Therapy Toronto Psychotherapy Definitions

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Therapist Match:
Wendy Kirk
(North York)
Susie Costello
(the Danforth)
Grace Nostbakken
(midtown Toronto)
Abuse in Childhood
There are many forms of abuse in childhood. We describe them here. See also Sexual Abuse.


The soul of the child is violated by being deprived of normal care, nurturance and fair treatment.

Parents who overly favour one child rather than others end up harming both the favoured and the unfavoured one, though in different ways.

Violence, both verbal and physical, leaves scars. This is true of the violence between parents as much as the violence directed to children unable to protect themselves. Children hold themselves responsible for the negativity between their parents.

As young children we all developed a strong sense of justice and kindness. Unfair punishment and blaming harm us when young at a deep level of the mind.

The integrity of our bodies and our sexual experience go to the roots of who we are. Sexual activity between children and 'grown-ups' is well known to have particularly devastating results since it confuses sex with love.

The violation of that integrity caused by premature and overwhelming sexual experiences is a powerful trauma and has complex destructive effects on our later physical and psycho-spiritual boundaries, functioning and authenticity.

Recovery from abuse is often a very difficult process, prolonged and intensified by profound fear and shame that make it very difficult to resolve the deep roots of the trauma.

If you are grappling with the repercussions resulting from experiences of childhood abuse, it is a particularly vulnerable and courageous step to seek help.

Shattering the taboo and secrecy that are part of the abuse, by speaking about your experiences is very difficult.

It is vitally important to find a therapist who has experience in working with the self-destructive behaviours, coping strategies, boundary dilemmas, and often overwhelmingly intense feelings that this work can uncover.
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