Facing the Pain of Child Abuse

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It is painful to come face-to-face with the reality that you were abused as a child—either emotionally, physically or sexually. It is painful to acknowledge that another human being could have treated you that way, especially if that person was someone you loved or admired. It is painful to realize that someone you cared so deeply for could be so callous, cruel or selfish. And it is painful to remember how hurt you felt, how betrayed you felt, and how frightened you were. Let’s begin by helping you to understand the difference between “intellectually” recognizing how painful the abuse was and having real sympathy—or what psychologist and author of The Compassionate Mind, Paul Gilbert, Ph.D. refers to as having “self-focused sympathy” for your distress.  Click here to read more...