Dealing with Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can affect anyone of any age or gender. Whether it's physical or psychological, domestic abuse is destructive for both the battered and the batterer. Its tendency to be passed down over generations makes it all the more important that we develop effective methods for combating abuse.

Recent Posts on Domestic Violence

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, Inaugurated

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy's inaugural speech calls for civic leaders to ignite discussions on mental health, and to bring the topic "out of the shadows".

You Can’t Reason with a Verbal Abuser, so Don’t Even Try

Verbal abuse can be ever so subtle. Yet it leaves the victim of the abuse in a lot of pain and confusion. Believing in a different reality where people reason and communicate in rational ways with each other, the victim of the abuse tries to make sense of her abuser’s treatment of her. That is the wrong way to deal with this type of abuse.

Harming the Innocent to Punish the Guilty

By Peter Toohey on April 16, 2015 in Annals of the Emotions
There are three harrowing stories here, one modern concerning Katherine Knight, and two from Greek mythology concerning Procne and Atreus. Mental derangement, jealousy and resentment, and profoundly dysfunctional families are at the heart of the cannibalistic stories. They dramatize the harm that is inflicted on the innocent in order to punish the apparently guilty.

Kicking an Abuser Out of Your Life, and Out of Your Head

Kicking an Abuser Out of Your Life, and Out of Your Head. Ending an abusive relationship requires leaving physically and psychologically. By Avigail Gordon , M.A.

The Making of a Murderer

From poverty to riches, serial killers to gang members, behind almost every violent person, there is a story of despair. Not every trauma creates a killer, but most killers are created from trauma.

When Did “Victim” Become a Bad Word?

Our culture discourages people from acknowledging and/or talking about a victim's suffering. Many people feel embarrassed when they feel bad.. It’s as if they’ve done something wrong—as if their personality or their character has failed them in some way. It’s no wonder that many victims believe that to acknowledge their pain and suffering is to “feel sorry for themselves.”

Everything Ends Up as Pornography

By Steve Albrecht DBA on April 07, 2015 in The Act of Violence
Internet access to pornography is negatively reshaping dating relationships Millennials have with each other.

8 Signs You're in a Relationship with a Sexual Narcissist

Sexual narcissism can be defined as a grandiose sense of one’s sexual prowess which, in the mind of the sexual narcissist, entitles him or her to engage in acts of emotional and physical manipulation at the partner’s expense. How do you know when your partner may be a sexual narcissist? Here are eight telltale signs...

Should We Call it Postpartum Depression?

For reasons that are both straightforward and extremely complex, I just think the terminology should be different.

Top Pacific Heart Stories of 2014-2015

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on April 01, 2015 in The Pacific Heart
The Pacific Heart celebrated some milestones this year, including a viral Op Ed in The New York Daily News last weekend! Here are my top blog posts of the last year.

Shaping Women's Lives: Our Bodies, Ourselves

"Our Bodies, Ourselves" is listed in the Library of Congress "Books That Shaped America.” Since its original publication more than 40 years ago, the book set a foundation for evidence-based, culturally appropriate information on women’s health, sexuality, and reproduction. Co-author Judy Norsigian says, “Gatekeepers no longer have the control they had in the past.”

He is Verbally Abusing Me: Why Me?

A victim of verbal abuse may manage to get out of an abusive relationship and feel relieved, but then meet someone new who is also an abuser. Or she might manage to get out of a relationship but then realize that her colleagues or friends are verbally abusing her too.

Violent Expression: Sign of Our Deep Need to Communicate?

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on March 26, 2015 in The Dolphin Divide
When notions of fair play are violated, our ability to speak helps keep the peace. We are capable of sudden, violent physical outbursts, but calm expressions of anger through language can keep us from resorting to brute force – sometimes.

Racism: Our Collective Complicity, Denial and Naiveté

To honestly confront the psychological illness of racism, America needs a true mirror, one that reflects our light and our shadow; one that provokes a real moral and spiritual awakening.

To Prevent Sexual Violence, Campuses Turn to Bystanders

By A Guest Blogger on March 23, 2015 in The Guest Room
To combat attacks on college-aged women, researchers are developing programs to teach incoming students to be better bystanders.

Why Childhood Stress Crimps Academic Performance

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on March 18, 2015 in The Human Beast
Animals from an environment full of risk remain vigilant and avoid exploring their surroundings. This promotes survival but has the indirect consequence of reducing their cognitive ability. A similar pattern applies to humans and shows up as academic under performance.

Misdiagnosis of Men With Borderline Personality Disorder

By Randi Kreger on March 17, 2015 in Stop Walking on Eggshells
Like women with BPD, men may come from troubled pasts and unstable relationships. At age 3, borderline football star Brandon Marshall witnessed his father nearly beat his mother to death—for the first time. He also lived with his father's drug use and vicious assaults toward women.

Are You in an Abusive Relationship with Money?

There’s one type of abusive relationship that’s still tolerated in this country: It’s the abusive relationship too many of us have with money.

Are You Having Enough Sex?

As a psychotherapist specializing in sexual and intimacy disorders, I can tell you that for a lot of individuals and couples the amount of sex they’re having (or not having) can be worrisome.

Cyberstalking: The Fastest Growing Crime

The shift to living virtually has happened so quickly and so pervasively that we have hardly had time to adjust to all the implications. Cyberstalking is a compulsion. It aims to humiliate, control, frighten, manipulate, embarrass, get revenge at, or otherwise harm the victim.

3 Major Warning Signs of Relationship Trouble

Most of us want to meet and settle down with the “right” person, and most of us want such a relationship to last. Yet, 53% of marriages in the U.S., 48% in Canada, 47% in the U.K., and 43% in Australia end in divorce. What are some of the major warning signs of a relationship in trouble? Here are three key indicators based on research...

Jodi Arias Update

The Jodi Arias jury deliberations continue.

Blaming the Victim

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on February 28, 2015 in Memory Medic
"What did we do to make them hate us so much?"

Intimate Partner Abuse: Walk Away Before the Cycle Starts

We should never live in fear of the people who say they love us.

The Angry Asian Showdown at the Social Media Corral

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on February 23, 2015 in The Pacific Heart
The "Angry Asian Man" (Phil Yu) and "Angry Asian Girl" (Lela Lee) are involved in a dustup that some say has "damaged the Asian-American community." Here's my take on the social media firestorm. My takeaway: depending on social media to connect us is a really, really big mistake. The medium itself is inherently flawed and beyond repair.

Witnessing an Abusive Relationship -- 'Whiplash': the Movie

By Barbara Schildkrout on February 22, 2015 in The Clinical Picture
This psychological review of the film "Whiplash" discusses one of the most powerful but least apparent dynamics in an abusive relationship -- the manipulation of truth. “Whiplash” was nominated for Best Picture 2015. J.K. Simmons won the award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

Escaping Across the Border Through Art

By David Gussak Ph.D., ATR-BC on February 19, 2015 in Art on Trial
Often, women who are emigrating from Mexico—sometimes illegally—may be doing so to escape from violence and suffering. Sometimes, they escape towards it. This post examines how one art therapist, guest blogger Valentina Castro, uses art to help endure and heal from such pain.

What 50 Shades of Grey Tells Us About Women

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on February 16, 2015 in Good Thinking
The phenomenal success of Fifty Shades of Grey is telling something important about the female psyche.

Why Does the Fifty Shades Movie Look Like Domestic Abuse?

By Stephen Snyder M.D. on February 16, 2015 in SexualityToday
In the theater, I realized that the idea of Fifty Shades just being fantasy and therefore innocuous doesn't completely work. Some of the fantasy on-screen struck me as too close to the things people put up with in real life.

The Way We Were?

By Phil Zuckerman Ph.D. on February 11, 2015 in The Secular Life
Life was not better when religion was stronger