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Sense of Agency by Soteldo Therapy


Sense of Agency

Consistent abuse in trauma bonded relationships instills a sense of helplessness in you. Consequently, you will unconsciously surrender your liberties to the abuser who will then assume the responsibility of controlling your thoughts, actions, and feelings. At this point, you will have forfeited your sense of agency.

In a traumatic situation, the idea of regaining your sense of agency by taking responsibility for your actions may seem like a blame apportionment. At face value, taking responsibility could mean that your actions, feelings, and thoughts led to the abuse, and you are the trigger for all the abuse. However, in a traumatic relationship, you need to know that you don’t deserve any kind of mistreatment regardless of anything.

After you acknowledge your self-worth, you will be able to see the other person for who they are. Once you establish that a continuous relationship is detrimental and regressive for you, you will own your actions, thoughts, and feelings and strive to improve your self-interest. After this revelation, you will realize that you are not that helpless if you have control over yourself.

Illustration: A test for a sense of agency

You are accountable for your;

  • Actions

  • Perceptions

  • Feelings

You are not obliged to influence other people's;

  • Actions

  • Perceptions

  • Feelings

No one else controls your;

  • Actions

  • Perceptions

  • Feelings

If your behaviour or belief is not consistent with any of these parameters, then you don’t have a sense of agency. As a survivor of abuse, you need to prioritize the fact that your actions did not warrant your mistreatment. However, you should take ownership of the outcome of the abuse to facilitate your recovery. At any point in your life, you should not despair since you always have a choice to maximize your well-being. Be rational and select a course of action that restores your sense of agency which gives you full ownership for your actions, perceptions, and feelings.

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