Soulwork Home Page

Check your spelling

Soulwork Online Help

Soulwork Humor: Funny stories


Soulwork Systemic Coaching: Summary

Soulwork Coach Training

Soulwork FAQ Questions & Answers


Emotional Issues
Anger & Rage

Eating Problems
Emotional Maturity
Grief & Loss
Inner Child

Pain Control
Stress Relief

Toxic Beliefs
Trauma & Stress
Weight Loss


Relationship Problems

Dissolve Conflicts
Emotional Blackmail

Enjoy Partnership
Evaluate Partners
Long-Distance Love
Love & Hate

Past Partners
Sexual Issues
Soul Mates


Family Challenges

Brothers & Sisters
Divorce & Children
Emotional Incest
Family Meetings
Family Secrets

Fathers & Daughters
Fathers & Sons
Learning Disorders
Mothers & Daughters
Mothers & Sons

Parental Alienation


Life Lessons
Bad Habits
Being Alone
Children's Challenges
Observing Feelings

Patterns in Love
Personal Growth
Quantum Leap
Self Esteem
Self Improvement
Self Intimacy
Stress & Relaxing
Therapist and Clients


Chaos Coaching

Inner Conflict
Expert Modeling
Learning Disorders

Sexual Abuse
Soul of Soulwork
Systemic Management
Therapist Abuse
Training Abuse



Interview with Martyn
Fee, Cost, Price

eXTReMe Tracker

Relationship Counseling after Abuse
Consequences of Abuse © Martyn Carruthers

Online Help: Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

Consequences don't care how good were your intentions.
Consequences don't care how logical your theory or how sacred your dogma.
The consequences of good intentions often include suffering.

Good Intentions are only Ideas

Our couple coaching evolved out of the dissatisfaction
with marriage counseling reported by our clients.

Abuse is about dominance and control. Abuse is about displays of power: threats, lies, broken promises and humiliation. Abuse is about people who claim good intentions, yet are immature and/or disconnected from their emotions.

Most abusers whom I have met described their own childhood abuse (including covert incest, parental alienation and useless therapy). Later, as teenagers and adults, many tried to enmesh other people into their own emotional problems and philosophies.

When you are hurting, you are more likely to follow hurtful advice.

Abuse by Therapists . Mentor Damage . Training Abuse . Abuse in Cults

Good Intentions on the Road to Hell

We hear many stories about abuse by parents, relatives, friends, colleagues, bosses, salespeople, politicians ... and helping professionals. We hear about unpleasant experiences during and following sessions with coaches, counselors and therapists. Helping people repair damage from prior counseling became an unexpected yet important part of our work.

In six years of therapy my therapist NEVER asked me what I wanted.
She only told me what to do. I followed her like a lamb until she told me to
divorce my husband. She was so angry when I didn't that I quit.

After incompetent counseling or abusive therapy, people may become suspicious of all helping professionals. They may have a bigger burden of suffering than they had before. While incompetence and unkind words may be ignored - mentor damage can cause lasting unpleasant consequences.

Some people give up, stop seeking help and suffer needlessly. Others become psychoholics - endlessly checking out the latest fads hoping for some change. And some become therapists themselves.

How therapists can damage couples

Helping professionals can hurt their clients in many ways - often with good intentions - during marriage counseling or marital therapy. Here are some situations that our clients have described:

  1. Triangulation - They may join a power game between couples or partners, and support one partner over the other - damaging the partners' ability to solve problems together.

  2. Boredom - They may use their clients as a source of entertainment. They may encourage dramatic arguments and mock fights, although such techniques are often both traumatic and detrimental for a couples' health and harmony.

  3. Authority - They give orders or commands. They may instruct couples to separate or stay together, often following their own philosophy or dogma. They may act as if they can decide what a couple should want. They may say, "Your only chance is to xxx". Couples who follow such instructions may stay together in misery or separate needlessly.

  4. Parental - They use clients to fulfill their need to be parents. They may require that couples follow their strict instructions, even for minor problems. They may threaten to end therapy if a couple chooses other solutions. As a result, a couple may lose their sense of partnership and may find themselves unable to solve any problems without outside help (see therapist-client codependence).

  5. Immature - They may be impressed or intimidated by one partner, and encourage a couple to follow that partner's demands - perhaps telling the couple that obedience, separation or divorce is their "best" solution.

  6. Lonely - They may hope that a client becomes a friend or lover. Instead of discussing potential solutions they may try to romance or seduce a client.
  7. Demagogue - They want to promote a theory, dogma, cult or psychotheology ... spreading their philosophy may be more important to them than their clients reaching their own desired goals!

    I have been a therapist for over thirty years. I have seen theories come and go ...
    and I have seen the consequences of those theories on people's lives. I have
    seen all of the damage that you write about ... and a lot more.

Codependent or Abusive Counseling

If a couple recover from abusive or incompetent counseling and stay together, they may suffer mentor damage and avoid other forms of assistance.

We offer individual sessions to manage individual issues. We offer couple coaching to change fixations, transferences and triangulation. We help couples understand each other as a basis for making decisions together. We focus on future happiness, not past hurt and we prefer gentle provocation to sympathy.


Partners of people with symptoms of emotional incest or identity loss may react when their partners commence recovery. They may have emotional arguments when long-avoided conversations commence.

If problems are not dealt with appropriately, the healthier partners may become the sicker partners in unhappy role-reversals! If emerging problems are not dealt with and resolved (e.g. codependence), one partnerís success may trigger a relapse in the other. We can help both partners find and enjoy healthy recoveries.

Good Intentions on the Road to Hell

Even if you are a priest, a psychiatrist or a trainer, we suggest that you avoid using your authority to persuade adults to do what you want them to do. We help couples find, check, apply and test their own solutions.

If you are searching for help, research the methodology of people you consider working with. Talk to their past clients if you can. Does a therapist talk to you as if to a child? Does a counselor cause you to feel dependent? Does a psychiatrist tell you that your only chance is to take drugs or to follow his or her demands?

We help people develop their strengths as they accept and acknowledge each other's values and improve their relationship skills. During our couple counseling, we help BOTH partners understand each other and make decisions ... we avoid taking sides.

You have probably heard many relationship theories that you later found were untrue. You have probably seen unintentional hurt and well-intentioned abuse. Perhaps you have wondered how any partnership survives. After our couple counseling you may look at partnership more realistically.

Recovery from Client Abuse

We focus on the future - not the past. Whatever caused your stress or conflict
- we explore how you can repair the damage and prevent recurrences.
Emotional problems and relationship difficulties caused by mentor damage
can disrupt lives. We can help you assess and repair mentor damage.

Online Help: Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 2001-2018 All rights reserved.

If you like our work, please link to us. If you know someone who might benefit,
please mention or

For online help, email us at:

Soulwork systemic coaching in America & Hawaii


Soulwork systemic coaching in England, Wales & Scotland

Soulwork systemic coaching in Croatia & Serbia

Soulwork systemic coaching in Poland



Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email