What is the theory behind this Abuse Therapy Worksheet?
Individuals in abusive relationships are often victims of gaslighting without even realising. It is a form of emotional abuse and manipulation where the abuser makes the victim feel doubtful of their own feelings, beliefs and perceptions. It significantly affects the victim’s sense of self, tearing their confidence to shreds and leaving them emotionally dependent on the abuser.
How will the worksheet help?
The worksheet will help victims in abusive relationships to recognize and identify the signs of gaslighting. It can also help do the same for employers who are being abused by higher authority at their workplace.
How to use the worksheet?
The worksheet can be used in mental health awareness programs to make the general public aware of emotional abuse and manipulation tactics and when they must seek social support or professional help depending on the severity of their condition.
Abuse Therapy Worksheet
Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that can happen in any relationship. It happens when someone makes you feel like your thoughts, feelings and beliefs hold no value. They always question your point of view and disregard your version of events even if you have evidence for it. They twist their words and actions in such a way that you truly start believing in all of it. With time your self-doubt grows till you no longer feel confident in yourself.
Following are common signs that indicate someone is gaslighting you:
- They are adamant that you did or said something wrong when you know you did not.
- When your version of an event is mocked or disregarded by them.
- When they consider your needs to be secondary to everything else.
- When they refuse to even acknowledge your concerns.
- You are called ‘derogatory names’ when you speak up about your concerns.
- When they doubt your thoughts, feelings and behaviours not just in private but in public as well.
- The facts of an event are often twisted by them to make it seem like only you are to blame for it.
- They show ‘warm-cold’ behaviour.
- They take credit for your merits while making you feel incompetent.
Following are some effects of being gaslighted that you can recognize if you have been victim of it:
- You are always apologetic.
- You have lost confidence in yourself to do anything right.
- You are often anxious or worried about doing something wrong.
- You start to question your own reality and wonder if you truly are just too sensitive.
- You feel like your identity or sense of self is slipping away.
- You truly start believing that you are the cause of all that is bad in this relationship.
- You persistently feel a sense of dread without knowing why.
- You wish to become or have already become emotionally numb.
- You feel a strong sense of hopelessness about your current condition.
- You want to isolate yourself from others around you.
- You find yourself excusing their abusive behaviour in front of others.
- You overanalyze an doverthing your own thoughts and actions out of fear of being wrong again.
- You are doubting every choice you make more often than before.
Stern, R. (2018). The gaslight effect: How to spot and survive the hidden manipulation others use to control your life. New York, NY: Harmony Books.
You can download this worksheet here.