A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

On Finding a Good Counselor and Avoiding the Bad Ones

One of the most difficult lessons I have learned in my lifetime is that some people love to exploit those who have suffered obvious trauma. I don’t know what the motivation is or if people are even aware of the fact that they are doing it. Perhaps there is a deep need for esteem in the eyes of others. Perhaps people are driven to have a purpose. Perhaps it is that strange need for drama that we see so much of these days. Whatever the reason, it seems that a myriad of “counselors” rush in when there is trauma, and not all with good intentions. When our parents died, it was a tragic and public tragedy. They were only 51 and 52 and my father was a man of renown.  Around 1000 people showed up for their funeral. It was all the buzz. “Five children left behind . . . ”  So many people showed up at our house, I thought I would go stir-crazy. One woman, in particular, showed up claiming to have known our parents. She had a counseling degree but was not professional. She wanted to help us . . . to counsel us. We let her in, of course, because we were utterly vulnerable. I am pretty certain of the fact that all my siblings and I would agree that her counsel was NOT helpful. And, later, I was to find out that she loved the fact that she was counseling us. She told everyone. It was a status symbol for her! We felt exploited.

It happened to me, again, when I left my abusive ex (goodness . . . I’m a slow learner). I let in “counselors”. I wish I had had the wherewithal to be able to discern between the humble and wise and those who just wanted to be “in the know”. I did learn the lesson the hard way. But, I learned it. And I feel like I am very able, now, to stand up to those who want to counsel me for no good reason. It is not a new phenomenon that people flock to those who are suffering a trauma, giving advice and opinions. Job experienced much of it. I love how The Message describes his reaction to one of those who “counseled” him:

Job answered:

“I’m sure you speak for all the experts,
and when you die there’ll be no one left to tell us how to live.
But don’t forget that I also have a brain—
I don’t intend to play second fiddle to you.
It doesn’t take an expert to know these things.  Job 12:1-3

There is so little good advice and so few tender words of wisdom when a person is experiencing a trauma like divorce. If I could do it all over again, I would watch out for those who swoop in — counselors who just want to help out. I think I could characterize “swoopers” by a lack of humility and a fondness for sharing their “findings” with others. A good counselor NEVER EVER shares private details with another. . .  in fact, there is really no reason to even share with anyone that they are counseling the victim, at all. If you catch wind of a counselor sharing the intimate details of your life in the form of “prayer requests” . . . well, hopefully, that will be the end of that. If a person genuinely wants to help, that person will give freedom . . . let you know they are there for you without pushing or pressing or aggrandizing.

A professional counselor would be ideal. I know we cannot all afford that — I could not. I had some great counselors and some not-so-great counselors. But, when looking for a professional counselor or therapist, one suggestion would be to go prepared with a series of interview questions to ask them, to help you decide whether they are going to really be able to help you. If you find the counselor is not going to work out, do not be afraid to end it and find another counselor. (This is a very hard step to take as a former victim — take heart and realize that your emotional health is worth it. Do not be afraid to hurt the counselor’s feelings). Jeff S. suggests this:

The number one thing that you need in a counselor is someone who has experience with abuse cases. I think it’s also important that she be a Christian if possible, but when you are exhausted and short on time, this may be an impossible combination. If something has to give, don’t let it be the experience and knowledge of abuse.

I believe this is key. I am sure many many of our readers have more suggestions about how to find a good counselor/therapist. Feel free to comment.

Lastly, friends . . . Do not be afraid to admit that counseling is important. As previously stated, I could not afford it. But, I was so blessed to eventually find wise older persons to help me through. God will help us through, regardless, as we are committed to Him. That is just His way. But if you can, do not be anxious about taking that step. We all need wisdom from someone more experienced at different times of our lives. This is not anything to bemoan . . . but steady on. You will be stronger for it.

32 Comments

  1. IamMyBeloved's&HeIsMine

    Well, this is funny, and I know everyone here can use a little of God’s humor, so I will share it. After I and my children reported the abuse in our home to our pastor and things went from bad to worse, an elder came to me to talk about it. I said that I was in counseling with someone and he apparently did not believe me, so he said to me, “Run, run as fast as you can to get as much counsel as you can, run. Don’t wait another day. Go today, Run!” He was implying that I must be the really messed up one in the house and also secretly warning me, of events the pastor was seeking out to bring against me. The funny thing, is that when I went to my counselor and told them what all was going on, they were quick to say I was under unimaginable spiritual abuse from the pastor and that it was good that I had left. So, I guess the elder thought there was something so wrong with me, that I needed such intense counseling, but the truth is, that they were simply abusing me and I had an abuse counselor, so they were spot on in identifying what was happening to me there, as well as the abuse that was going on in my home. Funny, how God allows those who hold themselves in such places of authority, to actually tell on themselves – it was as if he was actually having me report the pastor and leaders there to the counselors!

    • Haha, that is a great account. I’m glad you made it to the right kind of counselor. God can use even an abusive elder to speak the truth!

    • KingsDaughter

      Yes! Haha, like when my husband defensively asked in response to mentioning him getting counseling, “Who are YOU going to see?!” I know he meant it as a slam/blame-shift whatever, but I really DID need a counselor to help protect me from and sort out his abuse!

  2. Debbie Prce

    Good Advice!

    • MeganC

      Thank you, Debbie! 🙂

  3. Still Scared( but getting angry)

    I found a great counselor for my kids and I don’t think, looking back, I would have changed anything. I could afford her if my ex didn’t pay like he was supposed to , the kids got along with her and she had some appointments available( I called over 10-15 with no spaces open). What she did not have was knowledge of abuse and manipulation techniques. Looking back the only think I would have changed is that I would have had her promise to read In Sheep’s Clothing and some other books like that. She helped my daughter, recognized the real need for separation from his father for my son but she in the end still believed that my ex was just making “bad choices” and “didn’t understand”.

  4. Katy

    Meg that story about the woman wanting to “counsel” you and your siblings after a tragedy like that – sends chills through me. I did have someone babysitting my kids who did the same thing – and I know some people who volunteer for acts of charity only to spread all of the personal information they can get their hands on to anyone who will listen. It’s obvious they are using other people’s tragedies in order to put the spotlight on themselves – and that is just CRAZY.

    • MeganC

      Thanks, Katy. It still burns me up a little bit when I think about it. Bleh. 😦

  5. I both sought and was given counsel during 20 years of psychological abuse from a Christian husband (including visits with 6 pastors in 5 states, and several professional counselors). The most troublesome counselors were, as you said, the self-appointed ones. I agree that often people want to help, want to feel important, want to feel they are the oracle of God, want to see miracles, feel a part of a wonderful work of God, etc. But, unfortunately, they may not be guided by any divine voice, and may be wrong, wrong, wrong. And the counselee (and children) are the ones who bear the consequence. Bummer.

  6. I was sent to ‘peacemaking’ marriage counseling as a result of reporting my husband’s abuse to the church. The pastor insisted that this was the way the the church handled marriage problems and offered me no other way to work through the church system. I expected that they would take my husband aside for confrontation and discipline, which might include counseling if he repented. His violent actions/adultery were documented and outrageous to even unbelievers, but rather, they forced the idea of two are to blame for marriage problems.

    The mediation consisted of reading Ken Sande’s Peacemaker book and no real validation of the abuse, or confrontation of my husband’s sin. I told the pastor and the counselor that I did not think that this would be appropriate at the onset, but the pastor offered not other solutions for me to comply with what the church expected of me. The goal seemed to be to just patch things up and move on-forgive and forget. I was well anchored in that church with a Sunday school class that I taught and friends, and not wanting to leave the church, I submitted to their plan. This ‘service’ was extremely expensive and was obviously not appropriate for domestic violence cases. This counseling radically empowered my husband, and because I refused to continue in, and pay for this ‘counseling’, I was threatened with church discipline myself!

    I filed a complaint with the state board of professional licensing six months ago. Last week a letter arrived stating that the case was closed. I looked up the conselor’s website, just to see if any new disclaimers were on it, and to my surprise, it was a file not found. The phone was disconnected, and I found a picture of their office on the internet with CLOSED next to it. Praise God! He Himself closed that place!. It has caused some ears to tingle with that news! No one expected that, and everyone I talked to about it is SHOCKED! This was a major counseling service for the PCA.

    Certianly, Ken Sande’s organization must be aware of the demise of one of their affiliates. I do see changes on the Ken Sande Peacemaker site concerning domestic abuse, as they have removed several documents and discontinued their previously recommended book, Domestic Abuse by David Powlison, from their online bookstore. That book sums up the approach that the peacemaker counselor used in our sessions-very bad. So bad as to be dangerous. Still they must make a clear statement as to what their position on domestic abuse is, and acknowledge that their service is NOT appropriate in abuse cases. Once again, with so many of the ‘resources’ on the market, a disclaimer is needed, “WARNING: NOT APPROPRIATE IN ABUSE CASES.”

    In all of this, God has lifted me up. I think that the pastor may have to explain why I was threated with discipline for not agreeing to go to a counseling service that is now shut down. That should be unfolding soon.

    • Jeff S

      Thank you for sharing the story about taking down a stronghold. I am glad to see that there was some accountability there and there is one counselor who will not be used to bolster an abuser’s cause.

      I honestly hate for anyone to have to be shut down, but my heart is glad when the oppressed are protected from harmful teaching, and in this case that’s what it took. I’m also encouraged that you stood up for yourself and took the actions you did to talk to the state board.

      It’s another chink in the wall that has come down.

    • I’m am glad the counseling service that was affiliated with Ken Sande’s
      Peacemaking organisation has closed down. I wonder whether the Professional Licensing Board made them shut down or whether they just closed down of their own accord (perhaps to avoid public exposure, scandal and lawsuits from the likes of you, PW).

      To my mind it would have been far better if the State Board for Professional Licensing had made a finding about that counseling service, a finding which was on the public record. Otherwise people like those counselors are likely to continue to practice under another banner and continue to do damage to victims of abuse.

      And people like you, PW, never obtain full vindication or justice.

      • Anonymous

        Is there anyway to find that out, Barb?

      • Not being in the USA, I can only make a guess, but I think if Persistent Widow were to make a phone inquiry (and if that is not successful put the inquiry in writing) to the State Licensing Board, asking whether they had made a finding on that now defunct counselling service, that would be the way to do it. In Oz, the Federal Govt now oversees the Registration Boards for all Health Professionals, which makes the task of searching such a thing a little easier. Each health profession has its own board which can discipline its own practitioners, but they are all under one umbrella authority: AHPRA.

        As to whether a newbie client can find out about a practitioner’s licensing history and whether they have ever been subject to discipline by their board, you’d have to ask the board in your US state how to do that. They would probably have some record of it if it were a serious disciplinary event.

        Here, a practitioner can be subjected to more or less stringent forms of discipline by their board. For example: I heard of one counsellor who did couple counselling with a couple in which the husband was abusive to the wife. The (female) counsellor advised the wife to forgive and reconcile with her violent husband (obviously the husband had manipulated the counsellor). The wife ended up leaving the husband and filing a complaint against the counsellor. The complaint was serious enough for the board to take it to a formal hearing (less serious complaints may be dealt with informally). The ex-wife was allowed to appear at the hearing with a support person of her choice — she took her father. The outcome, so far as I can remember, was that the counsellor was put on restricted practice for a while and mandated to attend domestic violence training. I think outcomes like this could probably be searched at the APHRA website, so long as you know the name of the counsellor (and perhaps their professional registration number, but their number may be able to be found at the website too). I suspect that less formal disciplines, like a stern talking with a rap over the knuckles, may not be listed publicly on the website.

        The woman who made that complaint is someone I know personally. She has written a poem about her experiences which we posted here: New Life After Whistleblowing .

  7. My counseling experience was very different from many. I went to one Christian counselor first by myself, but that was mainly because I wanted help addressing my failures. At that point I considered myself to blame for all of the problems. He didn’t really do much, but he didn’t hurt much either. He was not a Nouthetic guy, but I often felt like I got the worst of both world with him- he seemed light on mental health and light on Bible teaching. Some of the ways he handled scripture I disagreed with.

    The marriage counselor we went to was far better than most of what I’ve read about in other cases. He didn’t understand abuse, but he also did not side with her. I don’t think it was because I was a man, but I could be wrong. My church definitely did not care for him and I was told later that he probably wasn’t the right kind of counselor (they wanted us to go to Nouthetic counseling). In the end he apologized to me for not better assessing the situation- this is when he ended the marriage counseling saying that he could not help us. He was also the first to suggest I look into the Biblical justification for divorce for “emotional abandonment”. He said he didn’t believe in it, but that a good friend of his who was also a counselor did and I might as well think through it. I think he was trying to throw me a bone because he was out of options.

    Finally, I ended up with a secular counselor who was absolutely fantastic. I met him at the institution my ex was at for a while. I am still seeing him monthly (I would go more if I could afford it), but he was brilliant. I later on found out that he used to counsel domestic abusers who were court ordered to see a therapist, so he has some real insights into abuse. I remember him offering me the insight that “Abusers claim to lose control, but the don’t. Losing control would mean flopping around like a fish out of water. When a man hits a woman, he is in control”. Because of his background he was quick to point out to me that what I experienced was nowhere near what a woman in a domestic violence situation goes through, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t painful or abuse. Whenever I’ve doubted myself or worried that I was the problem or I caused it, he has been very affirming and reminded me of the reasons I went to him in the first place. That he has the credibility to affirm me this way is very important.

    He never suggested divorce, and whenever I asked him how long I was supposed to endure he would say “as long as you can”. Listening to a sermon on divorce, this is not the advice you would think you’d get from a secular therapist- preachers today would have you believe secular counselors are just sitting around waiting to pull apart marriages with their ill advice. That wasn’t my experience at all. When I finally did decide to divorce he supported me and I could tell he had thought it was the right thing all along, but he knew it had to be my call, not something he told me to do. Interesting that the secular therapist understood the importance of me owning my decisions that way- most of the Christians in my life wanted to tell me what to do.

    There were struggles with him not being a Christian- there are some things he just doesn’t get. I wish I could have found a Christian therapist who had his background with abuse, but in the end I’m glad I went with him. We had some pretty rough times and I can’t say it was easy, but I know my healing would be a lot slower if not for him. I’m just grateful I found him and had the funds to afford it.

  8. I have sought and been given a lot of counselling over the years. I had counselling and group work for childhood sexual abuse (my own, and another person’s close to me). I had counselling from various counsellors/ psycholgists/ psychiatrists for the marital abuse I’ve been through.

    For all that, I don’t consider myself all that good at assessing a counsellor. Maybe I’m downplaying my good sense, but even in recent years I have had a dud counsellor or two — both of whom were professionals. Partly I felt I had to see them because it had been arranged by a referral from my GP and I didn’t think I could be too fussy and go back to the GP and ask for a referral to another person, so I stuck with the person I’d been sent to.

    In one of those cases, the psychologist, a non Christian, was very good at listening and seeing nuances and connections between the various things I was going through, and he was pretty good at listening to me just pour when I had just been assaulted by my ex. But in the end it became clear that he kept coming back to try to make me own up to my fault in the marriage… I knew then that he didn’t get it. I kinda used him for what he could help me with, but didn’t let him tamper with the things he didn’t understand. I guess that indicates how strong I have become: I know when a counsellor’s viewpoint is limited, and I can mentally protect myself.

    When I had the first red flag that he wasn’t getting it, I felt that sinking hurt feeling which lasted for several days after the counselling session. Then, as I was walking to the next counseling session a week later, I had an epiphany:— I mentally ‘made allowances’ for the counselor and ‘forgave’ him for his ignorant hurtfulness, and ‘felt okay with him again’. All that happened in a few seconds. And while it was happening, I was watching myself doing it, and another part of my brain was identifying the pattern: “This, Barb, is exactly what you have done whenever you have ‘forgiven’ a person who is abusing you. This is how you overlook the unkind behaviour and expose yourself again to being abused.”

    So I learned a lot from that counseling experience, but it was the Holy Spirit who taught me most from it, not the paid professional counselor. 🙂

    • Memphis Rayne

      I would not even know where to begin as far as my experiences with counselors….too many church counselors, none of them qualified to be in their positions. I went like one time to a proffessional mental health person that was assigned by the MIW work insurance…everyone involved with the his issues, had us both go to this person. I remember how lame it was, it was always about letting the abuser vent on his poor shortcomings, then my involvement always including helpin him through his difficulties wether they were saying he truly was mentally ill, or he had abandonment issues, or he suffered from deppression….and my own personal experiences with counselors was the same, if I was able to sneak away to find somebody to talk to, they were judgemental, uncaring, harsh at me for staying, you know “”IF what I were saying was true” I feard them putting the MIW on meds, the MIW would accept to take the perscription then put me on notice by never filling them, If they did get filled they got sold at the MIWs workplace, it was like a big joke another thing the MIW was able to manipulate, and be rewarded with a strangers sympathy.

      Once I was compleltely away, and the FOG quickly flew away, I was schocked over the ignorance involved in all these so called skilled counselors, as long as they attach some credible name to his “issues” they feel like a job well done. I have never had ONE counselor call a spade a spade, they steer away from the word abuser, or abuse because its just to messy, yet too concrete due to they have NO way to treat this problem medically.

      Well wouldnt it be a dream to actually have counselors in our churches, and elswhere that truly got the dynamics of abuse, and could identify it for what it is, and be there to mentally, emotionally, support a victom until she reaches a clearing in the fog……

      a girl can dream right?

      • Memphis Rayne

        Not that there are not good people who DO understand in those positions, I just wish there were ALOT more of them. Unfortunately over a ten year span, I can look back and see that NONE of the many counselors, wether state or church affiliated were in any way a help as far as abuse within a marriage goes.

  9. And the best counselor I have ever had, by far, was a Christian man who truly gets it about abuse. He has been abused himself (in childhood) and has done lots of professional training and practice with trauma and PTSD and recovery therefrom (domestic abuse, post-combat PTSD, sexual abuse, etc). He doesn’t come across as superior to the client. He is very good at gently helping you open up. But he is also good, I believe, at working with people who have major character defects and who abuse other people or abuse substances. He does not push the Christian line on all his clients in a wooden way, but his Christian worldview and theological knowledge is very much present in the counseling session if the client is open to that.

    I have known some Christian counsellors who seem only to use secular methods such as CBT, and what they ‘do’ with their faith in the counseling practice puzzles me. It seems they don’t incorporate it into their practice at all except that maybe they pray and ask God to send them the clients He wants them to work with. To me, that’s not enough. If a counsellor is a Christian, they ought to be able to seamlessly work both things together in a very full bodied way in the counselling session: discussing scripture and doctrine and God in the midst of addressing the client’s mental-therapeutic needs. To me, the spiritual and the psychological can and ideally should be all seamlessly interconnected in realistic, wholesome and life-enhancing ways.

    • Anonymous

      Barbara said, “If a counsellor is a Christian, they ought to be able to seamlessly work both things together in a very full bodied way in the counselling session…”

      I wonder if there are Christian counselors out there who practise such counseling – with full awareness of the dynamics of abuse and the benchmarks used in social services, while at the same time with Christian doctrine at the core of the counseling framework? Are there any readers who have come across such practitioners?

      • Jeff S

        Anonymous- that is the “integrated” approach to counseling and there are many who do it. Both of the Christian counselors I saw (as well as the one my ex saw) were integration style, not Nouthetic. Of the two that I saw, one I thought did a poor job of both sides of the equation. The other I though seemed to be very good in both respects, but just not good at dealing with abuse situations (but also had the integrity to step back when he realized it was more than he he could handle).

      • The male counsellor I mentioned above is like that except that he may not have a fully up to date grasp of all the benchmarks used by social services. But if he didn’t know all those benchmarks he’d inform the client, and encourage the client to find out those details and tell him, so he could be aware of how those benchmarks may influence his client’s situation.

        He is a member of the Australian Professional Counsellors Association, which despite its generic sounding name is an association of Christian counsellors.

  10. Anonymous

    Has anyone found that some experienced, ‘veteran’, DV advocates/counselors can tend to be very directive? They can sound just as judgemental as the well-meaning Christian bystanders who blame you for the breakdown of the marriage.

    Regardless of the source, judgemental attitudes and statements feel the same. You don’t feel heard, just told who you are, what you did wrong and what you need to do to fix it. It very much mirrors what the abuser did, and no wonder it is very triggering to hear such evaluative, judgemental, superior statements from counselors, including abuse-aware professionals.

    • Yes, Anon, I have experienced that kind of thing from experienced DV advocates/counselors. It hurt.
      In my case, it wasn’t exactly that the advocate was being directive, but more that she was cold and curt and didn’t establish any rapport with me when giving me information. I had been living in the refuge (shelter) for some days and she asked me “What are you going to do? Are you going to go back to your husband or are you going to stay separated from him? Because we find that most of these men don’t change.”

      She probably thought she was giving me helpful information, but I felt she was being cold, distant and judgmental, and was seeing me as just another dumb victim who would go back to her husband — and because she’d seen that so often before, she was browned off and very cynical.

      What could have been a helpful conversation was in fact just a chilling experience that left me feeling like I never wanted to seek her counsel again.

      I doubt that she was a survivor. She didn’t have the warmth of a survivor. She was cold and businesslike.

      I know that DV workers are chronically overworked and underpaid due to the fact that DV services are so underfunded (I read somewhere that animal shelter get more funding than DV shelters). But still. The windows of opportunity that are lost! — I feel grieved about all those victims who, like me, were not very well helped when they sought help. How many years of suffering could have been saved if conversations like that were warmer and more supportive?

      • Anonymous

        Yep, exactly.

  11. As I See It Only

    It is a good thing to interview potential counsellors, but I have had that backfire: My ex and his church leadership buddies accused me of trying to subvert the process by arranging to chat with their chosen ‘Christian’ professional. I took someone with me, and asked questions about his training, approach, success rate, and his experience with abuse cases. That interview somehow proved that I was not honest or sincere. It gets better: a church member that was asked to help provide ‘pastoral care’ to me was so pumped by the experience of touching someone else’s trauma (my sense only, but that is what it felt like to me–the rush of superiority), that she went on to get a degree in pastoral counselling. Now I question the motives of anyone that goes into that kind of work.

    • Anonymous

      AISIO, it is so easy to be treated like a “project”. And it’s not just the victim of trauma provides that excitement. I sense that Christians rub their hands with glee when the ex pours out his story to them. They want to be THE one that brings transformation and see the wreckage saved, what a feather in the cap. They don’t realize that many others have tried and failed, they’ll be the next and others will come in and fill in for them.

  12. As I See It Only

    Good insight, Anonymous. And when they fail–and most do–rather than blame themselves for their ineptitude or failure, they blame the victim, driving another spike through the victim’s heart. Handing over yet another victory to the abuser who laughs at the religious amateurs.

  13. KayE

    I was on the board of a Christian counselling service for quite a few years.We constantly sought Christian counselors who were both well trained in counselling and able to apply their faith in the process. Good counselors like that were very hard to find.For every well qualified Christian counselor it seems there are many Christians who feel competent to counsel people despite having little or no relevant training at all -the potential for harm in cases such as abuse is obvious.(And unfortunately the occasional would be counselor is abusive themselves).
    Even if Christian counselors are highly trained and respected, I would still be cautious, because they may well share the same views on abuse, marriage and divorce etc as the churches they belong to. In my experience there is a long, long way to go on this.On the other hand I’ve found that secular counselors don’t really appreciate the social hostility and rejection that faces conservative Christian abuse victims.So I guess you just have to weigh everything up carefully and don’t persist with a counselor who isn’t helping you.

  14. bright sunshinin' day

    Praise God for present day “Nehemiah Counselors!” Nehemiah lived up to his name which means, “the Lord has comforted.” Under great opposition, the Lord stirred up Nehemiah to help the Israelite survivors who were returning from exile to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls…Nehemiah comforted and emboldened the people by HEARING, WEEPING, MOURNING, PRAYING and FASTING before the God of heaven on behalf of the Israelite survivors. And they did rebuild the walls! I’m on the look-out for these kinds of counselors and when I find them, I stick close to them! And I’ve found some of these precious “comforters” right here at ACFJ!

  15. Jade

    Hiya,

    I’m the domestic abuse survivor who reported the psychologist my ex-partner and I received couples counselling, and after I left him, individual counselling from to AHPRA. The case was very serious. She minimised the abuse, blamed me for everything, acted as a conduit for my ex partner’s abuse after I left him, became angry at me when I reported the abuse to the police, supported him in court and blamed me for the abuse to the magistrate, claiming he was the perfect angel. Her major weakness was that she really wanted to engage her male clients. Its tough for counsellors to engage men. Before the first session the receptionist reported she was ‘popular with the men’. I remember this with a chill! Once I reported the case to AHPRA I was subjected to read and respond to a series of of her reports. They were lies, lies lies.The whole experience literally tore emotional shreds off me. After ready her garbage, I would be immobilised with anxiety and hopelessness. Unable to go to work and virtually mute for about a week. It was awful. The case was drawn out for over a year. It was a huge sacrifice on my behalf. I am glad I have protected other women from her horrendous “therapy”. I don’t recommend reporting this kind of case unless you are prepared, currently have a very good psychologist/counsellor and have lots of other support.

    I eventually found wise counsel. I had an excellent psychologist that was worth his weight in gold recommended to me through Victim of Crimes. He was well experienced with counsellor both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. He had unbelievable fantastic insight into the manipulation of my ex. I will never forget him. Just amazing. If he had a son my age, I’d marry him!!!

    http://www.justice.vic.gov.au/victimsofcrime/

    I had amazing christian Spiritual Director. She helped me reflect on the spiritual aspects of what I was going through. I found her through The Wellspring. She was extraordinary. Looking into her empathising eyes broke huge heavy chains off me:

    http://www.wellspringcentre.org.au/sd_faq.html

    Love to all.

    • Thank you, Jade, this is very helpful information and advice to have on our blog.
      Being mute for a week —— wow! and you were so incredibly courageous to stick with such a grueling process.
      I’m sending up prayers of thanks to our Lord for what you did.
      love from Barb

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