Is the Silent Therapy Abuse?

Is the silent therapy abuse? To reply this query and extra questions in regards to the silent therapy in a relationship, I interviewed Jennifer Solomon, a Marriage and Household Therapist with Affiliates in Counseling. Right here is my Q & A with Jennifer!

JP: I feel the silent therapy abuse. Do you? Inform me about that.

JS: Abuse is about exerting energy. So, sure, as a result of the silent therapy is a method to exert energy over one other individual, it may be a type of emotional abuse. But it surely clearly runs on an unlimited continuum.

Typically a accomplice may have an unhealthy response to one thing they usually default to silence. However ultimately the silence dissipates, and the couple works by way of the problem. That’s actually disagreeable — however it’s not abuse.

However when shutting an individual down turns into a sample of habits and the first method of coping with battle, then it’s an issue. What does this sort of habits seem like? First, it’s extended. It may well final for days or even weeks. It appears like punishment. It creates what can really feel like a hierarchy. And it’s manipulative in that it turns the battle away from the preliminary downside and into one other challenge all collectively.

JP: Describe the silent therapy. 

JS: The silent therapy is precisely what it seems like…it’s when one accomplice refuses to speak to the opposite in response to a battle. It’s acceptable to name it a “therapy” as a result of it’s a deliberate technique responding to one thing a accomplice doesn’t like…however it’s most undoubtedly not a very good one. It’s a manipulation tactic that shuts the opposite individual out.

The silent therapy may be very completely different than silence. In actual fact, silence throughout a battle is usually a good factor. It permits companions to take a break, regulate their feelings and reset. The objective, nonetheless, is for companions to return again to the desk after they settle down in order that they will have a extra productive dialog. Suspending a dialog is dramatically completely different than shutting down a dialog.


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JP: Why do individuals interact in this sort of habits?

JS: On the floor, individuals use the silent therapy to exert energy in a relationship. It’s a method to rapidly management the dialog or scenario. Beneath the floor, it’s a method to keep away from taking accountability or being accountable for one’s actions. It permits the individual to keep away from admitting that they might be improper.

JP: How does the silent therapy damage the opposite individual?

JS: Have you ever ever had a door slammed in your face? Are you able to think about how it might really feel? You may be confused, disturbed, unnerved, scared, demeaned. That’s how the silent therapy feels…it hurts by making the opposite individual really feel lower than. It sends the message that what the opposite individual is feeling doesn’t matter…it says “you don’t matter.” What will be extra hurtful than that? And particularly from somebody you care deeply about?


JP: What do you do in case your partner offers you the silent therapy?

 JS: First, determine if the habits feels abusive or not as a result of that may dictate the way you need to cope with it. There’s a frequent interplay in some relationships that’s referred to as demand-withdraw. That is when the demanding individual appears like their wants aren’t being met and the withdrawing individual shuts down as a result of they really feel damage or can’t discover a method to discuss these unmet wants. This isn’t the identical because the silent therapy as a result of it’s not an influence play. And I wouldn’t take into account it abuse. That mentioned, this, too, will be an unhealthy sample that hurts the connection over time.

If it feels extra like abuse, I might name out the habits and title it. An individual can inform their accomplice that the silent therapy will not be going to make the battle go away and also you need them to return again to the proverbial desk when they’re prepared. Indisputably, this takes braveness and a capability to tolerate the discomfort of not figuring out how the opposite individual will react. But it surely tells your accomplice that you simply’re not okay with this sort of habits.

If you wish to attempt to work it by way of however can’t get wherever by yourself, {couples} counseling could possibly assist. A therapist will help determine patterns of habits and what’s motivating that habits. They will additionally assist every individual replicate on their function within the cycle that retains repeating. And so they can do that in a method the place each companions really feel heard and understood as a substitute of defensive and indignant.

If, however, the accomplice isn’t prepared to get assist, self replicate or hear their accomplice’s wants for productive communication, it alerts that the connection is in actual hassle.


JP: What are extra productive methods to deal with battle as a substitute of the silent therapy?

JS: Each couple has battle. And each couple has to discover a method to navigate it. It’s common for one or each companions to get flooded, or emotionally disregulated, after they disagree about one thing essential to them.

However as a substitute of shutting the individual out, take a break and are available again to the dialog later. The objective is to acknowledge {that a} dialog is escalating and to cease it lengthy earlier than it turns into hurtful, and even spins uncontrolled. It’s useful for every individual to take a while to chill off, whereas asking themselves some key questions like: Why am I getting so upset? How is what I’m doing productive? What do I would like my accomplice to grasp about how I really feel?


JP: Are there long-term results of somebody who will get the silent therapy rather a lot?

JS: Completely. An individual’s self worth is in danger. In case your accomplice is repeatedly ignoring you or shutting you down, over time you lose your voice actually and figuratively – and, in the end, your sense of self. It’s a extremely unhealthy sample that works once more the vital tenets of a wholesome relationship: feeling understood, supported, heard, revered…and the listing goes on. A common feeling of being equals in a relationship is crucial to feeling good about oneself and their accomplice. Something that chips away at that’s going to end in long-term unfavourable penalties.

Backside line, if it appears like your accomplice constantly falls again on supplying you with the silent therapy, don’t ignore it and await them to “simply get previous it.” It’s a cycle that must be damaged.

Jennifer Solomon, Marriage and Household Therapist, Associates in Counseling

Jennifer Solomon is a Marriage and Household therapist treating {couples} and households in addition to particular person adults and adolescents. She earned her Grasp’s diploma with distinction in household remedy from The Household Institute at Northwestern College. Jennifer’s method to remedy is in the beginning primarily based on sound shopper relationships. Her compassion, empathy and understanding helps create a strong basis to assist her purchasers obtain the change they need.

She believes that when individuals get caught, it’s essential to decelerate and take a look at what’s getting in the way in which of having the ability to transfer ahead. Taking an lively function, she encourages purchasers to have a look at what they need and wish and helps determine attainable paths ahead. She has a particular curiosity in serving to individuals navigate life cycle transitions and views collaboration together with her purchasers as a key ingredient in serving to individuals get unstuck, make change and develop with confidence.

Jennifer additionally has a particular curiosity in working with households managing life-threatening meals allergic reactions, an space she understands properly from her family expertise in addition to years of working inside the meals allergy neighborhood.

Jennifer acquired her first Grasp’s diploma in Public Coverage from the College of Chicago and has a few years of expertise within the discipline of communications, the place she recommended a various array of purchasers on the macro stage.

Jennifer has expertise in:

  • {Couples} points, together with communication issues, infidelity and battle
  • Lifecycle transitions together with marriage, separation, divorce, blended households, parenthood, profession, grief and loss
  • Mother or father-child battle
  • Parenting battle
  • Melancholy
  • Nervousness
  • Household of origin points
  • Shallowness points
  • Meals allergy administration and anxiousness

Learn more about Jennifer here.

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Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Jackie Pilossoph is the Founding father of Divorced Lady Smiling, the media firm that connects individuals going through with divorce to trusted, vetted divorce professionals. Pilossoph is a former NBC affiliate tv journalist and Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press options reporter. Her syndicated column, Love Basically was printed within the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press and Tribune owned publications for 7 1/2 years. Pilossoph holds a Masters diploma in journalism from Boston College. Be taught extra at: