Emotional Abuse

How To Help Children And Youth Affected By Emotional Abuse Or Psychological Abuse

Being Called Stupid, An Idiot, Bad, Ugly; Frequently Belittled And Unacknowledged; Child Or Youth Often Threatened And Frightened By Adults And Teachers; No Guidance/No Limits, Allowed To Do Anything; Stifled By Over-Control And Worry, Lack Of Faith And Trust; Yelled At Frequently; Verbal Abuse; Prolonged Exposure To Chaos

Emotions are a person’s radar. The rest of the human body has as many nerve cells as the brain. The whole body is a gigantic sense organ; that includes all the other sense organs like the skin, nose, mouth, eyes, ears. The mind, body and all the sense organs are involved in the creation of emotions. Emotions tell us what is happening around us, whether we are safe or not safe, whether to relax or be ready for trouble. Babies are born with some basic emotions--fear, displeasure, pleasure. They learn other emotions as they get older. Children & youth gain intelligence about what their emotions mean when they are living in peaceful, loving environments, with adults who are pretty relaxed and who have had enough security to become emotionally intelligent. Such parents teach their children & youth what to do with emotions.

Emotions cause physiological effects that can be stored in the body when the emotions are unexpressed. The body is good at sensing emotions, but is not good at releasing the effects of emotions that prepare the body for action, defense or trouble. When children & youth are emotionally overloaded, other emotions cannot be felt. Children & youth lose information that can help them control their behavior, think clearly, learn easily and be relaxed enough for their bodies to grow easily.

Children & youth become emotionally abused when they are bombarded with too much negative emotion (like anger, fear, hate, apathy); too much activity; too much shocking information; too many frightening actions done to and around them; too much lack of success; when they receive too little love, caring attention, acceptance and encouragement. The child’s or youth’s nervous system can also be further damaged by nutritional imbalances and exposure to pollutants of all kinds. (Exposure to pollutants and nutritional imbalances can cause symptoms similar to ones associated with emotional abuse.) Being abused physically, sexually, intellectually, or spiritually all involve emotional abuse.

To recover from emotional abuse and to develop emotional intelligence, children & youth need stability, caring attention from relaxed adults, interesting activities, good food, exercise, safe environments, some novelty.

Children & youth who are abused often resort to doing many things which can temporarily make them feel safer and help them forget the pain of being abused. These include: vandalism; violence; bullying; sexually acting out; smoking; drug abuse; substance abuse; eating disorders; cutting themselves; suicide attempts; theft; isolation; abusing other children and youth; breaking home, school and community rules.

Being Called Stupid, An Idiot, Bad, Ugly; Frequently Belittled And Unacknowledged:

Without help, a child or youth’s self-confidence disappears. Later success in learning, living, relationships, and being an effective parent is extremely difficult. These actions are often related to parents and teachers who need education, support and therapy so they can be more patient and attentive to the child or youth. Some adults discharge their stress onto children & youth by acting abusively .

Child Or Youth Often Threatened And Frightened By Adults And Teachers:

This fear often immobilizes the child or youth’s learning and willingness to participate, destroys self-confidence and can cause emotional, social and intellectual challenges later in life. The child or youth does not learn effective communication skills, but rather learns to intimidate. Frightened children & youth often try to frighten other children & youth. This fear can be due to and complicated by a combination of: adults being stressed out from their own family patterns as children or youth; economic worries and stresses; nutritional imbalances; exposure to environmental pollutants; and a lack of practice at being calm. Adults discharge their own stress onto the children or youth they abuse.

No Guidance/No Limits, Allowed To Do Anything:

Unchecked, this can effect concentration, impulse control , and can lead to disorganized learning and inability to cooperate with others. This can make children & youth very self-centered and can place them in very dangerous situations. Often it deteriorates a child or youth’s ability to trust, learn, perceive and discriminate. It can make impulse control, cooperation, following directions very difficult throughout life. This can be due to a combination of: stressed adults who are in need of support themselves; encouragement; help for adults being effective caregivers.

Stifled By Over-Control And Worry, Lack Of Faith And Trust:

This lowers a child or youth’s self-confidence and can create fear, timidity, or a lack of self-worth. It can stifle perseverance. The child or youth can also become a bully in order to compensate. This kind of abuse often leads the child or youth to making poor choices later in life. It can often be due to stressed out, frightened adults who need help in being effective caregivers.


Unchecked, this can be fatal. A child or youth can become disconnected from society and can become angry, depressed, frightened, having no confidence and being unable to love or have compassion. Being unloved is often due to caregivers who need support, love, attention, therapy, good nutrition, and success themselves.

Yelled At Frequently:

Unchecked, this can create a lack of self-confidence and an inability to work through intense situations. This type of emotional abuse can create anxiety, depression, hopelessness, anger, and muddled thinking. Being yelled at is often due to the child or youth being exposed to stressed out adults who need support in: being effective with children & youth; fear management; anger management; impulse control. Adult nutrition imbalances and their exposure to environmental pollutants might also be involved.

Verbal Abuse:

Frequently being yelled and screamed at, humiliated, shamed. Everything that happens to children & youth effects their bodies. Without help, children & youths’ bodies can be twisted into postures of defeat which can become habitual. Emotions caused by being yelled at, ridiculed and criticized can become locked in body posture. Slouching, holding stiffly upright, frozen facial expression, inner tension can all cause distorted growth, discomfort, pain, and other challenges in adult life. As well as the causes listed above, people saying cruel things to a child or youth can be caused by a combination of: the perpetrator feeling insecure and/or angry; perpetrator guilt and shame; having low self-esteem; family and community patterns; silence of people rejecting these ideas.

Prolonged Exposure To Chaos:

Without assistance, exposure to chaos can cause the child or youth to be tense and unable to relax. A lack of relaxation can eventually hurt the body, mind and spirit. The child or youth abused this way can habitually create chaos in adult life. Without help, such children & youth can harbor powerful and confusing emotions about not being cared for properly. These emotions can effect self-confidence and decrease success as adults.

First, We Would Investigate

Second, We Would Investigate

For Long Term Support
We Would Investigate

  • EMDR
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Light Therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Attitudinal Healing
  • Expressive Arts
  • Drumming
  • Homeopathy
  • Aromatherapy
  • Flower Essences
  • Herbology
  • Nutrition Consulting
  • Wilderness Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Music Lessons
  • Environmentally Healthy Homes
  • Psychiatry
  • Western Medicine
  • Osteopathy
  • Independent Study
  • Aikido
  • Ayurveda
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Craniosacral
  • Chiropractic
  • Precision Teaching
  • Feldenkrais
  • Aikido
  • Aromatherapy
  • Flower Essences
  • Attitudinal Healing
  • Nutrition Consulting
  • Meditation
  • Support For Parents
  • Independent Study

On Our Own We Would Try: • Less or No TV, Movies, Video/Computer Games • Wholesome Pleasures • Back Rubs and Foot Massages • Nature • Replace sodas, juices, sugars, fats, fast foods with water, veggies, whole grains, nuts, protein, fruit, slow food • Long Walks/Hikes • Bedtime Stories and Chats • Pets

For Parents: • Get help for yourself. • Listen and acknowledge your child’s or youth’s frustration. • Stay calm. • Your child’s or youth’s challenges may make you feel upset about your own challenges. Acknowledge this and do what you can to work on your own challenges.

•Keep sodas, diet sodas, juices, sugars, processed foods out of your home. • Mean what you say, say what you mean, do what you say you are going to do.

Check out: www.medlineplus.gov; www.acestudy.org; www.traumasoma.com/index.shtml (very technical); www.acestudy.org.

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