top of page

A Psych. Ed. Moment

What is Gaslighting?

Recently, I have started to hear the term gaslighting quite often from clients. As they are using it, I have become aware that this term is often used interchangeably with lying and manipulation. Although gaslighting may entail lying and manipulation, gaslighting is not necessarily interchangeable with these terms.

Where did the term gaslighting come from?

The term “gaslighting” actually comes from a 1938 play, “Gas Light” (which was turned into a more widely known movie in 1944, “Gaslight”), where a husband manipulates his wife to make her think she’s actually losing her sense of reality so he can commit her to a mental institution and steal her inheritance.

What IS the definition of gaslighting?

Psychologists use the term “gaslighting” to refer to a specific type of manipulation where the manipulator is trying to get someone else (or a group of people) to question their own reality, memory or perceptions. And it’s always a serious problem, according to psychologists.

Nyeshia Davis posted the following article on the Therapy for Black Girls website about what gaslighting is, how to spot it, and how to confront it (HINT: it involves assertive, positive communication skills and healthy boundaries! If those are not your strong suit, after reading the article below, I suggest checking out my blog post about working on building your communication and boundary skills HERE:

Why Is Everyone Talking About 'Gaslighting'? Here's What It Means and How to Spot It by Kelsey Olgetree:

Share your thoughts in the comments!

11 views0 comments


bottom of page