What is emotional abuse?

Emotional abuse is a behaviour that harms a child’s self-worth or emotional well-being. Examples include name-calling, shaming, rejecting, withholding love, and threatening[1]. Emotional abuse is a behavioural pattern where a person deliberately and repeatedly uses actions and words to negatively impact the mental well-being of the target person. While the physical force is absent, the emotional manipulation is core to emotional abuse[2]

Overview of Childhood Emotional Abuse and Its Impact

The concept of the “inner child” phenomena (a psychosynthesis of all ages from childhood to old age) continues to impact human being’s overall expressions of themselves in the world. In this series of articles and videos about the impact of inner child, Riri G Trivedi provides an overview of the term and its implications for mental health and parents.


[1] Centre for Disease Control and Prevention Website, https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childabuseandneglect/fastfact.html (Last accessed, Jun 13, 2022)

[2] Pietrangelo, A. (2022, January 28). Emotional abuse: What it is and signs to watch for. Healthline. Retrieved June 12, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/signs-of-mental-abuse#What-is-emotional-abuse?

Note on the Inner Child Series:

Inner child healing or healing the child within – are some terms used to identify and address the impact of such adverse childhood experiences (Childhood Trauma) on the adult’s mental health.   This work is core to our therapeutic as well as training processes.  Module 3 – Healing the Child Within is where the budding therapists start working on the concept – using measurable Adverse Childhood Experiences inventory.  Beyond module 3, they learn how to integrate the findings from the assessment into their therapeutic intervention, and it includes understanding the impact of trauma from these experiences through state-of-the-art, evidence-based Complex PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) evaluation and interventions.