• alli@pointofchangecounselling.com.au

Point Of Change Counselling

promoting change that heals

face-to-face, Skype or telephone appointments available


"Sue" was an intelligent professional woman. She had a successful and respected career before meeting "Bob", who also had a well-paid professional position. After a whirlwind courtship, they married and moved countries to give themselves even greater opportunities for professional advancement. Bob had a job to come to, but Sue quickly found work in her field too and within a short time was promoted, with a substantial pay rise.

Meanwhile Bob clashed with his employers and quit. He was surprised to find that finding another position was not easy. Their relationship began to unravel, with Bob regularly criticising Sue's professional ability which deteriorated into vicious personal attacks on every aspect of who she was. Cut off from family and friends, Sue handed over management of her paycheque to Bob, who was still unemployed and had to apply to him for every cent she needed, which was often refused. The constant belittling of Sue flowed into their sexual relationship, at which point she sought counselling because Bob said she needed all the help she could get.

Sadly, Sue's story is not uncommon. The interesting aspect is that Sue had failed to recognise that she was in an abusive relationship. Because she had not been physically harmed (yet), she did not realise that she was caught in domestic violence. When you are regularly devalued as a person by another human being, it's abuse! This can be sexual, financial, physical, verbal, emotional, mental or spiritual.

This lack of awareness of what abuse looks like, is one of the greatest factors in keeping people trapped in unhealthy, or even dangerous, relationships.

Every response to abuse will be unique, because each individual is different. Working with a counsellor will help you to:

  • Recognise the strategies the other person employs to keep you "under control".
  • Become familiar with the aspects of you which keep you available for abuse.
  • Explore your history in order to identify experiences which have made you vulnerable.
  • Learn new ways of responding to abusive behaviours.
  • Make different choices about who you want to be in the relationship.

If you're not sure whether you (or somebody you care about), is being abused, look for some of these symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Withdrawal
  • Secrecy
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Signs they may be contemplating suicide
  • Self-harm
  • Excessive self-blame
  • Consistently making excuses for the other person's behaviour

While not an exhaustive list, these signs should never be ignored. Not everyone impacted by abuse is ready or able to seek help from a counsellor, but if you have serious concerns about a loved one, counselling can support you to support them.

If you are suffering abuse, contact Alli at Point Of Change Counselling for an appointment.

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The information on this website is intended for general information only. For help, diagnosis, or treatment of specific issues, please see a mental health professional.