Consequences don't care how good were your
Consequences don't care how logical your theory or how sacred
The consequences of good intentions often include suffering.
Good Intentions are only Ideas
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
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.
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. Newark
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
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Immature - They may be impressed or intimidated by one partner, and encourage
couple to follow that partner's demands - perhaps telling the couple that
obedience, separation or divorce is
their "best" solution.
- Lonely - They may hope that a client becomes a friend
or lover. Instead of discussing potential solutions they may try to romance or seduce
- 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.
seen all of the damage that you write about ... and a lot more. Washington
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
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
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
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.
and relationship difficulties caused by
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
All rights reserved.