Dear Dr. Romance:
I have a family member with two failed marriages, after she asked for my advice I suggested a spousal abuse counselor for therapy. She didn't receive counseling and went on to a second failed marriage. This time even worse than the first. She doesn't understand the reasoning for counseling. She is under the advice of a friend who said you just pick up the pieces and move on. With the second marriage not only beatings but terrible financial problems and two children to boot. We talked again about seeing a counselor this time she found a friend who's mother counseled children on proper manners in school. I was kinder hoping you could shed some light on what the need for counseling is all about and why it's necessary. thank you
I'd be happy to shed light. Counselors do several things. They help clients heal emotional wounds left over from the past, and help them reconfigure patterns that may result from those same past experiences, which lead them to repeat the same errors. In addition, counselors are life coaches, who help people think through their decisions and help them make better choices in their daily lives. Counselors also help guide people through grief and loss, and overcome guilt and hurt feelings.
"Guidelines for finding and using therapy wisely"; "Ten Things People Don't Understand About Counseling" "Family Violence Q & A" and "How to keep yourself out of a violent relationship" will all help your friend understand the need for counseling, and "Friends in Need: Interventions for Domestic Violence" will help you understand how best to help her.
It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction will help your friend understand the early roots of her relationship problems.
For low-cost counseling, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org