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This article is directed toward female victims. However, both men and women can be victims of domestic violence.
The Path to Integrated Healing
The damage caused by domestic violence affects a woman’s physical, spiritual, mental and emotional well being. Therefore, the healing process should address all of these areas, both individually and holistically. Professional counseling is strongly encouraged.
Physical Well Being
Your tangible human body needs health, vitality and protection from harm in order to thrive. This is obtained through a variety of circumstances and lifestyle choices. The most obvious is remaining free from an abusive relationship.
Safety, shelter, food and water are all basic essentials that need to be present in order for you to proceed to higher levels of self-awareness and self-fulfillment. However, just having your basic needs met is not enough.
In order to rise above the minimum standard for life- just getting by- you must reach for a higher level of physical wellbeing. This is obtained through physical activity, proper diet and adequate rest.
Improving your physical wellbeing will bring you many rewards. You will feel better, look better, have increased confidence, a clear mind, lowered stress, increased stamina and improved mental functioning. Of course, this is just a sample of the many benefits obtained through physical wellbeing.
Due to the trauma endured, please consider Therapy as part of your healing process.
Spiritual Well Being
Spiritual Well being is promoted through study, prayer, inner reflection and times of silence. Get in touch with your spiritual side. It is there where you will find inner peace, joy, beauty and strength that you never knew existed. You may attend church, study in the privacy of your home, listen to worship music or spend time with others.
Time spent seeking your Creator is priceless. You will learn how to love and how to be loved because you will know Love. You will find the answers to your problems and relief from your pain. You will learn who you and Whose you are, and you will find your purpose for being.
Don’t know how to start? Find a quiet place where you can be alone. Ask God to show Himself to you in a way you will understand. And then, just be still. Be silent. Wait. Listen. He will meet you there.
Mental Well Being
It is simply not enough to be away from abuse in order to achieve mental wellbeing. Take a look at yourself. Are there addictions you need to overcome? Bad habits you need to break? Problems with procrastination, laziness or other life issue?
What do you know about relationships? Domestic violence? Money? Politics? Current affairs? If you were to take a test on any of these subjects, do you think you would pass?
You must stretch your mind! Give it a workout. Keep your mind active and alert. Read. Study. Learn.
Emotional Well Being
Are you “in touch” with yourself and your feelings? Can you identify, acknowledge and accept the multitude of feelings that you experience every day? Do you feel grounded and steady emotionally or are you prone to irrational mood swings and erratic reactions?
The first step in achieving emotional wellbeing is to work through all the junk and get rid of all the baggage. Journaling, counseling and building a good support network are all important aspects of this process.
In addition, you may want to take anger management or parenting classes; attend a motivational seminar; read healing/ recovery books; practice positive self-talk and focus on understanding your self-worth.
FCCS is directed by Melinda Haynes, MA, California LMFT 102308. Oklahoma LMFT 1153. North Carolina LMFT 2143.