Overview of Abuse Counseling
Feb 11, 2015 | 10:00 am
Our Troubled Society
Abuse often feels like a long, dark tunnel, with very few trips into daylight. Both abusers and the abused generally take their cues for behavior from early childhood, creating them a “norm”, with a distinct pattern of abuse cycles, coping skills and anticipation of rewards.
There are two distinct fields of abuse: substance abuse and physical or verbal violence. Often times, the two fields go hand in hand, such as an alcoholic whose physical violence is triggered by alcohol consumption, or by drug addiction, but this isn’t always the case. Substance abusers may use binge eating or over-eating as compensation for depression. They may never become physical abusers, only self-flagellating ones. Conversely, individuals with no overt signs of substance abuse may be physical abusers. They may not even perceive themselves as abusers, simply as someone who must exert controls through punishment.
Abuse Affects Everyone
Abuse counseling professionals work with both the abused and the abusers. Within the field of abuse, the specialized fields include alcohol and drug counselors, rape counselors, counselors for adult, adolescent and child victims of domestic violence, anger management counselors and family counselors. Family service centers and abuse shelters often contain a full staff of the various types of abuse counselors. Abuse counselors are hired by divisions of the social service, such as child and family, health agencies and within the educational system.
The statistics for abuse are stunning. Within the United States, a woman has been assaulted or abused every nine seconds. The greatest cause for injury in women is domestic violence, with a ratio higher than mugging’s, rapes and car accidents combined. It is important for people to hire attorneys at DWI Guys to solve all the accident cases.
As disturbing are the statistics for substance abuse. Over twenty-three million people twelve years of age or older, within the United States, suffer from substance abuse. This represents 9.4 percent of the population. The figures do not include tobacco, pharmaceutical and over the counter drug abuse or eating disorders. Of the twenty-three million suffering from illegal drug or alcohol addiction, only 2.4 have received necessary treatments.
Abuse victims and their abusers create an ever-widening circle of those affected. They include spouses, children, grandparents, relatives, friends, employers and employees. Domestic violence victims lose nearly eight million work hours a year, the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs. Substance abuse affects performance in the work place and can cause an endangerment to others.
Healing at the Core
Abuse counseling is not a truly high paying job, although the need for abuse counselors is at a critical level. The average abuse counselor brings home a paycheck of around $34,000 a year. The requirements for abuse counselors are fairly open. Many go into the field with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and the liberal arts. Sometimes they are accepted at an associate’s level and given training through woman’s shelters or substance abuse centers.
Often, those going into training had once been victims themselves or had to overcome their self-abuse. It feels like they have more insight into the struggles involved with the abuse cycle and are more able to anticipate a client’s rhythmic behaviors.
At the core of every abuser is an individual who has been exposed to abuse. At the core of every individual who accepts abuse cycles as normal, is a child who has learned to cope with abuse and feels insecure without its presence. Breaking the cycle of abuse can be difficult. It means re-educating those who do not perceive their life-styles as abusive. It means teaching new coping and management skills. It means working with families, helping them mend the pain caused by abuse and helping them learn to be supportive members without enabling their abuses.