Spiritual abuse can have a profound impact on a person’s well-being and sense of self. It can leave them feeling isolated, confused, and traumatized. However, recognizing and healing from spiritual abuse is possible with the right tools and support. Here are some tips and resources for those who may be experiencing spiritual abuse or are in the process of healing from it.
Recognize the signs of spiritual abuse: Spiritual abuse can take many forms, including manipulation, control, isolation, and emotional abuse. It can be difficult to recognize, especially if the abuse is coming from someone in a position of authority or trust. Some common signs of spiritual abuse include using guilt, shame, or fear to control behavior, refusing to listen to or consider different opinions or beliefs, demanding obedience or conformity, isolating someone from friends or family members, using spiritual teachings or texts to justify abuse, denying access to medical or mental health care, and promising blessings or rewards for compliance.
Seek support from a trusted friend, family member, or mental health professional: Healing from spiritual abuse can be a long and difficult process. It is important to have a support system in place, whether that means talking to a trusted friend or family member, seeking therapy, or joining a support group. Survivors of spiritual abuse can also find support from other survivors like those of Elise Wung, Heather Marks Nicol, and Becky Earnhart.