What Is Verbal Abuse?

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Verbal abuse is when somebody is putting another person down with their words. Discover how verbal abuse can be aggressive or subtle with help from a licensed mental health counselor in this free video on psychology and mental health.

Part of the Video Series: Mental Health
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name's John Bosworth. I'm a licensed mental health counselor, in St. Pete, Florida. I'd like to talk some about what is verbal abuse. Verbal abuse can go by many different disguises I guess, but basically, what you want to look for in verbal abuse, and and how it really manifests itself is in putting somebody down. The notion of putting them down, calling them names, telling them that they might not amount to anything. I hear a lot of people in my practice say that, you know, if they want to look into the past they look at what my parents told me; I'd never amount to anything, or you know, my husband has beat me down and called me, you know names, and he's told me that I can't do this, and he's very controlling. But, verbal abuse really stands from the point of yelling, raising your voice, but not only, not only from like a physically aggressive standpoint, but also, from a very subtle standpoint. It can be the little put-downs, or the little insinuations throughout the day that, you know, that the person doesn't amount to much. A lot of children can get, can get mixed messages from parents who are trying to literally have them overachieve, or trying to make up for for their lack of achievement when they were the, you know, their child's age. So, it can be, verbal abuse can be a thing that is not quite so readily apparent, but it can also be very in your face type of abuse. So, when we're looking for signs of it we want to kind of really get a broader spectrum, and and try to get a an indication of some of the past behavior associated with the verbal abuse. My name is John Bosworth, and we're looking at what is verbal abuse.

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