Hollie met Dan when she was sixteen and when she was very naive, he was known for being a bit odd and would wear funky and unusual clothes around the town, he was very handsome, completely unique, and unlike any of the lads she knew from school. She recalled that she used to follow him like a groupie, and knew that he lived in a party house at the back of the chip shop.

It wasn’t long before he also set his sights on her beautiful tiny elf like frame and soon introduced her to some of his favourite party drugs. Hollie was besotted with Dan and would do anything for him and/or anything she was told to do by him.

As time passed, Dan became more and more controlling, needing to know who Hollie spoke to, which shops she had been to and why. He would regularly accuse her of fancying other men and women, threatening to leave her until she cried and begged him not to. Every time he did this and she begged him to stay, after agreeing, he would want sex immediately even if she just wanted to snuggle up. There was never any question of consent, Hollie just did what was expected of her. He slowly played cat and mouse with her in order to gain her complete adoration, this resulted in her wanting and needing to be with him as well as convincing herself that she could not live without him.

One afternoon after not having a meal ready on time, Dan beat Hollie up so badly that she was taken to hospital and kept in intensive care for ten days because the injuries to her head and neck were so bad that she had to be strapped to the bed to stop her from moving and her spleen had been damaged.

Over the previous months, her dad Kevin, had been watching the relationship closely and way that this man had coercively controlled his beautiful young daughter but had been unable to stop it until this assault. From that moment he stopped him from visiting and helped the police to arrest him. Hollie didn’t want him arrested and cried out for Dan. 

Her mother Julie had been charmed by Dan too and thought it was a one off. She had become torn between her husband and her daughter and all she really seemed to care about was her desperation for grandchildren and that if Dan was out of the picture she would have to wait even longer.

Outcome following therapy

After sixteen sessions of EMDR (Eye movement desensitisation reprocessing), a course of Bowen Treatment and some energy healing. Although Hollie was still sad about losing Dan, she was also confused, but she felt better about being single and mostly about being safe.  It had taken many weeks for her to recover physically and there had been complications in her recovery with repeated infections. Once her physical healing had been addressed and after a combination of therapies that she had chosen by her, because she said that she knew which would help her the most. She began to see and to reflect on what she now saw as type of grooming and was able to understand how Dan had actually taken advantage of her naivety to get his own needs met.

Working with the Trauma Tapestry helped Hollie immensely, as she was good at art and took time in between the sessions to literally draw out her memories, her thoughts and feelings of the whole relationship, from start to finish. Hollie excelled using the Granite Programme and stated in her evaluation that it was the tool that helped her to put her thoughts and her new beginnings into practice. With the help of her family and support from friends, Holly went to college and re sat the exams that she had missed. She excelled and at the time of writing this was at University studying Law.

Sue J Daniels
MBACP & UKRC (Snr Accred).
EMDR Practitioner
Professional Counsellor &
Trauma Specialist

The following books supporting this article are available on Amazon and all major high street and online book stores…

Pocketbook of Power: For Females Affected by Domestic Abuse and Violence

LAVA – Life After Violence & Abuse: Therapy Workbook (Therapy Workbooks)

#Me Time: Therapeutic Workbook for those affected by rape and sexual violence

Trauma Therapeutic Workbook: 80 Key Points for Working Towards Post Traumatic Growth (Therapy Workbooks)

Working with the Aftershock of Domestic Violence: A New Approach for Professionals

Bitesize Book of Bullying (For Adults affected by Bullying and Intimidating Behaviours)