Past Hurts & Trauma

Trauma is such a scary word. We know. It’s hard to admit, for some impossible even. Sometimes you are just stuck where you are, unsure if what you have gone through, or are going through, is “trauma.” It’s a loaded word in today’s society. There’s so much going on that isn’t happening to us directly but pains us just like it is. Trauma, past hurts, stress – whatever you chose to call it often takes away our desire or ability even to be vulnerable (Brene Brown). Working through and moving beyond sometimes means we need help doing so. Whether it’s an ongoing event, a one-time crisis, a thing that happened when you were too young to even have words for it, or something you aren’t even sure you would call trauma, but it hurt none the less, Novatu is here to help you through it. Many things happen in our lives that we may not recognize as trauma, we may think it was “stressful”, we may think it doesn’t “justify” being called trauma. Interestingly enough many things we struggle to classify as trauma are put in that category by our brain.

You see no matter how we respond to a stressful event if our brain stores that event as traumatic, or goes into a defensive mode (fight, flight, freeze, feign death) then that is recorded as trauma. “Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event in which shock and denial are typical immediately following the event “(American Psychological Association). Shock, denial, fear, rage, unpredictable mood swings, anxiety, depression, etc. are all normal. It’s the getting stuck that causes disruption to everyday life, relationships, work life.

Trauma strips us of our trust in others, ourselves even. It pits us against each other in an unfortunate race against an unseen enemy. No matter what the trauma, stressor or past hurt is the therapists at Novatu are trained and experienced in helping you through it. We can help in individual therapy, couples counseling or family therapy based on your individual need. Let Novatu Counseling and Assessment help get you unstuck, call us at (910) 515-4556.

Being seen in America in 2021

Sometimes it’s easier to hide. Sometimes it’s safer to be quiet and unseen. But all the time it’s traumatic to not be able to be yourself, live your life in the way you desire and act like someone you aren’t. There’s always room for growth – if we take it. We, at Novatu, believe that one can never know enough about our own cultural values, biases, assumptions and we are always in a state of deep exploration. We all have a different lived experience in both our own lives and our communities. The influence of ethnicity, rate and other related issues of power and privilege are universal. Social justice is inherent to racial and ethnocultural responsiveness. These are the grounding principles integral to the complexity of race and ethnicity.

Domestic Violence

Domestic abuse or violence refers to patterns of behaviors within relationships that are used to gain or keep power over another member of the family. Typically, it is a spouse against a spouse or a parent against a child. In some situations involving the elderly, it may be a child against a parent.

Domestic violence is a global problem that can happen to anyone, regardless of their age, gender, race, or sexual orientation.

Working through the Hurt

Domestic violence survivors almost always bear emotional scars as a result of the abuse. Seeking counseling is a good first step in the process of healing these scars. Getting support through counseling gives you an unbiased mental health professional who can listen and offer helpful tools and skills on ways to manage the painful emotions, heal from the trauma, and move forward with life. Every case of domestic violence is different, and the skilled counselors at Novatu Wilmington will vary their treatment approach to tailor the experiences and symptoms of each client they see.

You may be suffering in ways you don’t know about

One of the most important things for any survivor to understand is that the effects of the abuse may continue even once the abuse itself has stopped. There are some long-lasting symptoms that may seem obvious, even visible, while others lurk unseen. Anxiety, posttraumatic stress, self-blame, and suicidal thoughts are not uncommon. Feelings of depression, emotional distancing, sexual issues common after domestic abuse. There can be physical symptoms, too, including chronic aches and pains, problems with reproduction, bladder and kidney infections, digestive issues, and migraine headaches.

Let Us Help

Contact us today and let our well-trained counselors help you work through this challenging time. Here at Novatu Wilmington, your safety and well-being are of the utmost importance. Call or contact us today and set up your first appointment (910) 515-4556 ext. 2.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is any abuse that is emotional rather than physical in nature. It can include anything from verbal abuse and constant criticism to more subtle tactics, such as intimidation, manipulation, and refusal to ever be pleased. It is important to remember that although an emotionally abused person may not display the physical scars of abuse – i.e., bruises, bumps, wounds, etc., the impact is just as damaging as the effects of physical abuse.

Emotional abuse is like brainwashing in that it systematically wears away at the survivor’s self-confidence, sense of self-worth, trust in their own perceptions, and self-concept. Emotional abuse cuts to the very core of a person, creating scars that may be far deeper and more lasting than physical ones.

Types of Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse can take many forms. Three general patterns of abusive behavior include aggressing, denying, and minimizing.


Aggressive forms of abuse include name-calling, accusing, blaming, threatening, and ordering. Aggressing behaviors are generally direct and obvious. Aggressive abuse can also take a more indirect form and may even be disguised as “helping.” Criticizing, advising, offering solutions, analyzing, probing, and questioning another person may be a sincere attempt to help. In some instances, however, these behaviors may be an attempt to belittle, control, or demean rather than help. The underlying judgmental “I know best” tone the abuser takes in these situations is inappropriate and creates unequal footing in peer relationships.


Invalidating seeks to distort or undermine the recipient’s perceptions of their world. Invalidating occurs when the abuser refuses or fails to acknowledge reality. Withholding is another form of denying. Withholding includes refusing to listen, refusing to communicate, and emotionally withdrawing as punishment. This is sometimes called the “silent treatment.” Countering occurs when the abuser views the recipient as an extension of themselves and denies any viewpoints or feelings which differ from their own.


Minimizing is a less extreme form of denial. When minimizing, the abuser may not deny that a particular event occurred, but they question the recipient’s emotional experience or reaction to an event. Statements such as “You’re too sensitive,” “You’re exaggerating,” or “You’re blowing this out of proportion” all suggest that the recipient’s emotions and perceptions are faulty and not to be trusted. Trivializing, which occurs when the abuser suggests that what you have done or communicated is inconsequential or unimportant, is a more subtle form of minimizing.

Denying and minimizing can be particularly damaging. In addition to lowering self-esteem and creating conflict, the invalidation of reality, feelings, and experiences can eventually lead you to question and mistrust your own perceptions and emotional experience.

We can help!

Unfortunately, emotional abuse usually does not come with an abundance of evidence, if any, at all, which means it is often dismissed or ignored. If you have been suffering in silence, today is the day to end your suffering. One of our professional counselors at Novatu Wilmington can help you understand the impact of an emotionally abusive relationship. We can also help you learn healthier ways of relating to others and caring for your own needs. Call us today at (910) 515-4556