Being in a toxic relationship with an intimate partner or others in ones life including parents, children, work colleagues including management and supervisors can be most difficult to spot when we are in them. Most of the responses include personal distress involving anxiety, worry, depression and can become more serious involving disorders that occur in response to trying to cope.
Not realising the damage that is happening is a common occurance for some people entering therapy when being involved in controlling dynamics which sometimes extend to emotionally abusive dynamics and sometimes from both parties. Sometimes dynamics that are taking place are not in the awareness of a person in therapy and the raising awareness can be life changing whether dealing with a current or past situation.
Often therapy has an effect on other people in your life and works bi-proxy and positive change takes place not just for the person in therapy but for the other in their life. Often the person functionning in a controlling way responds to personally develop themselves which is a healthy response for the person in therapy. A common example of this would be Financial abuse where because of belief systems, sometimes from both parties have set up an unbalanced financial arrangement and if it goes well, therapy aims to balance this and the other people in a person's life does respond well and engages in balancing situations. Sometimes unfortunately, the other people in someones life is unable to change or develop and this is where control remains abusive and damaging.
Exploring situations in therapy aims to alter the balance and works to empower a person so that they are engaging positively and autonomiously and can make choices based upon a new inner resource involved in self understanding.