Thursday Thought: The Abuser in Couples Therapy

A Cry For Justice

Attempting to address abuse through couples therapy is like wrenching a nut the wrong way; it just gets even harder to undo than it was before.  Couples therapy is designed to tackle issues that are mutual.  It can be effective for overcoming barriers to communication, for untangling the childhood issues that each partner brings to a relationship, or for building intimacy.  But you can’t accomplish any of these goals in the context of abuse.  There can be no positive communication when one person doesn’t respect the other and strives to avoid equality.  You can’t take the leaps of vulnerability involved in working through early emotional injuries while you are feeling emotionally unsafe — because you are emotionally unsafe.  And if you succeed in achieving greater intimacy with your abusive partner, you will soon get hurt even worse than before because greater closeness means greater vulnerability for you.

(excerpt from…

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