuse?

According to Medical News Today, emotional detachment is a symptom of emotional abuse, and it can be difficult to recognize.

  • It is characterized by an inability or unwillingness to connect with others on an emotional level. This can manifest in a variety of ways, including withdrawal from stressful or everyday situations, difficulty empathizing with others, and a lack of emotion that seems to be a problem with most emotional abusers in your personality.
  • Emotional detachment may also be a symptom of an attachment disorder such as reactive attachment disorder.
  • Symptoms of this include difficulty forming relationships, difficulty expressing emotions, and difficulty regulating emotions.

It’s important to remember that emotional detachment is not something you should feel ashamed about – it’s something that can be treated and managed with the help of mental health professionals.

If you think you may be experiencing emotional detachment, reach out for help today.


Seeking therapy for emotional abuse can be a difficult path. Understanding the struggles that emotional abuse victims face can help us to show compassion, have patience, and provide the support needed when reaching out for help-seeking emotional abuse therapy.

By breaking down stigmas and raising awareness of emotional abuse, we can help protect victims and promote a life beyond abuse. Everyone deserves to live a happy, safe, and healthy life, and through therapy, emotional abuse survivors can start down the path of self-healing, self-worth, and self-esteem.

Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions about treatment for narcissistic abuse or if you have ideas about which mental health service, app, or course our Online Mental Health Reviews team should buy and try next. We value your opinion and are looking forward to hearing from you.


  1. Maryam Hazrati, P., Rahimah Ibrahim, P., Farkhondeh Sharif, P., & Zahra Bagheri, P. (2017). The Effect of Emotional Focused Intervention on Spousal Emotional Abuse and Marital Satisfaction among Elderly Married Couples: A Randomized Controlled Trial. International Journal of Community Based Nursing and Midwifery, 5(4), 329-334.

Additional Resources

While Zocdoc is excellent for finding local healthcare professionals who take your insurance, you may want to find other types of therapy. In that case, use the list below:

  1. Find Art Therapy: Unravel Myths, Discover Local Options
  2. Find Play Therapy: Locate Services, Bust Myths
  3. Find Hypnotherapy: Local Resources, Dispel Myths
  4. Find Music Therapy: Explore Locally, Break Myths
  5. Find Right Online Hypnotherapist: Weigh Benefits, Challenges
  6. Find Mental Health Centers: Your Local Guide
  7. Find Parent Therapy: Strengthen Family, Overcome Challenges
  8. Find Texas Physical Therapist: Understand Benefits
  9. Find Therapy for Emotional Abuse
  10. Find Humanistic Therapy: Right Therapist Guide
  11. Find Men’s Therapy: Comprehensive Local Services
  12. Find Binge Eating Therapy: Local Guide
  13. Find Skin Picking Help: Local Therapist Finder
  14. Better Speech Therapy Review
  15. Find Reading Guidance: Book Therapy Review

Our team invites you to share your thoughts in the comments section below. Let us know which mental health software products, apps, or courses that Online Mental Health Reviews should explore and review next.

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If You Are In Crisis

Should you find yourself in a critical situation, waiting for an online therapy session might not be the safest option. In moments of immediate danger, please dial 911. This includes instances of domestic violence where you or someone else may be at risk of harm.

If you’re contemplating self-harm, reach out to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988. Assistance is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Additionally, you can contact the National Helpline of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 800-662-HELP (4357). This helpline offers a free, confidential service that provides individuals struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues with treatment options and information 24/7, all year round.

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