Healthcare Training Institute - Quality Education since 1979
CE for Psychologist, Social Worker, Counselor, & MFT!!
Nothing Without a Man
"I don't know what's happened to me since my marriage," Brenda said. "I used to go off on assignments to the other side of the world without even thinking about it. Now I try to get out of such projects. I want local ones. I'm just not happy, unless I'm with Josh. If he can't go to a party and I go alone, I don't have fun. So I'd rather just stay home. And, you know, we just got a new car. It's a sports car, and I can't drive stick, so I just let Josh drive us everywhere. And the worst thing is, we could afford another car, one I could drive, but I don't even want one. I like being chauffeured. I like it, but at the same time I resent this this symbol of my self-induced bondage."
As Brenda's dilemma suggests, you don't have to live alone to think that you are nothing without a man. You don't have to be divorced or widowed or never married. You can be living with a man or married and think that without this man you would be lonely, socially inhibited, emotionally and sexually barren.
I've counseled a number of married women who absolutely had no lives of their own, because their hopes and dreams and plans and daily routines revolved so tightly around those of the men with whom they lived.
women know their significant other better than anyone else. Some use this knowledge
to try to gain greater understanding of what she could do to make her "great
catch" act differently. Regardless of how poorly they are treated, some women
cling to the belief that they can bring out the best in their partner. In fact,
have you found, like I, the more extreme the controlling partner's actions, the
harder your client may try to understand him. They create a self-induced bondage.
Perspective #1: Potential
If you recall, in the previous track Jenny stated, "I would try to remove anything that might be a cause for Tom to yell and get red in the face." I asked, "Do you feel you are living in more of a 'potential' relationship rather than in a 'real' current relationship?" It helps her to continue believing her "Great Catch" will become even more of a great prize as she is confident their relationship will eventually improve
Perspective #2 : Refocusing
Perspective #3 : Hoping
summary to assist your client to connect the dots that abuse is happening, even
though there are no physical scars as in physical abuse, would it be helpful to
introduce any of the following three concepts into your next session?
Is the "connecting the dots" concept one you could apply to a client you are currently treating? Is she living in the potential rather then living in reality? Is she reacting and defending rather than having goal-directed productive behavior? How much is she involved in "if only" hoping that things will work out with her "Great Catch?"
the next track... we will talk about 5 urban legends or myths you might consider
reviewing with your client concerning their beliefs about abuse.
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