Fear and control

Published on January 8, 2021

Brianne couldn’t sleep.  Her mind was replaying her week at work.  Her new supervisor had excluded her from meetings, spread rumors behind her back and often made devaluing comments to her.   Brianne started to replay the conversations they had had together.  Was I impolite? Did I say the wrong thing?  The more she replayed the discussions, the more confused she got.  She felt as if she had always been kind to everyone on her team.  The more afraid Brianne was of her supervisor, the more control the supervisor had over her.

Fear and control tend to happen on a spectrum.  When people are afraid, they might avoid, attack or people please to feel safe.  Some people might seek to have more control because the more power they have, the safer they feel.   In the case of Brianne, her supervisor was trying to use control tactics to make Brianne follow her guidelines.  Brianne had been doing her own thing at work, and sometimes she didn’t do it precisely as her supervisor requested.

Consequently,  her supervisor felt out of control. To feel more in control, she started to devalue Brianne so that Brianne would lose confidence and begin to listen.  Control tactics can look like gossiping behind someone’s back, degrading, excluding, and or isolating from friends and family.

 Brianne eventually recognized why her supervisor was treating her differently.  To repair her professional relationship, she made sure that she did not threaten her supervisor’s authority.  She began to watch her supervisor’s actions, but she did not react.  The emotional reaction might have led to more control tactics.  The poker face and following authority eventually led to a repaired work relationship where both Brianne and her supervisor felt safe.

On one end of the spectrum, control tactics can be annoying.  On the extreme end of the spectrum, control tactics can be dangerous.  In romantic or family relationships, isolation, lack of empathy and devaluing can sometimes lead to domestic violence.  Lack of empathy and devaluing can also lead to decreases in self-worth and self-esteem.

Suppose you feel like you are being bullied, devalued, or controlled. In that case, a professional can help you to regain confidence or help you to come up with a solution.  Suppose you struggle with control and feeling out of control. In that case, a professional can help you to to learn how to feel safe without using control tactics.


If you feel like you need to talk to someone then please do contact me to set up an appointment online session via email info@doctormonicaborschel.com.

Category(s):Abuse / Abuse Survivor Issues, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) / Trauma / Complex PTSD, Relationships & Marriage, Workplace Issues

Written by:

Dr Monica Borschel

Welcome! My passion is to help you find inner peace and emotional comfort within yourself and your relationships.

As social creatures, our relationships significantly shape our happiness, well-being, and sense of self-worth. Unfortunately, many of us have experienced relationship-related traumas, which can leave us with emotional scars that require recovery.

Attachment traumas, such as divorce, break-ups, infidelity, neglect, and abuse, can be challenging. As an expert in attachment, loss, and trauma, I have spent many years studying how attachment styles can shift with loss and trauma.

I have seen how healthy relationships can lead to secure attachment and how insecure attachment can create turmoil in our lives. I aim to guide you toward cultivating healthy relationships with yourself, your children, your co-parent, and your romantic partner.

I can help you develop new attachment strategies that will allow you to form deeper connections and bonds with those around you. And, if you have children, I can also assist you in establishing secure attachments with both parents, which can be especially helpful in cases of separation or divorce.

I am originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, where I completed my Bachelor of Science in Psychology at The University of Utah. From there, I moved to New York City, earning my Master’s in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University. I then pursued my Doctorate in Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong. I lived and worked in Hong Kong as a practicing Clinical Psychologist from 2010-2020. I reside in California and am pursuing my Doctorate in Psychology (PsyD) at California Southern University. My training and qualifications include certifications in Brainspotting and High Conflict Coaching.

These tools, combined with my extensive knowledge and experience in the field, enable me to offer you the guidance and support you need to recover from past traumas and build healthy relationships.

My approach to therapy is empathetic, supportive, and tailored to your unique needs. Every person can grow, and thrive. I am committed to helping you achieve your goals. So, whether you are struggling with relationship issues, divorce, abuse, attachment traumas, or other challenges, I am here to help you find the peace and comfort you deserve.

Email me at info@doctormonicaborschel.com or call the MindnLife Clinic at 852 2521 4668