Roni Weisberg-Ross

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Roni Weisberg-Ross

I am West Los Angeles based psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of sexual abuse, emotional abuse, severe depression and social anxiety. I see individuals, couples and families and also lead a weekly AMAC (Adults Abused as Children) support group at the Family Resource Counseling Center. More information on services offered by Roni Weisberg-Ross can be found on her website at:


Emotional abuse is not considered as serious as physical or sexual abuse. But it is. The thoughts and poetry contained here were written by a 13 year old girl after having endured years of emotional abuse by her mother.

The following words and poetry were written by Kallel Hunter. She has graciously allowed me to share them with you.

When we think of children who have been sexually abused, we think of fear, anger and violence. Most sexual abuse survivors talk of the terror and disassociation surrounding the abuse. Many still feel that way as adults and don’t enjoy sex now, even in a loving relationship. But there are those who have a more complicated story to tell.

There is a connection between prolonged depression as an adult and abuse, whether sexual, physical and/or emotional, in childhood.

Over the years I’ve discovered that a significant proportion of adult clients who present with depression have a history of childhood abuse. The abuse may have been sexual, physical and/or emotional. At first I attributed this to the fact that I specialize in abuse and many clients who come to me saying they are depressed are using that as a presenting issue because they aren’t ready to discuss the abuse.

Group therapy can be the most nurturing and also the most challenging form of therapy. It is highly effective. While it doesn’t replace individual therapy, it can be a great adjunct and a final step in the healing process.

Group therapy is very relevant for survivors of childhood abuse and in fact for any traumatized individual. Isolation and separation from communal support is a primary characteristic of trauma, and that is exactly what group therapy provides. Enduring recovery cannot occur in isolation, it can only take place within the context of relationships.

"Therapists who work with adults abused as children have one overriding goal, that is to repair the client's self-image. Once the client's self image is repaired, he or she is on the road to full recovery."

Eliana Gil - Treatment of Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse

If you think it happened, it probably did.

Emotional abuse is not considered as serious as physical or sexual abuse.  But it is.  The  thoughts and poetry contained here were written by a 13 year old girl after having endured years of emotional abuse by her mother. 

How can I hurt myself? Let me count the ways. But first let me distinguish between hurting myself and abusing myself. Hurting myself - self-harm is a term commonly used for physically abusing oneself by cutting, self inflicting blows, pulling out hair (Trichotillomania) skin or nails, starving or food misuse, extreme piercing, or purposely burning ones’ self.

Sticks and stones may break my bones but bullying and name-calling can emotionally scar me forever. Not the original ending to the classic verse, but probably the more accurate one. It seems that broken bones will heal far more quickly than a battered soul. Does this sound overly dramatic?

There weren't a lot of statistics, because no one thought it was a problem. But then in 1990, Ramsay Klawsnick found that adult females were abusers of male adolescents 37% of the time and of female adolescents 19% of the time; and in six studies reviewed by Russell and FInkelhor, female perpetrators accounted for 25% or more of those abused. In 1996, The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect conducted a widespread investigation on the maltreatment of children.

There is no other closeness in human life like the closeness between a mother and her child. Chronologically, physically and spiritually, they are just a few heartbeats away from being the same person.

This is the darkest secret of them all. It challenges societal expectations and myths more than any other form of sexual abuse. It infers sex between a mother and a daughter as well as homosexuality.

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