Posted by Julie Cederbaum Goschalk 

created at: 2012-10-04Recently an acquaintance, Sheila*, asked me how she could tell whether the therapist she just started working with was the ‘right’ one for her. I wondered what made her ask the question. She explained that for several sessions this therapist was asking her about her childhood and what had made her marry her husband when all she really wanted to talk about was how he frightens her, how her children run to their rooms when they hear him come home, and what she can do to make him stop tormenting her. She expressed great frustration at finally having found the courage to talk about this painful secret in her life, yet the person on whom she was pinning her hopes for support seemed to be missing the point.

Sadly this is not an uncommon situation. Not two weeks later, a couple’s therapist wanted to refer a man to me who needed help regarding his trauma history. The therapist mentioned that he had filed a report with the Department of Social Services because he was concerned about the man’s treatment of his children; he assured me that the wife was safe because “there is no physical abuse.”

What can we do when a loved one who is in an unsafe or controlling relationship is ready to seek help from a professional? Read More

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