Abuse Guide

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The “Cycle Concept” Many abusive behaviors occur within similar patterns. We refer to repeating patterns as cycles. When we feel stressed out or vulnerable, we often think negative thoughts about ourselves or others and become angry. We sometimes do angry things like arguing or yelling. The anger makes us feel even worse, so we try to imagine “What can I do to feel better? How can I get back a sense of control?” Imagining creates a fantasy. Sometimes we imagine solutions that work, but sometimes the fantasy we think of would be harmful. If the solution we imagine is to do with something which could be harmful to us or others or property, we call that “Abusive Fantasy”.

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Sample Exercise:

Deterrence: Everyone has abusive thoughts sometimes. We may think ‘I’d like to wring his neck!’ or ‘I feel like jumping off a cliff!’ or ‘I’m so mad, I feel like punching something!’ But most times, we do not act on those thoughts. Think of examples of abusive thoughts. Think of reasons you did not act on them. List all the reasons a person might not do something they imagine, even though they think it might feel good at the time.

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