Helping Clients Who Are Being Abused: When a client discloses abuse
- Listen to her story in detail and validate her experience.
- Acknowledge her fear, and the risk she takes in speaking with you.
- Recognize and label abusive behavior.
- Treat her feelings of fear, anger and love as legitimate.
- Try to understand the reasons for her choices. Don’t assume her decisions are irrational, or that having been abused means she needs psychotherapy.
- Keep strict confidentiality.
- Leave her in control of decisions that affect her.
- Make safety a high priority.