SpeakOutLoud header image
Learn About Coercive Control and Psychological Abuse
silhouette family in playground


“Dear Clare, I just came across your “Tactics of Coercive Control” inventory & wanted to say it’s the best I’ve ever seen in my 30 years as a domestic violence practitioner & activist. Really well done! I am using it with clients already…..I also read your article on the Mask that Men Live Behind…and am glad you include that perspective in your analysis…” Best — Sara, Amherst MA

Testimonials from Clare’s Coaching/Counselling Clients

  1. Clare, Thank you so much for being such a compassionate confidante, for showing me the wonder, beauty and strength of myself and for helping me to coax that wonderful part of me out for increasingly longer periods. You’re a gem. — M
  2. Clare I hadn’t talked about the abuse for a very long time – so I’m feeling better for talking, less confused. You’ve helped me understand myself more deeply – this is a big thing for me. I guess you have heard this before but just being able to speak to someone who has a 3rd person point of view and not judgemental…is such a bonus. —Sal J
  3. Hi Clare, I feel my visits to you gave me strength, power and courage to be myself. —Jen
  4. Hi Clare, What you told me about the mental checklist — everything I wanted in a relationship and in a partner — he is! He is so kind, considerate, caring, gentle, he even drives me home after we’ve been out for dinner, we drink socially but that’s all — it makes me realise how awful my marriage was. Thank you so much for the time and advice you gave me – you helped me realise to give you confidence to deal with something unpleasant you have to take a whole series of little steps – talking about it, counselling, pushing yourself into situations that are outside your comfort zone to give you confidence (my job) until the time is right. I have gone from not having anything really to look forward to feeling like my life is just beginning. And that is also a big thanks to you!!
  5. Thank you Clare, I learned heaps at 64 – hadn’t realised how “cushy” my life has been. My daughter also has moved on and your Masters thesis was a help. I hope to hear some time that you have published it.
  6. Clare, you’ve helped me dissect my situation better – so it’s now more obvious to me. You helped me understand what was happening – so now I’m blaming myself less. I feel reassured that I have you beside me – at least I have a counsellor helping me in my healing process – this is important – not to be alone in my process because my family and friends were just telling me to drop it and get over it. — Counselling Client
  7. Hi Clare, you have certainly helped me a lot and it has been great to refer my clients to you with confidence. —Coaching client
  8. After a lifetime of anxiety, I’ve been out pottering around town 3 times this week! I’m feeling more confident, and I like myself more and I’m wanting to look after my health more. My resentment is dropping away and I no longer talk about myself as a bad mother. I’m NOT feeling depressed like I was and this week I’ve not shown any signs of experiencing anxiety, for the first time ever. I’m feeling more comfortable in my own skin. Thank you so much for your help.—Evelyn 
  9. Clare was sub-contracted to provide counselling services to people referred to the Primary Health Organisation (PHO) Counselling Programme, by their GP. A core value of the Programme is that people had easy and timely access to counselling and this required the Programme’s Providers to be responsive and flexible. They were also expected to be able to work within the scope of the brief focussed intervention approach, appropriate for people with mild-moderate depression/anxiety. Clare was one of a group of Providers who was involved with the delivery of our Programme, in its infancy stage. Her responsiveness and flexibility were key factors in people’s ability to engage with her. She has an extensive range of skills and is an extremely competent and motivated therapist. She willingly shared her knowledge with the rest of our Providers and gave a presentation of her research about domestic violence in its psychological form, which was of value and benefit to her peers. Clare’s contribution to our Programme enabled us to implement an assertive outreach approach, which focussed on supporting the client and this was evident in the outcomes of her counselling sessions.—Sam Tongalea, Mental Health Programme Coordinator
  10. Clare has been a wonderful addition to our counselling team and the agency. She has been reliable, professional and willing to contribute above and beyond her requirements for the good of the agency. She brings a depth of experience, compassion and knowledge to her work and received excellent client evaluations as well as wonderful feedback from her colleagues.—Shelley, CEO Home & Family Counselling

Testimonials from Clare’s Supervisees

  1. Thanks so much Clare, for letting me just go with what’s inside me without having a controlling system even in the way we work together. I can always get to the guts of the issue. I so need that and haven’t had that for so long! I finally feel like I can REALLY be internally challenged in the best way possible and push my way through! —Lucelle Cook, founder of Safe Places 1 on 1’s and Group-Based Life skills Education and Therapy Practice
  2. I have found my supervision with Clare deeply empowering and enjoyable. Clare is invaluable in assisting me with case work and other issues across a variety of contexts including court mediation process. Clare was empathic around grief and anger that emerged in supervision, understanding my frustration and loss, and she assisted me to take a long view in my life and career planning. With Clare’s support I was able to enter further work and study impassioned by a vision for regaining my voice and using that voice with others to inform social change. In practice I have found Clare mindful, reflective, timely, accurate, skilled, resourceful, and resilient. Resilience includes Clare’s ability to problem solve and to shift supervision from face-to-face to Skype while maintaining quality and accountability. I am supported, more connected, and happy in my supervision sessions with Clare. —M.H
  3. Clare was my counselling supervisor during my 2nd and 3rd year as a counselling student. I found Clare to always work with the utmost respect for me as her supervisee and also for my work with my clients. She has always been honest with me, and has a way about her that always left me leaving supervision sessions encouraged about my ability to work with clients. She built me up and I would leave with my head high and feeling really refreshed in my spirit and soul with the input she gave me. I would feel strengthened by her words of affirmation around my practice abilities, teasing out deeper meanings of why I might be feeling a certain way about a client situation and giving great suggestions of different ways I could view a situation and suggesting new ideas I could try to help my clients find the greatest benefit in therapy. I would thoroughly recommend Clare as a supervisee to anyone, whether they are Christian or someone from another faith. Clare was an amazing supervisor and the support I found from her I believe is testament to the great results I achieved with my practicum grades during my study time. Anyone having Clare as a supervisor in my opinion is very blessed indeed. It brings tears to my eyes to say thank you, thank you, thank you Clare for your input into my practice over these past 2 years.  I wouldn’t have achieved what I have or grown in my practice as much without you. —Linda Naniseni, Bachelor of Counselling
  4. Meeting with you has been incredibly helpful, and I will never forget the first time I met you (and your Thesis) at your 2 day workshop. It was so thoughtful and intelligent and for the first time I had some validated clarity around why men do it. So thank you for that and for your sweetness and kindness, and your wise counsel, it really has been a pleasure. Thank you for your all round and wonderful support.—M.G

Testimonials from Clare’s Christian Supervisees

Clare, I notice your work is guided by Buddhist philosophy – I am a Christian and am wondering how you would work with me?

Some responses from Clare’s supervisees in answer to this question:

  1. Linda says: I consider myself to be a practicing Christian and Clare was upfront with me from the beginning that if any issues came to counselling around clients that she felt she couldn’t deal with due to our faith differences that she would be honest, and I would find somewhere else to take those particular issues. However in the whole time I have worked with Clare for supervision there has never arisen an issue that we weren’t able to deal with together, including some issues around spirituality with my clients and also with any of my personal issues around spirituality that may have come up. I found Clare to always work with the utmost respect for me as her supervisee and also for my work with my clients. She has always been honest with me, and has a way about her that always left me leaving supervision sessions encouraged about my ability to work with clients. I would thoroughly recommend Clare as a supervisee to anyone, whether they are Christian or someone from another faith. Clare never at any time tried to persuade me towards her own beliefs and in fact encouraged me in the strength I found in my own spirituality in working with my clients. I would be happy to speak to anyone personally if they had any further questions about my time as a supervisee with Clare.—Linda
  2. Lucelle says: I have been a practicing Christian for 30+ years. I have also been a counsellor and small group facilitator for 20 of those years. Out of all my supervisors, finding Clare has been a total God-send. She has studied in areas that few do and therefore her insights into subtle but very painful power positioning that goes on with people on so many levels is refreshing and freeing. This positioning goes on in our church communities today and many people do not have the knowledge to attend to it skillfully and biblically. She is not a New Age guru or a person who pushes any of her views on me. She offers and invites. She is an experienced and educated woman who has walked the walk to talk the talk and because of that she can help provide the keys to unlock some very painful problems beyond the scope of many supervisors’ abilities. Her coaching has a very human element as she allows me to set my pace and content. Clare is warm, friendly and accepting. She doesn’t come with any self-centred agendas. She does her job ethically and professionally and I am very grateful to have her as my supervisor. I believe she is God’s choice for me. She is worth her weight in gold (so to speak). I couldn’t recommend her more. But I also would like to say if you don’t feel you could really appreciate her then find someone else because I believe her time is precious and I am glad to have an hour a month with her to boost my personal and professional lives.—Lucelle

Testimonials from participants attending Clare’s workshops about coercive control, psychological abuse and masculinities

  1. Superb sharing of information – complex and emotionally fraught subject provided in a non-threatening/caring manner. Very enlightening and thoroughly comprehensive – thank you.—Lifeline Counsellor
  2. Excellent resources, especially on risk assessment and safety planning. Will definitely use in communication with LifeLine calls. It answered a lot of questions I had and gave me ways of handling Lifeline callers.—Lifeline Counsellor
  3. Clear explanation, handouts and discussion. Plenty of time and opportunity for discussion and questions. Very informative. Nice respectful style of presenting.—Lifeline Counsellor
  4. I have found this workshop most informative and helpful. It will help me to be a better telephone counsellor. Very much appreciated.—Lifeline Counsellor
  5. Worthwhile day and will make use of the ideas presented. Most imformative, hugely helpful, great research.—Lifeline Counsellor
  6. Great day, glad I came.—Lifeline Counsellor
  7. I am an experienced social worker but new to the specific area of domestic violence and found the input from the two days immensely challenging and stimulating. It provided a great opportunity to network with staff from a local Stopping Violence Programme where I am exploring a role as a support group facilitator. Thank you so much! —Bronwyn
  8. WOW the seminars were amazing!  I got so much out of them both personally and professionally.  I really enjoyed both days which were full of excellent material and I found the group dialogue at the end of Tuesday very helpful in applying all we learned.  I feel very empowered!  I thank God for you.  I love your insight and talent in this field so thank you very much for all the input —Jane McWilliams, Counsellor
  9. I thoroughly enjoyed what you presented and how articulate and engaging you were in presenting this.  I work with women who have experienced DV and with men in a stopping violence programme and I now have some very useful ideas for my practice. —Yolanda
  10. The information you presented was really interesting and will be invaluable in my line of work. —Rachel Griffin, Probation Officer
  11. I have to say that the workshop on psychological abuse was very thought-provoking and stimulating.  A great presentation with lots of new information for me. —Trish Goldstone, Counsellor & Team Leader
  12. I found myself coming away with much food for thought. Thank you for the information you provided for us and the interactive way you helped us brainstorm the part we play in helping those suffering from psychological abuse. —Bronwyn Burrowes, Dip Couns
  13. For me, as a male, you’ve highlighted/identified the societal ‘norms’ that require constant challenge and examination. I’ve benefitted from today – it will improve my ability to meet the needs of our callers who may be involved in a domestic abuse relationship. —Lifeline Counsellor
  14. It’s such a big and varied topic to try to absorb it all in such a short time. Well done. Well facilitated. Met my desire for both information/facts and for strategies to use.—Lifeline Counsellor
  15. It contributes to my awareness and helps with determining what actions and interaction may lead to positive safe outcomes. I enjoyed and appreciated the opportunities provided for Lifeliners to discuss and ask questions. Role plays gave us a chance to frame the info on domestic violence. It was good to get an understanding of why women don’t leave because it was hard to understand before.—Lifeline Counsellor
  16. Getting past the assumptions we have about abuse was useful. It was useful knowing how widespread this is through historic reasons through society and often unknowing by both men and women. The whole session was very enlightening and useful, highlighting the complexities of the issue.—Lifeline Counsellor
  17. Gave a broader understanding of the issue. Have often asked the question in my own mind when speaking to callers and this gave me an understanding of why women stay and what support they need regardless of whether they leave or stay. Really thought provoking and insightful session. Well presented – nice pace – lots of time for questions. Thank you.—Lifeline Counsellor
  18. Enjoyed case studies and outcomes. It helped to initiate discussions among the group – helpful.—Lifeline Counsellor
  19. The following were VERY useful: Defining the difference between a “healthy” relationship, mutual abuse and domestic violence; Information about safety; giving us counselling guidelines – excellent reference for giving us direction; Ideas about what you can do when talking to women depending on stages women may be at. Great contextual info e.g. social beliefs and history of. All was stimulating and useful. Come back and teach us more about your other research please!—Lifeline Counsellor
  20. Everything was useful as all we really hear and read about is physical abuse. More needs to be done to highlight psych abuse. You gave a really useful, informative presentation. The facts presented are clear and logical. Thoroughly enjoyed the day. Thank you.—Lifeline Counsellor
  21. Clare presented her research in such a way that it was easy for the students to understand. The students found her presentation very informative and asked many questions around the topic of domestic violence. I think Clare is an excellent presenter having heard her speak to both students and professionals.—Helen, Lecturer at South Pacific Bible College
  22. Clare leaves no stone unturned in her search for clarity and genuine understanding of her own and others’ experiences. Her contribution to our domestic violence programmes has been insightful and refreshing. I have particularly valued her contributions in terms of her understanding of women who have been predominantly psychologically/emotionally abused within a domestic situation. Clare is a facilitator who demonstrates a very clear analysis of domestic violence, one that validates the experiences of women who hav been abused and acknowledges the effects that domestic violence has had on their lives. The comments I have heard from women in the groups and read on our evaluation sheets demonstrate that Clare has contributed to many women’s emancipation from domestic violence, healing and personal growth.—Alida
  23. Clare, you are an excellent practitioner. I have the utmost respect and admiration for the work you do and for the person you are.—Male Colleague
  24. Clare, I attended your talk in Taupo last year and just wanted to say it was fantastic and so informative and valuable – so thank you ! —PR

Testimonials from participants attending Clare’s personal growth workshops about self-esteem, assertiveness and communication skills

  1. I’m glad I have done this course. I’ve used the skills passed onto me and they all work brilliantly. Thank you very, very much. —Emma
  2. A lot of issues finally got figured out for me, things that I always kind of knew but was never certain of. It changed how I approach the things I am fearful of. —Lorna
  3. I have stood up for myself more – got better ideas of what I will and won’t tolerate. —Lydia
  4. Clare’s teaching style is relaxing – she has a special gift – a gift to share. —Louise
  5. Before I went to your Self-esteem for Women course, I used to be fairly grumpy and wish that something bad would happen. But now I’m more happier and people like me more. —Jac
  6. I really enjoyed the course. For the first time since having cancer I feel positive about myself and the future. Thank you. —C
  7. If it wasn’t for the way you dealt with my behaviour problems and aggression I would never have finished this Certificate. —Male participant at Entry to Work TAFE/Polytech course
  8. Gave me an insight about myself and the people around me, how I treat and am treated by my fellow workers. Showed me to make changes and achieve better working environment. —Male staff member, Steel Can Components Ltd
  9. Participants who attended your workshop on Revitalising Volunteers found it to be excellent. Congratulations on running an excellent workshop. Some said they found the mindfulness exercise to be therapeutic and would use it again as a way to mentally switch off. It was great to be able to make your skill and expertise in this area available to the community.—Participants attending workshop on Revitalising Volunteers
  10. I had been unhappy and unfulfilled for several years even though I had what I thought I’d always wanted (home, husband and children). I felt trapped and didn’t know who I was or what I wanted — only that there had to be more to life or what was the point? Attending the course gave me hope of a better life. These weekly meetings gave me focus, I felt supported and my needs were listened to. Each group member shared their week in a supportive, caring environment. I found this so helpful and expressed fears and needs that I had not shared with anyone else. This helped me to recognise areas that needed change, negative thoughts I had about myself and patterns of my interactions with other people. We covered many topics of interest including goals and values, blocks, a need for safety, behaviour, fears, affirmations, self-esteem, identifying beliefs and finding my true self. I felt Clare was genuinely interested in my progress and valued my input. I realised that I had lived my life for others, influenced by their reactions, always concerned about whether people liked me and changing my behaviour to suit their needs, not mine. This in itself was a huge step. The journey I have taken with Clare has been invaluable. I can now recognise behaviours in myself and the fear that comes up in certain situations. I find I can observe these feelings and reactions more objectively now and make changes (however small) to move towards my true self. Now I am more inclined to be honest about my needs even at the risk of upsetting others (a really big issue for me). I know I have the power to live my life for me. Focusing on the positives (what have I learnt from this) rather than the negatives (I made another mistake) is also important progress for me. I am very thankful for the environment Clare created and the opportunity where I made special friendships, shared my issues, supported others as they also searched for their authentic selves and learnt practical ways to identify beliefs and achieve goals. Clare is warm and honest. I never feel that she judges me and I can work through problems I have with her gentle guidance. Also she is easy to laugh with. Clare Has been a very positive influence in my life. —Sally S
  11. When I attended Clare’s personal growth group, I found the information presented by Clare the be most invaluable, helping me to gain a better understanding of myself and the main issues in my life and supporting me toward resolving many of these issues. I found Clare to be extremely supportive as a therapist. I always felt very comfortable in her presence and thoroughly enjoyed all the sessions. Clare had an excellent understanding of the issues we discussed and delivered her material in an interesting and easily comprehended format.—Lesley\
  12. Over the nine months I attended Clare’s personal development group I defined and redefined my values and goals, learnt strategies for creating change in my life, gained insight into my beliefs and behaviours, discovered others shared my negative beliefs and behaviours, was inspired and encouraged to continue my personal growth in a supportive environment. Clare was open, honest, warm, creative, support and a good listener. —Karen

Testimonials from readers of Clare’s SpeakOutLoud website

  • It’s Not OK Campaign highly recommends a look at Clare Murphy’s website Speak Out Loud. It’s for everyone whose life has ever been touched by family violence. It’s a wealth of FAB information for people looking for more information — personally or professionally around the dynamics of family violence.—It’s Not OK Campaign, NZ
  • Dear Clare, I just came across your “Tactics of Coercive Control” inventory & wanted to say it’s the best I’ve ever seen in my 30 years as a domestic violence practitioner & activist. Really well done! I am using it with clients already…..I also read your article on the Mask that Men Live Behind…and am glad you include that perspective in your analysis… Best — Sara, Amherst MA
  • We feature Clare Murphy whose work I admire. She is a major force speaking about psychological and other forms of abuse. See her Facebook page …. And her web page … Share the wisdom of treating each other with respect. If you had a critical or abusive parent or have suffered violence in a relationship, pass her website and FB page on!—Lynne Namka
  • The issues paper you co-wrote on building collaborations between community and government agencies is a fantastic subject Clare. I’m looking forward to reading it — Congrats on your hard work and thanks, I and all the other family violence collaborators appreciate it. —Mandy Fisher
  • Your website is absolutely brilliant. Your courage and awareness of your surroundings (and yourself) is overwhelming. May those soul destroying influences be swept away with the autumn wind, flooded out during spring downpours, melted into summer haze and frozen in a winter frost never to thaw again. Returning not into our lives.—Sonya
  • I have searched many websites and this is the most comforting and helpful I have found yet.—Kari
  • I just felt the urge to thank you. I’m just out of an abusive relationship and the whole tactics series really opened my eyes and allowed me to come to terms with the fact I had to leave him, helped me to remain psychologically sane in the process and confirmed to me, over and over, that I was not just “going crazy”. In my name, and all of those you are helping, a heartfelt thank you.—MC 
  • I eagerly await your other posts. As a newly separated woman who has experienced many of these behaviors, I find the insights startling when I look back…. Reading these posts I have seen the cruelty and coldness in a new light. You are part of my healing. Thank you.—KW
  • Thank you for this article, it makes sense of the abuse and controlling behavior from my abusive ex that I have been struggling against.—M21
  • Wow, this is probably the scariest thing I have ever read, and yet kind of reassuring at the same time…. This describes my ex to a tee. … I really look forward to seeing your other articles on this. I finally am beginning to feel somewhat vindicated because I’m not alone.—Elaine
  • Posts like this do make me feel not so alone.—Shamal 
  • This is truly remarkable information. I can totally identify with nearly every subtitled topic! … I have thought for so long that something was wrong with me and that I was alone. Then, last night, I searched Google an typed, “…men who psychologically abuse women…”, and discovered this article and immediately shared it with my friend. I feel like a rehab patient set-free! Thank You!—Alex 
  • I hope you will continue this series! I’ve so enjoyed the first four entries. —E.C.
  • Great graphic of the individual and collective manifestations of corrupted power and control in relationship! And excellent examples of the many ways in which isolation can be implemented. It is such an insidious torment. No wonder it’s used in prison! Powerful site. Thank you! —Anna
  • I just found you! I know I’ll be spending a lot of time reading your blog. Looks like you only blogged up to control #4? Please keep me posted when you do more. Thank you for your understanding of these situations and even more thanks for making / taking the time to share what you know.—Linda
  • I just started reading this and two years after my divorce realizing the abuse and anguish I was under. This wheel you are going through has made it super helpful to see…. Thank you. —Maryam
  • I sit here reading this, and actually this is my second time reading through everyone of these articles and all the comments, and I am frozen. I am so totally blown away to see and “FEEL” the words of so many other women. I cannot believe it … can it be true? Is it possible that I am not crazy? Am I not the problem? Are all my decisions and actions not the dumb, misguided, stupid moves of a weak and ridiculously naive dimwitted crybaby? There is someone else who knows what I am going through? —Jennifer
  • I am so thankful for this website. My husband has been playing these exact games with me and playing innocent all the while. —D
  • After reading this article I realize just how much this hits home. For 4 years I have been with this monster of a man. —Genoveve
  • I’m really enjoying these blogs. I’m a survivor and I’m nodding my head to so much of this.
 I’m sharing your blog on my FB page, Looking forward to reading more on the other tactics of control. Thanks —Elaine
  • So pleased to have found you, I have been physically abused in my marriage and after the marriage ended psychological abuse to change my sexual choice as a heterosexual female to lesbian and bi-sexual. To find words to express this has been such a struggle! …. Thanks for exposing this topic! It gives me strength to continue my battle for justice and exposure of the perpetrators. —Marlene
  • I look forward to your next blog posts. Being in an emotionally abusive relationship, I realized I have said the very words you are writing about. “If he hits me, it’s over”. All due to how unacceptable it is when the abuse is physical. Emotional abuse is something you can’t see when you pass someone on the street. But, it is incredibly painful, and goes on for years. —Vicki
  • I look forward to reading the rest of the blogs you will write for the other points on the wheel, emotional unkindness & degradation. What you are sharing on this website is so helpful for those of us who have suffered in secret and had the experience of not being believed or understood to the point that people imply that YOU must be imagining things. …. I didn’t know what to say, what to call it…his ways toward me. But it was this insidious form of secret abuse. Thanks —Maria
  • It is true. It is so sad, the pain and confusion that is felt once you discover that after years of fighting to save your marriage, relationship, sense of self and family that what you were going through has a NAME…… But it is good to know now, that I am not alone and perhaps through your research, you can put this thing on the map! Our families are affected by the strange mannerisms of these kinds of men. I would never want my son to treat any woman this way. I will continue to follow your study now that there is hope to acquire new knowledge and help in coping with this madness that for so long, I thought was self-induced. —Alex
  • My bruises hurt but they can’t be seen … this website helped me cope with psychological abuse and I cried with relief when I realised it’s not me. I am not insane and what he done to me has a name … ‘crazymaking’. —Valerie
  • I have to say this site is amazing as your words describe perfectly the truth of family violence. —Portia
  • This entry about anger is so totally helpful. I can’t wait to start the suggested exercises. I hope they help. Thanks for this site. —Jill
  • These are very powerful ideas, Clare. I think you hit the issue, spot on. Hopefully, I will find resolution, one day. I truly appreciate, and value your feedback, and I’m certain, it will be useful… Thank you so much! —Amy
  • Thank you so much for this site! This topic of anger is exactly what I have been experiencing, after being in an abusive relationship for 19 yrs, and out for 5 years… your site is very helpful for me! —Jan
  • What a find for me today! All of these articles that are helping me realize that my anger, discomfort, confusion, and more are really, truly, the reactions of a healthy person being abused by an unhealthy one. Thank you!!!!!! —Peggy Sue
  • This site helped me realize I needed to get out of my marriage. I left him 3 months ago, moved to another state to live with family, but the anger I feel is overwhelming. —Victoria
  • This is the most succinct advice I have ever read. If only I’d seen this before I got entangled with an abusive man. Safe and almost back to being a “real” human being again. This website is a wonderful place for women in controlling relationships. Thanks Clare.—Lorraine
  • Dear Dr Clare, Your 16 point list is soooooo important for victims of abuse because it helps clear up a lot of this confusion. …. Please go to the link (in Clare’s post above which is also repeated in Silvia’s comment) on strategies men use to emotionally abuse women – it may save you years of pain and torture.—Mazzabunny
  • I’ve just finished reading all the comments and I sat here and burst into tears knowing that I was staring at what I am going through again for the second time.—Cindy
  • After reading all the signs displayed on this page I came to the realization that I am in an abusive relationship.—Ashley
  • I didn’t realise so many people are going through this. For years I felt and thought it was just me – and it was all in my head. Thank you and I’m glad I’ve found this site. —Sammy
  • Thankyou so much for this terrific website and all the information you share. It’s the best source I’ve found on the internet. —Jessica
  • I just want to say a big thank you to Clare for the truly invaluable work you are doing. Also thank you to all the wonderfully brave people who post their comments…. The psychologist, not believing me and taking his ‘side’, has been enormously harmful and, of course, gave him the green light for continuing his behaviour as well as labelling me as someone who made false allegations….. Thank you so much Clare for replying. I cannot put into words how much it means to me that you acknowledged my post and, although I obviously don’t want anyone else to have had the same experience that I have had when it comes to psychologists’ reports, it was in some way a relief that I am not alone. Once again, the work you are doing is so important and invaluable. I wondered if psychologists and other health professionals are aware of it and, if not, how they can be made more aware. —Rachel2
  • I am so glad that I have come across this website. I thought that I was the only one in this whole world going through my own personal hell. —Michelle
  • Thankyou Clare – I wished I read these articles a couple of years ago – I would have understood so much more – Because it always puzzled me why my daughter stayed with this evil creature … But now I do understand.
Thankyou so much for helping me understand. —Nicky
  • This website was so helpful… it helped me understand a lot of things – especially how I feel because I was feeling confused for a long time! thanks so much.—Nanki
  • Hello, thanks so much for your website…it is very helpful for those of us scarred by abuse. —Jan
  • Thank you – this is brilliant. As a survivor of just such a relationship, I can tell you this is spot on in my personal experience. And, it was horribly frustrating to get “supportive” advice from other people that ran along the lines of ‘just stand up to him’. Or my personal favorite, ‘you’re allowing him to treat you badly’. In order to help someone in such a situation as this, it’s really important to know that, more than likely, the target of this type of abuse has NO way to influence the abuser’s behavior ….. Again thank you for this brilliant article! This list of tactics is something I have longed to see. —MM
  • I’m a survivor of domestic violence and I can give an example of mental, verbal, or physical abuse for almost each bullet point. My ex continues to deny the abuse. The list is very accurate. —Carol Crawford
  • I’m reading articles like this to educate myself as much as possible. I want to be able to spot this sort of behaviour a mile away. Thanks for the information Clare.—Ruth
  • I feel empowered and no longer ashamed or afraid after reading this article. Thank you. —Trisha
  • Reading these posts I have seen the cruelty and coldness in a new light. You are part of my healing. Thank you. —Kandy
  • I stumbled across your study and I must say thank you! Thanks to you, I don’t feel at all guilty for my leaving.Alex
  • May your site help many other bullied people like me before they get involved with the wrong people. Prevention can save a whole life or a good part of it from going down the drain. Again thank you soo much for performing a great social service. —Rajam
  • Your work is astounding there’s no one else writing like that – I can apply it to work relationships, the nation state and myself, in terms of colluding and manipulating behaviours, and it helps me be aware of what to select into and what to select out of. I also know that the reflections you’ve made have cooked a lot over time. They have a great depth to it. —MM


Readers of the blog post Are Women who Live with Abusive Partners Codependent? share their views based on their life experience

  1. Clare, You have wonderfully captured what I have been instinctively trying to communicate to other women for years! Thank you for sharing this important point of view. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.—Cara Lopez Lee 
  2. Clare, Thank you for this wonderfully articulate and necessary article. As a professional in the field of mental health and as a woman struggling with the recovery and healing process due to being in a psychologically abusive relationship, I fully identify with your argument against labeling women in psychologically abusive relationships as “codependent.” … Again, thank you for discussing such misinformed and pivotal topic! I hope that the basis of your article is far-reaching enough to make a difference.—RR
  3. Your article is a god send. I’ve always thought that the co-dependence thing had something wrong with it…. Thank you for this article. Abused women fighting for their survival and sanity are not doormats, in fact we are heroes.—Elsa
  4. Thank you for posting this wonderful article. I am in an abusive relationship and a counselor labeled me co-dependent but I can identify with everything in your article. Sick and tired of people judging me telling me everything is my fault.—Sarah
  5. This is real watershed moment for me! Your article and website are amazing.—H.
  6. It’s empowering that someone finally removed the label I never felt truly applied to me…. Thank you for spelling it all out.—Anon
  7. I can’t express my gratitude enough for this article….. My situation can happen to anyone. You don’t have to be constitutionally weak to endure that behavior and it’s much more complicated than just “leaving”.—MSK
  8. Revictimization stinks. Thank you so much for the article and your site. I whole-heartedly agree.—Monica
  9. I can’t believe it, finally some validation.—Lisa
  10. This has given me a real boost of confidence today. Thank you for this article! I too have been told by my therapist that I was in a sense using my spouse to satisfy some needs and that I have some codependency issues for being in a relationship like mine. Almost sounded as if I’m attracted to this mess. These abusers are very much different when you first meet them.—Anonymous
  11. A wise thoughtful work — raises clearly ways by which power within relationship  is ‘negotiated’ ….
    Awesome work Clare. — Ml

Testimonials from professionals using Clare’s research

  1. The information on your website is just fantastic. I really find it useful when working with women who have suffered psychological abuse and who tend to minimise the possible effects of this (especially in relation to more tangible (to them) physical and sexual abuse). I am sometimes referred women for issues around A&D and abuse surfaces during our sessions. Having the courage to talk to me about these issues is incredible, I feel really honoured. Your research and information is really supportive of this process. —SL, Counsellor