Domestic Violence

What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence can usually be defined to include threatening, violent, or abusive behaviour in the home, between adult children and/or other adult family members. However, the term is frequently used to mean that this particular behaviour is used by one intimate partner to push power and control over the other partner through fear and intimidation. This fear and intimidation can also be mental abuse, not just physical.

Taking into account that emotional abuse in a relationship can happen equally regardless of gender, the more threatening and dangerous forms of domestic violence are usually committed by a man against a woman. Often the aggressor in a violent relationship feels ownership over the other partner, which all too often ends in injury or even death if this person tries to leave the relationship.  Sadly, children are also harmed by witnessing violence within their families.

Just Leave?

Leaving a threatening or dangerous situation is always the safest choice albeit not the easiest. But at the same time, it has to be the victims decision to leave. Of course this won’t always be a realistic choice in the case of a culture that condemns women for leaving a relationship and does not offer any resources or backup. Even in various cultures where a woman may have a safe place to go, there are obstacles that make it hard for an abused partner to walk away.

How Much Domestic Violence Goes On?

According to ONS (2014), Crime Survey England and Wales 2013 – 14. London: Office for National Statistics, every year around 2.1m people suffer a form of domestic abuse –  1.4 million women (8.5% of the population) and 700,000 men (4.5% of the population). This goes to show that if you are suffering from domestic abuse, you really are NOT alone.

Why Do I Stay With An Abusive Partner?

Some families may end up living with domestic abuse for a quite a significant period before finally getting any effective help. 

Saying that, there are many reasons for living with domestic abuse for a significant period of time, or even return to their abuser after attempting to leave and it’s not always apparent to the victim that a relationship is abusive. Feeling afraid of the abuser is normal, and fearing the consequences for others if they disclose the abuse will always deter a victim from leaving. The victim may not even know where to turn for help.

One thing that stands out with victims of domestic abuse or domestic violence is that they are almost embarrassed to admit that they are suffering at the hands of someone whom they thought loved them. One of the sad parts about that statement is that the abuser probably does love them very much, however simply can’t control themselves or their own issues and feel that taking it out on the partner instead helps them to cope.

Can It Happen To Me?

Domestic violence happens regardless of age, gender, social class, ethnicity, disability or life style. There is no definite pattern but what we do know is that domestic violence and its impact upon those who experience it is dangerous and common.

Experience has also shown that children are usually aware domestic violence and will experience it with all their senses. They are sadly often involved in the dynamics and incidents of abuse through no fault of their own. Many will and have witnessed the physical and emotional impact that domestic violence has on their mothers.

Without a doubt, every child’s experience of domestic violence is different, and every child WILL be affected differently. Domestic violence can impact upon all areas of their lives, including, health, education, the development of relationships, recreation and social activities. The effects are deep and wide-ranging for children, but the main thing here is that it WILL affect them.

I Need Help With Domestic Violence

I am here to work with both adults, teenagers and children who have or are suffering domestic abuse. Whilst there is really great support out there for families/victims to move away from the violence, I can help you piece things back together and start to rebuild all your lives.

Clare Kiernan is the sole owner of Essex Therapy and can be contacted on 01268 527757 or 07840 416633 or if you feel more comfortable sending an email, please do so to:




Anger is a very healthy, normal and vital emotion felt by millions each and every day. It can be a necessity for the survival of individuals and communities. However, it will become a problem if you find it difficult to keep it under control.

When anger strikes, it can take you over within seconds. Anger is an all consuming, intense emotional response and sometimes cannot be controlled in the worst case scenario. Anger is an emotion that brings a strong uncomfortable and hostile response to a perceived provocation, hurt or threat, and it can also occur when maybe your personal boundaries are being or are in danger of being violated. Of course there are many reasons why you would feel anger, these are just a few examples.

Why Am I So Angry?

Some people can have a learned tendency to react to anger through retaliation as a way of coping. Even through it is learned behaviour, it can become completely debilitating and can ruin your life; alert the angered person, or the receiver of that anger.

What Is Anger?

When you look at the definition of the word anger (below), to me it’s straight to the point, however it does not pack the punch enough to cover the whole array of feelings, reactions and outcomes that it brings.



noun: anger; plural noun: angers

  1. 1.
    a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.

Someone who experiences anger will also experience physical conditions, such as increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and increased adrenaline and noradrenaline levels. Anger can also be viewed as an emotion which can trigger part of the fight or flight response.

Can Anger Be A Good Thing?

On the positive side anger is used as a protective mechanism to cover up fear, hurt or sadness and that anger can sometimes propel you forward, however there is a fine line that can easily be crossed into negativity. If anger becomes the predominant feeling behaviourally, cognitively, and physiologically a person can make the conscious choice to take action to immediately stop the threatening behaviour of another outside force initially, but then maybe overcome with subconscious reactions without control – this is when you need help.

Who Does Anger Affect?

Anger has many physical and mental consequences on both the angry person and those around them. Not only will the angry person isolate themselves from Family and friends through frightening them, being too unpredictable, them having to walk on ‘egg shells’ around the angry person ‘just in case’ something sets them off to name a few, but they will simply become more and more angry because of others reactions to them and it becomes a vicious circle of anger, isolation and loneliness. And of course, when you reach the stage of your anger manifesting itself physically, you will start to put others in danger from physical harm by you.

With all that said, there is help out there, however, it has to be your choice, no one else’s. You can learn to control your anger, to deal with the reasons ‘why’ and allow calmness and light back into your life. Once you can recognise those feelings and signs that mean you’re getting angry, and can calm yourself down, you can start looking at ways to control your anger more generally and lead a calmer, happier life.

Can I Get Help For My Anger?

I have worked with many individuals who have come to me with anger issues. From anger control and feelings to physical reactions and isolation. There is a light at the end of your tunnel and I can help you both find it and reach it. You don’t have to feel that exhaustion that comes with feeling angry all the time and that frustration when you can’t control it or more so when it controls you. We can deal with this… more so, YOU can beat this.

Clare Kiernan is the sole owner of Essex Therapy and can be contacted on 01268 527757 or 07840 416633 or if you feel more comfortable sending an email, please do so to:



So you’re not really sure why but you’re not feeling as though you are on top form?

You feel tired more often than not, you’re emotional when you never used to be and the things you used to love doing now no longer hold the same appeal.

Depression is quite a common mental disorder that causes people to feel a depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure in things they used to love, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration. Depression is definitely NOT just feeling down or sad.

Why Me?

There’s not always a specific one-off reason for suffering with depression. There are usually a collection of things going on within your body that will affect your mood and how you feel. Stress, Health, and Hormones are big contenders in this. Stress, using alcohol or drugs, and hormone changes affect the brain’s delicate chemistry and mood balance. Of course there are also some health conditions that may cause depression-like symptoms. For example, hypothyroidism is known to cause a depressed mood in some people. You must always see your GP and not self-diagnose when it comes to your health.

On average, a person can suffer from a major depression with symptoms for at least four to eight months. Treatment might lessen this time frame of course. There is also a chance that depression may also recur, and 40% of those who have suffered a severe depressive episode will relapse within a year.

What Is ‘Major Depressive Disorder’?

Major depressive disorder is an extremely chronic condition that ebbs and flows throughout a person’s lifetime. And, whilst it’s always possible that an individual episode of depression may disappear on its own without treatment, there is no guarantee that things won’t get worse before they get better.

Depression can happen to anyone, it really can. With various successful and famous people who seem to have everything going for them, battling with this problem. Depression also is not ageist.

Half of people with depression will only experience it once but for the other half it will happen again and possibly again. The length of time that it takes to recover ranges from around six months to a year or more and is dependant on the sufferer swell as the treatment.

Where Can I get Help For Depression?

Living with depression is difficult for those who suffer from it and for their family, friends, and colleagues. People around you not knowing how to act or interact with you for fear of the reaction can make for some pretty lonely times. It can be very difficult to know if you are depressed and what you can do about it.

I have worked with many different levels of depression and reasons for it. I have found that with consistent support, guidance and help, a sufferer of depression really can turn their lives around and get back to a great balance. You don’t have to suffer alone or in silence anymore, together we can make your life enjoyable again.

Clare Kiernan is the sole owner of Essex Therapy and can be contacted on 01268 527757 or 07840 416633 or if you feel more comfortable sending an email, please do so to:


Bullying Aftereffects

Bullying – The After Effects

If you search through social media and magazines etc. and read stories on bullying, you tend to get the view of the initial situation and how it made that victim feel. What happened and how it affected that victim of extremely valid, however there never seems to be much follow up on how that bullying actually affected that victim throughout the course of their day to day life.

When bullied in school, you are at an impressionable age. You already have the pressures of ‘fitting in’, ‘being cool’, keeping up with your school work, developing your own mind and confidence, pretty much at the very beginning of building a World for you yourself. So to have another person or persons try and knock you down for whatever reason through no request by you, can actually be soul destroying and life threatening.

What Is Bullying?

Bullying is simply put; the use of force, coercion to abuse, threat, intimidate or aggressively dominate another person(s) and this behaviour is often habitual and repeated.

When rationalising this type of behaviour you can include; social class, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, behaviour, body language, personality, reputation, strength, size, or ability, and if bullying is conducted by a group, it is referred to as mobbing.

Bullying can develop in any context in which people interact with each other. This includes school, family, the workplace, home, and neighbourhoods. Its always nice to try and see the best side of someone, but when that someone starts to bully you, your whole World can change at any age or in any situation.

What Can Bullying Really Do?

The effects of bullying can literally be devastating, as they more often than not continue long into adulthood and send countless children spiralling into depression or self-harm. Some will even attempt or commit suicide.

When left to continue without intervention, bullying doesn’t just affect the initial victim and the children who are bullying, it also affects everyone who is exposed to the environment in which it occurs – most commonly at school.

Being bullied as a child can lead to dropping out of or being expelled from school. Engaging in criminal behaviour, developing anxiety or depression and eventually being abusive towards friends, family and partners in their future.

As an adult, being bullied has the same strength and affect on the victim. Feelings of intimidation, depression, low self-esteem and social withdrawal can ensue, as can self harm and suicide.

The Aftereffects Of Being Bullied

Some people live for years with the after effects of bullying, some replaying the worst times over and over, and others even believing that they either deserved t or that it was their own fault. And all the while, the bullies themselves have moved onto someone else to bully, following the same track throughout their lives and bullying those around them – whatever their reasons.

Its not very often that you will meet up with the person who made your life hell previously and they apologise to you telling you that they have grown from the experience and that they truly are sorry, so please don’t ever wait for that day. More often that not the bully is not even aware that they are a bully. Its simply second nature to them to push people around either physically, verbally or mentally and not think twice about it, and sadly that is all too true.

Most harm that is caused by bullying is preventable!

I Have Been Bullied… What Can I Do?

Coming to terms with having been bullied is a big step to take. There are a lot of emotions, painful memories and sometimes bitterness wrapped in there – however I can help you untangle those memories and feelings, help you to regain your self worth and start to believe in your self again. Call for a no obligation ‘chat’ and realise that the dark cloud that is bullying can be lifted.

Clare Kiernan is the sole owner of Essex Therapy and can be contacted on 01268 527757 or 07840 416633 or if you feel more comfortable sending an email, please do so to:

Anxiety in School Children

Anxiety in School Children

What Is It?

Anxiety is a normal emotion that we will all experience at some time in our lives, such as in the build up to exams or even something as simple as a job interview. But when anxiety starts to become much more severe, this feeling can very quickly and unknowingly take over your life. Before you know it you can’t perform everyday tasks that you took for granted previously and you begin to hide yourself away from the situations where the anxiety had a peak.

When you suffer with anxiety as yourself, you can at least feel the severity and try and deal with it yourself, however when it is a child that is affected, you can feel very helpless and scared.

Anxiety can linger and yet no one really sees it for what it is. It can lead to all kinds of behaviours you don’t understand – you or your child.  And as it grows, you start to realise exactly what it is.  Now is the time that you begin to figure out what you can do to help your child through this.

Children can begin to feel anxious about different things at different ages. Most of these anxious feelings are a normal part of growing up.

Whats ‘Normal?’

From approximately eight months to three years old  it’s very common for young children to have whats referred to as separation anxiety. They can suddenly become clingy and fret when separated from their parents or carers. This is a totally normal stage in a child’s development and will eventually begin to ease off at around age two or three.

It’s then also common for pre-school children to display various fears or phobias. The most common fears within early childhood can include insects, water, animals, storms, heights, blood, and the dark. These fears usually dissipate on their own over time.

Continuing through a child’s life there will be various other times when anxiety rears its ugly head; when starting a new school, for example, or before tests or exams. Some children also feel shy in social situations and might need extra support with this.

Anxiety only becomes a problem for children when it begins to get in the way of their everyday life.

What Are They Feeling?

When a young child feels anxious, they don’t always understand or are able to express what it is that they are feeling. They could:

  • become irritable, tearful or clingy
  • experience interrupted sleeping
  • wake in the night
  • start wetting the bed
  • experience bad dreams or night terrors

With older children they could:

  • lack confidence in trying new things or maybe seem unable to face simple, everyday situations
  • find it difficult to concentrate
  • experience problems with sleeping or eating
  • be prone to angry outbursts
  • have negative thoughts, or keep thinking that bad things will to happen
  • begin to avoid everyday activities, such as seeing friends, going out in public or attending school
What Can I Do?

The key here is to notice these changes or symptoms and offer them help and support because they will be feeling far from normal. Maybe even visit your GP initially and be guided by them.

I have worked with many children who have suffered with anxiety for many different reasons and together with them and their parents we have found a solution and moved into a more confident and happy life.

Clare Kiernan is the sole owner of Essex Therapy and can be contacted on 01268 527757 or 07840 416633 or if you feel more comfortable sending an email, please do so to:


We all experience anxiety at some point in our lives, the severity can depend on how we manage it. If it is left to it’s ‘own’ devices and constantly put down to ‘a funny turn’ or ‘just one of those things’, before you know it, it has taken over your life.

Apart from the debilitating physical aspects of a panic attack, it eats away at your confidence. Every day chores become the hardest things to complete in the whole wide world. You start to dodge your friends because you simply can’t be around people and worse still, you start to dodge your family because you don’t want them to see you like this – why – because it makes you feel like you have let them down.

I can hear many of you that have never experienced a panic attack who are reading this saying, “I’d deal with it if it happened to me!” Unfortunately the Flight or Fight Response bows to no-one and you literally have no warning when it’s going to kick in.

A feeling of dread starts to grow within you, something is feeding the anxiety, not necessarily something that you are aware of. It grows and a jumble of thoughts enter your head, your eyes become over sensitive – everything seems to be growing brighter, colours more vivid, your senses heighten and you become very aware of all that is around you, it begins to feel like you are trapped, losing control of the situation, you don’t want people looking at you, they can’t see you like this, you need to get outside or get away, NOW. You rush to your safety zone away from the trigger situation, but whats this.. the panic hasn’t weakened, now you can’t get enough air in your lungs, you’re shaking from deep inside your stomach, you can’t keep still, you start to sweat, your heart is banging in your throat and ears, you can’t think straight, you want to run – you NEED to run away but where to? Where can you go? You are trapped…

An unknown amount of time passes… you notice the feeling of absolute dread is finally lifting, it’s going to be ok – YOU are going to be OK. Now, do you agree this isn’t a funny turn?

Anxiety can manifest itself in numerous ways, ways that can be hidden from onlookers, and ways that take you over completely and you feel your control has been compromised. It’s ok to ask for help. This is a very real problem.

On the outside Anxiety can make you do or crave many things, things that may give you short term relief, but you will always come back full circle and have another panic attack as your confidence get’s eaten up by the quietly consistent anxiety. Whatever is your choice of poison, it’s not a ‘buffer’ or ‘crutch’ that you need, it’s support and strength to get you through this period of anxiety in your life. Regardless of how bad it gets, how dark it gets – there is always a light at the end of that long lonely tunnel that is anxiety.

I have helped countless people overcome their anxieties and this has allowed them to lead a perfectly normal life again. You will probably never forget how it made you feel, however you will gain strength from the experience no matter how long it lasted and you will learn from it. You will gradually rebuild your confidence again and even find new confidence and a new zest for life.

You are never alone when you have my number, call me, let’s talk.