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The community connection you're missing

My grandparents lived on the Apache mission in East Fork, Arizona when I was young. I’ll always remember our car trips to visit them. We’d leave from our home in Ohio (and later, Oklahoma) and drive. The trip literally took an entire day.

Once in the mountains, the end seemed tantalizing near. But it wasn't. We still had to travel back and forth on switch back roads. Ascending and descending along the way to our seemingly unreachable destination. Talk about frustrating!

Working with survivors of abuse can feel the same...

Am I in an Abusive Relationship?

Understanding what an abusive relationship looks like is a key step toward getting help.

But abuse can be hard to spot, especially when it is not easily visible. When we think of abuse, it is common to think of physical abuse because it results in scars and bruises that we can see.

Yet physical abuse is just one kind of abuse that can happen. Abuse can also be emotional, sexual, psychological, financial, or spiritual. For Emily, the abuse she endured was emotional and financial.

How to talk about abusive relationships

When I tell people what I do for a living, they usually say, “Wow! I could never do that. It must be so hard!” I always respond with, “Oh, but it’s so rewarding.” 

Every time this conversation topic comes up, I am struck by how intense people’s reactions are. Few people believe they would be capable of handling the kind of work that I do, and I want to change that.

I am a mental health counselor who specializes in working with people who have experienced sexual assault or intimate partner violence at some point in their life...

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