Most people are familiar with physical abuse, but when it comes to emotional abuse, victims often second-guess themselves. According to Abuse Recovery Expert Beverly Engel, it is easy to miss the signs of emotional abuse due to deceptive tactics used by abusers. One important thing to remember is that victims should never feel that they deserve the abuse or feel ashamed of their situation.

In this episode of From Betrayal to Breakthrough, Beverly discusses what usually occurs in an emotionally abusive relationship and how we can be compassionate toward ourselves to begin the healing process. 

About Guest/Topic

Beverly Engel is an internationally recognized psychotherapist with 35 years of experience. She is also a licensed marriage and family therapist and an acclaimed advocate for victims of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse.

Beverly authored 23 self-help books, many of which have been featured on national television and radio programs, as well as national print media. Her latest book is titled, Escaping Emotional Abuse: Healing the Shame You Don’t Deserve

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In This Episode

  • Who is Beverly Engel? [0:10]
  • What is emotional abuse? [2:10]
  • What are some examples of emotional abuse? [2:49]
  • How do you know if someone is being emotionally abused? [4:11]
  • Can men be emotionally abused and if so, what does it look like? [10:44]
  • Scenarios that show women abusing men [12:15]
  • How does shame come into play in emotional abuse? [15:08]
  • What is the difference between guilt and shame? [17:38]
  • Is it possible to abuse someone unintentionally and if so, how? [20:20]
  • Perspectives on lying, projecting, gaslighting [22:13]
  • What is the 5 Step Shame Reduction Program? [26:43]
  • What are some examples of self-kindness? [29:24]
  • …and many more


“Emotional abuse is like brainwashing. It slowly whittles away the victim’s self-confidence, you know, self-esteem, even their perceptions of themselves.”  [7:17] 

“There’s research that shows that emotional abuse is actually more physically and emotionally damaging than physical abuse” [10:24]

“You gotta be careful. Victims tend to take all the blame and abusers tend to blame everybody else.”  [13:51]

“A lot of abusers go to therapy once their partners have left and that’s just to get her back but some go to therapy because they’re truly shocked at their own behavior. They’re truly shocked at their children witnessing their behavior and they truly want to change.”  [21:51]

”Don’t blame or shame yourself if you’re not ready to leave and if you’re never gonna leave, okay? Don’t add that shame to the shame that you are already feeling. There are good reasons why you are afraid.” [30:10]


Beverly Engel’s Website

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