DR. PHIL AND BATTERERS
I happened to tune in on Dr. Phil as couple days ago. He was interviewing men who batter their wives. One said he would do “anything” to get his wife back and was getting counseling. Dr. Phil encouraged him to this and more. The other man, as I remember, was not seeking therapy.
The truth is that counseling, in general usually doesn’t help these guys because they often use it to pretend they want to change their ways or the courts order them to do it. Another problem is that they often manipulate, lie, and deceive the counselor inexperienced in Domestic Violence. They also may punish their partner for saying things during sessions that “make them look bad,” according to battered women I’ve known and research I’ve read.
Dr. Phil is an excellent counselor in many ways, but I hope he was being diplomatic in accepting one of the men’s determination to “change” through counseling. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, however, because he’s not naive.
Most men who batter have extremely poor self-esteem, are excellent actors, and don’t want to change. They need to feel superior to those they victimize. Another problem is that many of them have OCD so they are truly obsessed with controlling their partners. Without medication and long-term counseling (entered into with honest intent), I don’t foresee much hope for the victims of men who go to counseling but don’t really want to change.
The only one in this couple who can change is the victim. She has to overcome tremendous fear and sometimes death threats in order to leave and to help her kids follow a different life path. I give every single woman who manages to escape this life style only accolades and admiration.
I give their torturers nothing.‘