Pine Tree Counselling
Trudi Jane Wyatt, MA, CT, CCC

Counselling services for individual men and women in Calgary, Alberta.

verified by Psychology Today


Phone: 403.270.2386**
Emergencies 911

350 7 Ave SW, Calgary, T2P3N9

“Gaslighting” (Republished)

In addition to a light bulb predecessor, “gaslighting” can refer to a strategy some people use in order to control other people in an often undetected, covert, but insidious manner. The term comes from an old movie (spoiler alert!!) called “Gaslight” in which a husband secretly manipulates the gaslight levels in his home to convince his wife she’s “going crazy” and perhaps should go to a sanitarium.

There are many ways to go about “gaslighting”, and most people do not know how to recognize them. And thus many good people are highly vulnerable to being emotionally manipulated, like a marionette puppet, at home, politically, socially, in the workplace, religiously, etc. I think that perhaps another aspect of the vulnerability (there are many aspects) might be that many people (increasingly) have not been taught the important critical thinking skills required to trust their minds enough to persistently and confidently question the words, actions, and even glances of a gaslighter.

For help with developing these skills, identifying gaslighting (this can be very difficult), responding to gaslighting (this can be very difficult), recovering from being gaslighted (this can be very difficult), or even with stopping this behaviour if you are enacting it, please contact me. If desired, I offer free initial consultations to see if there might be a fit between your needs and my work; or, you can just set up a first appointment.

This post was originally published my me on 26 January 2018. Due to the more frequent use of the word in the culture lately, I decided to republish (& slightly edit) it today (17 Jan 2021). Perhaps the term is relevant today, yesterday, and as far back as (hu)man. Even Aristotle said that you cannot learn to know a [hu]man until you have eaten a peck of salt with him [or her], and even Hamlet said that one may smile, and smile, and be a villain.

Please note that this post is neither counselling nor counselling therapy. If you need these services, please contact me or another professional. If urgent support is needed, calling Calgary Distress Centre at 403.266.4357 is an option. For emergencies, consider calling 911 or going to your local Emergency Room. This page is for information only, is not advice, and implies neither an intent to provide professional services to readers nor that a professional relationship has been established with readers. Current adult residents of the Canadian province of Alberta are the only intended audience of this post.

Trudi Jane Wyatt, MA, CT, CCC / Pine Tree Counselling © 2021