Physical, emotional and sexual abuse

Abuse is the intentional harming of one person by another

Abuse usually involves one person controlling and coercing the other. It can occur between any two people, but is often between partners or perpetrated on children by adults.

It is depressingly common. The Crime Survey for England and Wales estimates that one in five adults experienced at least one form of abuse before they were 16 years old. The same organisation estimates that 6% of adults experience domestic abuse each year, with women around twice as likely to experience abuse as men.

Abuse can happen at home, at school, in the workplace or anywhere.

There are many different types of abuse

This involves one person forcing or manipulating another into sexual activity. It may involve physical contact, such as sexual touch or rape, or it may be non-contact abuse, such as showing pornography to someone else. Non-contact abuse can happen in person or online. Some people who are being sexually abused may not understand what is happening or that it is wrong, and may feel unable to object.

Physical abuse involves causing intentional physical harm to another person. It may include acts such as hitting slapping, starving, shaking, burning and biting. It invariably creates fear, which enables the abuser to control the other person, so there is an emotional impact alongside the physical abuse.

This is deliberately trying to make a person feel bad emotionally. Some of the ways a person might emotionally abuse another are humiliating them, gaslighting them (convincing them that they are wrong about things so they start to doubt their own sense of reality), using degrading language, not allowing them to have friends or ignoring them.

Neglect occurs when an adult with responsibility for another person (usually a child) does not take care of that person’s needs. It may include not feeding them, leaving them alone when they are unable to look after themselves, failing to provide medical care during illness, not responding to their emotional needs or failing to provide the stimulation or education they require to develop.

Financial abuse is controlling another person’s money or financial assets. Examples of financial abuse are monitoring someone else’s credit card bills, coercing them into handing over wages, taking their bank cards or threatening other abusive behaviour if they spend money without permission.

The term “domestic abuse” is used when any form of abuse happens between people in an intimate or family relationship. They need not live together and the abuse need not happen inside the home. UK law now recognises witnessing domestic abuse as a form of abuse in its own right. The term “domestic violence” is often used, but there need not be physical violence involved for it to be domestic abuse.

This is any abuse that happens online. It is widely associated with social media but can also take place through other platforms such as email, text and online gaming sites. Examples of online abuse are cyber-bullying, grooming and sharing private photos or videos without permission (revenge porn).

Our clients have reported great results!

Mr K
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“I was attending sessions at One Therapy practice for about 1 1/2 years. I am very happy with the result, sessions there really helped me. I am really grateful to my therapist. Someone recommended him to me as a high professional and it proved right, thank you.”
Mrs M
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“I can only provide positive comments on my sessions with (my therapist). This was my first experience with a therapist, and she managed to make me feel comfortable. And I must say that the sessions were helpful and efficient.”
Mrs E
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“My therapist was extremely helpful, considerate and understanding. I felt she properly understood what the issues I had were, and their underlying causes, and I feel I benefited considerably from the sessions with her.”
Mrs N
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“I immediately felt completely at ease as they were very professional while showing genuine care and interest in helping me. I was able to confront many issues which I had so far chosen to ignore despite their negative effects on my personal relationships and happiness. I would have no hesitation in recommending (One Therapy) to anyone looking to improve their relationships and self-esteem.”
Mrs L
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“I learned a lot about myself and about the relationships I make with other people. I was able to see where I was going wrong and I now make better personal choices. Thank you, again.”
Mrs R
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“I can’t thank you enough for the help and support I got from my appointments. I would highly recommend therapy to anyone now. Therapy helped me in more ways than I could have imagined. Please tell (my therapist) how grateful I am for her help.”

The impact of abuse

Abuse can have a devastating effect on a person’s life. Many people never talk about the abuse they have experienced to anyone. Instead they carry their secret around with them, and with it heavy feelings of shame and guilt. Often, they blame themselves, whereas in fact it is never their fault.

It’s common for survivors of abuse to find it harder to study or to thrive in their careers. Sadly, experiencing abuse as a child also makes a person more likely to find themselves in abusive relationships as an adult. This isn’t surprising when you think about the messages that abuse gives a person about how relationships work and their own self-worth. Survivors of abuse may also experience mental and physical health problems or may turn to self-harm, drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with their feelings around the abuse.

Both face-to-face and online counselling are available to those who have experienced abuse.

Take the first step in dealing with abuse

At One Therapy London, we work with individuals and couples who have experienced abuse in the past or are experiencing it currently. We know how valuable it is for those who have experienced abuse to be heard, but we also know that that needs to happen at their own pace. For many, thoughts of the abuse have been locked away and there is great fear attached to “opening Pandora’s box.”

So we take things slowly and there is no pressure for anyone to talk about anything before they feel ready. Invariably there is a mixture of feelings around the abuse – sadness, anger, shame, confusion and more.  There may also be confusing or conflicting feelings towards the abuser, particularly if it is a family member. These feelings can be expressed and processed in therapy without judgment.

The first step is to make a booking for a first appointment. We know it can be terrifying for survivors of abuse, but we also know how important it is to take that first step on the path to healing.

Put your well-being in our experienced hands

We’ve helped many clients move on from abusive relationships.

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Personal counselling can be about anything that is on your mind.

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Couples counselling

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Our therapists

We have over 30 qualified and experienced therapists to choose from.

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One Therapy London

Counselling, psychotherapy, couples counselling in London since 2006

Therapist Andreea Gligore
Andreea Gligore

Andreea has a wonderful ability to put people at ease Her clients say they feel safe and relaxed with her Those who were anxious about coming to therapy often comment that she made it much more comfortable than they were expecting Her style is integrative-relational What that means is that she pays particular attention to relationships, as that is where most distress...

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Therapist Roz Urquhart
Roz Urquhart

Roz is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, who offers both long- and short-term psychotherapy She works with a varied client group offering a welcoming, safe and confidential therapeutic space in which to help her clients explore and process the issues that are bringing them into therapy Roz supports her clients to focus on unconscious processes, inner conflicts and...

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Therapist Amrita Athwal
Amrita Athwal

Amrita works with adults in an integrative way, drawing on various therapeutic approaches tailored to meet the needs of each client She provides a safe space to help clients better understand themselves She offers short term and long term therapy Amrita has experience of working with clients on issues such as trauma, addiction, depression, anxiety, relationship...


Therapist Natasha Maidment
Natasha Maidment

Natasha is a person–centred counsellor and psychotherapist who will provide you with a safe, empathetic and non-judgemental space to explore any thoughts or concerns you wish to bring She works with a range of issues including anxiety, stress, critical thoughts, trauma, relationship issues, identity, depression, loss and low self-esteem Natasha offers a...

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Therapist Geraldine Lothian
Geraldine Lothian

Geraldine (she/her) is a psychodynamic psychotherapist who works with individuals Geraldine’s style of therapy is to work collaboratively with her clients and at each client’s pace  It is sometimes difficult to make the decision to start therapy but Geraldine works together with her clients to address any issues that may feel difficult to explore on their own ...

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Therapist Stamatia Lorentzou
Stamatia Lorentzou

Stamatia draws on a broad range of theories of psychotherapy She works collaboratively with her clients to understand the causes of their concern and find ways to move forward Stamatia offers both short-term and longer-term therapy She has worked in various organisational settings with individuals seeking to address relationship issues, low self esteem, separation,...


Therapist Ben Brackenbury
Ben Brackenbury

Ben believes that at times we all struggle with the challenges life has to offer and therapy provides a safe, confidential, non-judgemental space to explore this Ben works with individuals to make sense of who they are and how they respond to the world today, and to explore new ways of being Ben is also sensitive to how difficult it might be for a client to talk to a...

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Therapist Toulla Nicolaides
Toulla Nicolaides

Toulla is an integrative relational therapist using a combination of therapeutic approaches to help her clients She provides a safe and supportive environment for individuals to explore their difficulties in life, relationships and childhood and to share and resolve confusing and overwhelming feelings Toulla believes that, though challenging, therapy can help clients...

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Therapist Janis Dellner
Janis Dellner

Janis offers an empathic, non-judgmental and safe environment where her clients can explore the issues that are currently troubling them  Janis works collaboratively to explore and challenge thoughts, feelings and behaviours that are no longer serving her clients’ wellbeing, interests and relationships with themselves and others  She believes it is through the...

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Therapist James Eve
James Eve

James is a psychosexual and relationship therapist who has been in private practice for five years He works with individuals and couples on sexual and relationship difficulties, understanding that these can be significant causes of distress in one's life Prior to working in private practice, James worked for the psychosexual team at Croydon University Hospital He is a...

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