therapeutic suffender

Embracing Therapeutic Surrender As a Path to Healing After Emotional Abuse

Sharing is caring

Emotional abuse is a silent but insidious form of trauma that can leave deep scars on a person’s psyche. Unlike physical abuse, emotional abuse often goes unnoticed, making it even more challenging to heal from. One powerful approach that can help survivors of emotional abuse find their path to recovery is therapeutic surrender.

Therapeutic surrender encompasses the willingness to acknowledge our limitations and actively participate in the healing process. It is a conscious choice to release the resistance and defensiveness that hold us back from experiencing true transformation.  Traditionally, the concept of therapeutic surrender refers to the process that takes place between a therapist and their client.  But, it can also be a process that one initiates within themselves.  It can include the act of personal surrender and this can be a therapeutic process, even without a therapist or counselor involved. 

However, it’s often the case that survivors of emotional abuse will eventually require outside help from a therapist, coach, or program in order to realize the best chances of success in healing.  In this article, we will explore the concept of therapeutic surrender, its significance in recovering from emotional abuse, and how it can pave the way for profound healing and growth.

1 – The Journey of Surrendering in Recovery from Emotional Abuse

Recognizing the Need for Help

For individuals who have experienced emotional abuse, surrendering can be particularly challenging. The scars of abuse may create a fear of vulnerability and a reluctance to trust others. However, recognizing the need for help is the first step towards surrendering and embarking on the path of healing. It requires acknowledging that we often cannot overcome the effects of abuse on our own and that seeking support is essential for growth.

For many, this means moving beyond social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube – which generally involve passive consumption of information – to actually integrating healing activities and methods into one’s personal life outside of their devices.  Scrolling for hours on social media might seem like a form of making progress, but eventually, it turns into information overload which can lead to feeling frozen and stuck.

Additionally, it’s important to be discerning of the teachers and public figures you follow.  Not everyone who has an account for the purpose of posting about emotional abuse recovery is a genuine advocate or publishing accurate information.  Just as there are professionals in mental health who may not offer the best approach to recovery, the same holds true for anyone with a blog or an account on social media.

Overcoming the Challenges of Surrendering

The journey of surrendering in emotional abuse recovery is not without its obstacles. Resistance and fear may arise, making it difficult to fully embrace surrender. Surrendering is an act of releasing the tension and conflict that arise from defying reality. It is a moment when we open ourselves up to listen, learn, and accept life without antagonism. By acknowledging the influence of our own defiance and stubbornness through maintaining magical thinking or refusing to accept feedback from reality, we can consciously choose to let go and surrender to the recovery process.

The Role of Surrender in the Recovery Process

Therapeutic surrender is a fundamental aspect of the healing journey. It is through surrender that we allow ourselves to be vulnerable in the recovery process, opening the door to deep exploration and transformation. Surrendering in therapy or even with ourselves involves letting go of preconceived notions and allowing truth and feedback from reality to guide us toward healing.

heal from abuse2 – Surrendering as a Path to Healing and Transformation

Surrendering requires embracing acceptance and letting go of the need to control every aspect of our lives. It involves acknowledging that we cannot change the past or control the actions of other people, but we can choose how we respond to our circumstances in the present moment. By surrendering to acceptance, we create space for healing and transformation to occur.

Surrendering is not about giving up but finding a more profound sense of purpose and meaning in our lives. Through surrender, we tap into our inner strength and resilience, discovering that even in our most vulnerable and painful moments, we have the capacity to grow and evolve. Surrendering allows us to let go of the chaos that weighs us down and embrace a life aligned with our true values and aspirations.

This surrender can take various forms:

  1. Emotional surrender: It involves allowing oneself to feel and express emotions, even difficult or painful ones, without judgment or suppression. This can be essential in addressing and processing unresolved emotional issues.  Many victims of emotional abuse become so entrenched in placating their abusers that they often fail to acknowledge the damage it does to their own psyches.  They become so determined to make their abuser happy that they forgo their own desires and wishes in the process.  This self-abandonment inside toxic relationships erodes our self-worth and emotional well-being, perpetuating the cycle of toxicity and preventing healthy growth and boundaries.

  2. Cognitive surrender: This entails being open to new perspectives, insights, and ways of thinking. It involves letting go of rigid beliefs or thought patterns that may be contributing to emotional distress or mental health issues.  Cognitive surrender includes being mindful of when you might be engaging in cognitive biases.  This is when you develop a tendency to seek information that’s in line with what you want to believe, instead of opening up to other truths or perspectives.  One example of this is the tendency to believe that narcissists and other emotional abusers are unaware of the pain they cause or that they’re acting out owing to deep-rooted shame.  While these two notions remain popular in mainstream psychology, they’ve both been proven to be largely inaccurate in more recent studies and research.

  3. Behavioral surrender: It involves being open to trying new behaviors or approaches to problem-solving, especially if the current strategies are not working or are causing harm.  This might look like not giving in to narcissistic hoovering any longer, going ahead and blocking an abuser from being able to contact you, realizing that scrolling on social media doesn’t replace actionable healing steps, or no longer expecting someone to change or be different when they’ve consistently given you no reason to expect it.

3 – Surrendering to Reality: A Catalyst for Personal Growth

Surrendering to reality allows us to let go of things that aren’t working out for us. It is through surrender that we let go of societal expectations, perfectionism, and the need for external validation. This might mean no longer caring what friends or family members think when you mention the possibility of separation or divorce, cutting people off who insist that you should keep an abuser in your life because “they’re family”, or waiting around for closure from people who will never give it to you. 

Surrendering is not a sign of weakness but a testament to our resilience and strength. It does not mean giving up or giving in to the abuse; rather, it’s a courageous act of self-compassion.  It takes courage to face our fears, acknowledge our vulnerabilities, and surrender to the unknown. By letting go of control and surrendering to the truth of uncomfortable situations, we create space for new opportunities, relationships, and experiences to enter our lives. 

4 – Surrendering in Daily Life: Practical Strategies and Techniques

Mindfulness and Surrender

Practicing mindfulness can deepen our capacity for surrender. By cultivating present-moment awareness, we become more attuned to our thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations. Mindfulness helps us observe our resistance and attachments, allowing us to surrender and let go of unhelpful patterns.

Surrendering Control and Embracing Uncertainty

Surrendering control is about relinquishing the illusion of control and embracing the inherent uncertainty of life beyond toxic relationships. It involves acknowledging that we cannot control external circumstances, but we can control our responses and attitudes. Surrendering control allows us to find peace amidst chaos and live with greater flexibility and adaptability, while making plans to change the toxic paths we have kept ourselves on.

Surrendering to Self-Care and Prioritizing Well-being

Surrendering to self-care involves prioritizing our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. It requires recognizing our own needs and boundaries, and honoring them without guilt or judgment. Surrendering to self-care means we no longer make other people more important than ourselves (with the exception of babies and minor children, of course).

5 – Surrendering as a Lifelong Journey

Surrendering is not a one-time event; it is a lifelong practice. It requires ongoing self-reflection, self-awareness, and a willingness to let go of control in various aspects of our lives. Surrendering becomes a way of being, an attitude that permeates our daily interactions and choices.

In the journey of surrendering, setbacks and challenges are inevitable. There will be times when resistance and fear resurface, tempting us to revert to old patterns. However, by staying committed to the practice of surrendering, we can navigate these obstacles with resilience and perseverance.

Get Started On The Stages of Emotional Healing 

If there were one thing I wish I could tell every person about healing, it would be that you can have it. 

Even if you don’t reach what you think is 100% “being healed,” life can transform in ways you can’t imagine from where it is now.

The Break Free Program is my most popular program—no toxic positivity. No fluff. Just deep principles of recovery.

Join Break Free and heal, reconnect with yourself, and fearlessly detach from the grip of narcissistic control.

Just click the link to join:

👉 Join now with a sliding scale and lifetime access.


  1. Vulnerability and Healing in Recovery:

    • Brown, B. (2012). Daring greatly: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead. Gotham Books.
    • Neff, K. D. (2003). Self-compassion: An alternative conceptualization of a healthy attitude toward oneself. Self and Identity, 2(2), 85-101.
  2. Emotional Expression and Processing:

    • Fosha, D. (2000). The Transforming Power of Affect: A Model for Accelerated Change. Basic Books.
  3. Trust and Therapeutic Relationship:

    • Norcross, J. C. (2002). Psychotherapy relationships that work: Therapist contributions and responsiveness to patients. Oxford University Press.
  4. Cognitive Change and Openness to New Perspectives:

    • Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K. D., & Wilson, K. G. (1999). Acceptance and commitment therapy: An experiential approach to behavior change. Guilford Press.


Sharing is caring

Leave a Comment: