When all of the bruises are internal, the healing process can often be more difficult than external wounds.
Shannon Thomas’s Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse, provides a roadmap for those who have suffered psychological abuse and seek to recover and rebuild.
As Shannon notes, psychological abusers come in all shapes and sizes – as spouses, parents, in-laws, siblings, bosses, co-workers, and even so-called friends.
Pinpointing hidden psychological abusers is never easy. Shannon equates these toxic people to snakes, pouncing quickly and slithering away before their victims even know what hit them. Those who are abused typically realize that they’ve been bitten, but they lack the insights and education to defend themselves, expose their abusers, and free themselves from the venom of their persecutors.
As a therapist who regularly works with clients who come to her thinking that they need to "fix themselves,” Shannon is well-positioned to help abuse victims recognize their abusers and discover the path back to living free of psychological trauma.
Sharon draws a clear distinction between psychological and emotional abuse. While emotional abusers still have empathy for those who they hurt – perhaps due to their own addictions or mental illness – psychological abusers, "enjoy the control they gain from abusing people,” Sharon writes.
"It’s often hard to even comprehend such human ugliness exists in the world,” Sharon observes, adding, "I assure you it does?”
Those who stand to benefit the most by reading "Healing from Hidden Abuse,” likely already sense the insidious and cryptic nature of their abusers.
Sharon conveys her love and respect for her clients, and her readers, demonstrating clearly that she empathizes with their plight. The author herself is a fellow survivor of psychological abuse. She not only works as the lead therapist in a private counseling practice in Southlake, Texas, she also served as the co-investigator of the research project, Examining Patterns of Psychological Abuse, along with Dr. Aesha John of Texas Christian University.
"Coming to a full understanding of exactly how abusers operate helps survivors find their breath again," Thomas notes. "Education will make the spinning of confusion stop.”
Better still, once abuse victims educate themselves, extract themselves, and recover, Thomas reassures readers, "You’re not likely to be sideswiped again by a covert (hidden) or overt (aggressive) abuser.“
That is certainly good news.
Thomas recommends that readers take their time reading through "Healing from Hidden Abuse" and she includes a Personal Reflections journal at the back to allow them to personalize their journey of recovery.
Because many psychological abuse victims have a hard time identifying as such – at least at first – "Healing from Hidden Abuse” is a book that friends, family members, and co-workers of a victim may be well advised to buy and gift to the abuse victim, or read the book themselves and then pass along what they learn.
One audience that won’t be buying Thomas’s book are the psychological abusers themselves. To them, "Healing from Hidden Abuse" is the equivalent of sunlight to a vampire – devastating. Abusers thrive on the ignorance of their victims and their ability to walk, unseen, in full public view.