The Family's physical or sexual abuse was often combined with psychological abuse through the use of humiliation. For example a beating might be administered in front of the commune members.
The archtypical examples of phychological abuse are the result of questioning the leaders who claim they are prophets and enjoy the financial fruit of their position.
Members who disagree with them are often branded as being damaged in some way, whether it be mild like a spiritual defect to work on to outright possession.
Merry Berg is a good example of this, and the ordeal she undertook was horrific enough without the literal demonization The Family used to villify her.
When members leave and deign criticize the leaders or the practices the characterization is completed and they are demonized as the enemy and at least "corrupted" or "possessed". The members who remain are often told to pray against their newfound "enemy" and curse them with death and worse.
This cycle of tactics are harmful examples of psychological abuse aimed at maintaining control over a tithing membership.