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February 19, 2018 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Mental Health

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Recovering from an abusive teacher

Question:

I am an 18-year-old fulltime ballet student. I have parental trust issues, and am somewhat socially shy/awkward.

So I spent last year in a fulltime ballet school with a very manipulative and abusive head teacher. I managed to leave after a year of being there but I never mentally recovered, and it's affecting my everyday life considerably. I am still having nightmares about the head teacher (10 months after leaving), and I keep stressing about meeting her or seeing her at competitions, or even on the street. I feel like I am living in fear of this woman, and as much as I try to convince myself that she can't do anything to me, I still just can't stop worrying and stressing. I still do fulltime ballet, just at a different school, and despite the fact that my new school is a safe environment I still get stressed all the time.

So just because it might help you, these are a few of the problems I faced last year: It was mainly mental abuse over physical abuse; I was starved and wasn't allowed to eat lunch and dinner along with the other students (we were all really quite skinny and or anorexic). We were threatened about leaving and telling anyone about things that she did. She would take away our phones and anything we could contact our parents with during the day. I really don't want to write about the things that have mentally scared me that she did because I am still really frightened of her.

Please I just want help to get over my fear of her and to start to move on with my life! I am not coping at all, I really need help. I don't feel safe talking to my parents about her, and I don't tell them much about last year. Please, please give me some advice; I don't know what to do. I know there are people trying to shut her school down and a lot of what she has done and is doing is getting out to the police, so that's kind of being dealt with. I really just need help to be able to not be so scared and stressed, and to get over my fear of her. How do you get over a fear of someone like her? Thank you for reading this, and please help me!

Amelia, 18-year-old woman

Answer:

My dear, what you are experiencing is a typical post-traumatic reaction. To deal with this, you need a bit of psychotherapy. You can try Traumatic Incident Reaction, which is the quickest way you can get rid of this suffering. Between one and three sessions should do. You can read up on TIR here. TIR is one form of "Exposure therapy." Many other forms are also very effective, including guided imagery through hypnosis, and EMDR. Find a psychologist near you who is competent in one of these techniques. Then get a referral from your GP. Medicare will cover much of the cost, and perhaps all if the person is willing to bulk bill.

If you want to read about the theory and self-application of getting rid of reactions to trauma, you can read my cheap little e-book "Anger and Anxiety: Be in charge of your emotions and control phobias." It's available at all the usual online sources, and here.

You can beat this problem, and put it all behind you. When you have completed a form of exposure therapy, it'll all be like something you've seen on TV or read in a book.

Have a good life, my dear. You can.

Bob

This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.

For more information visit the site or contact information page on QueenDom.

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