Violence of any form is bad. Violence, especially violence in the home or at work, or at school, etc., is a violation of our Environmental Need for safety, security, and nurturing environments.1 Chronic exposure to any form of violence undermines the health and well-being of the individual and causes extensive emotional, psychological, and physical/neurological damage to the Physical Unit, damage which can take years to heal. You can read through the article “Toxic Socialization” for an overview of just how damaging even small amounts of violence can be. We also provide a summary of various forms of violence here.
As explained here, even minor forms of violence can cause serious, long term damage. Note that violence includes violence directed at us from other individuals, like parents, friends, siblings, co-workers, bosses, etc. It also means violence we direct at others.
As an LP Practitioner, it is important to discuss with your clients the damaging and deleterious impact of violence on their health and well being. It is important you encourage your clients to adopt a “no violence” rule in their life. No violence means no physical violence, no emotional violence, no psychological violence, and no spiritual violence. This means no hitting, yelling, name-calling, etc. It also means no passive-aggressive commentary, no “tones,” no emotional withdrawal, no gaslighting, etc.
We realize this is a tall order, but learning to establish and live within calm/safe/nurturing environments is an absolute pre-requisite for healing and connection. No individual is able to heal a wound while they are subject to ongoing assault. No individual is able to establish a clean and healthy connection while their environments are being poisoned by violence.
When it comes to establishing a no violence rule, there are three major challenges. One challenge is learning to recognize the violence of others and also of self. In our modern capitalist world, violence is normalized, justified, and euphemised. In our modern capitalist society, violence is also ubiquitous, especially in our home lives. In this context, it can be hard to recognize an act as violent because we are so used to experiencing these acts, and because when we do try to call it out others rationalize, normalize, justify, and dismiss.
To help your clients recognize violence you can use the following survey tools to help them analyze their lives.
- Help your clients recognize the violence in their life using the “How Toxic is my World” survey.
- Help your clients recognize their own violent behaviours with the “How Violent am I” survey.
If an individual is able to recognize the presence of violence, the next challenge is the challenging of asserting boundaries. When it comes to violence, asserting a boundary is as simple as asking people to stop hitting, to stop yelling, to stop assaulting, or walking out of the room (silencing), and or engaging in enmeshed, triangulated, relationship dynamic behaviours. The following graphic gives a visual representation of the steps you can use to help your clients formulate, communicate, and assert boundaries.
[need a quick example of how to apply the above rubric ]
In healthy relationships and on a healthy planet, the boundaries you assert will be honoured. On this planet, often people simply ignore and/or plow through your boundaries, sometimes with even more force after you’ve tried to assert them. We’ll look at some of the things you can do to help clients assert boundaries in difficult situations in the next lesson.
- How to Set Healthy Boundaries and What are Personal Boundaries – Stopping violence is a critical first step towards healing and connection, but note there is more to asserting boundaries than just stopping violence. These other resources provide additional information on setting emotional, psychological, and physical boundaries.
1Mike Sosteric and Gina Ratkovic, “Eupsychian Theory: Reclaiming Maslow and Rejecting The Pyramid The Seven Essential Needs,” PsyArXiv Preprints, 2020, https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/fswk9.