A Cry For Justice

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

Some biblical counselors deride the work we do – a story from one of our readers

My “biblical counselors” made me confess to all my “sins” (things I might have done to make him mad; things I might have done to “make” him abuse me)… out loud… to them… Then they smiled at me and asked if now didn’t I feel better.

But I was even more miserable! I wept and wept. They rubbed my back and said I should let it all out.

But I wasn’t crying for repentance sake. I was heartbroken over how they were repeating and piling on more abuse! Acting just like him! Telling me everything was all my fault! And then acting all nice and sweet when I was broken and bleeding inside but trying to crawl through their hoops.

Then they told me I had to make a list of church people who had re-
traumatized me (but not to include my counselors who were making me write the list!) after I finally asked for help. I had to name them all in front of the counselors and “chant” how I forgave each one. Sweet smiles. I could hear the meaning… “Good doggie! Good girl! Here’s a treat and a petting!”

My point is – when I found this blessed site, I tried to show them all what true wisdom looked like:

  1. There are real, very bad guys close by – not just “over there” or “out there” somewhere.
  2. They are in your church, right now.
  3. Not everyone who says he’s a Christian, not everyone who prays pretty prayers, not everyone who teaches Bible lessons, not every group leader, not every BFF of the pastors, not every pastor – is a true Christian. Bad guys lie.
  4. Real bad guys are really hurting and destroying your sisters, and brothers, in Christ, and their children. Right now.
  5. Christ cares about the wounded, not the wounders.
  6. God hates sin, yes. But He hates the reviler, the abuser, the defiant, the arrogant wolf who enjoys the destruction he brings; He does not hate His hurting child for the sins He’s already paid for.
  7. The church should be more interested in binding the wounds of the bleeding sheep who are crying in front of them, and not hunting down the derisively laughing wolf to try to make him a “trophy” of “grace.”
  8. The wolves must be thrown out of the flock as soon as they are revealed, and, if there’s cause, they must be handed over to the law for real consequences.

I gave them article after article. You have provided so much good information.

What happened next

They cast aspersions on the good work here. They derided the wisdom I had found. They sneered at the efforts to try to make them see. They complained about the “anger” you showed toward the abusers and their sin. And most of all, it was all done with a smile and a patronizing giggle as they set the articles aside.

The idea? Now that I’ve had my little tantrum, fueled by obviously “damaged, bitter” people on some “angry” blog I had wandered into — we could now get back to the business of “sloppy agape” forgiveness (without any signs of repentance), “confession”, “submission”, “reconciliation”, and packing me and my kids off to go back to be abused again.

So, thank you for your wisdom. Thank you for caring deeply about justice. Thank you for really, truly caring for the hurting. Thank you for the amazing clarity that I’ve found here, in spades! Thank you for your passion.

And honestly? Thank you for your anger! That seemingly small thing right there helped so much! Because up until I connected here… no one had ever even said that they felt bad for what had been done to us. They were all so much more interested in finding reasons to justify him or explain him or to make it seem that I had overreacted… again… They were all more interested in reaching out to him, throwing us to the side of the road in the process.

So to have that first person be angry for what had happened to us? It was a window of heaven opening.

Keep being “angry”! We need it!

And thank you for assembling your page For clergy who want to learn how to respond to domestic abuse – all the links there! What a collection of wisdom!

No wonder this site A Cry For Justice is the place I found clarity after leaving him. Nowhere else had I ever found such information that finally rang true to what I was experiencing.

— MoodyMom

***

MoodyMom wrote this as comment here on our blog. We thank her for giving us permission to re-publish it as a stand-alone post.

Further Reading

Finding a good counselor

This Biblical Counselor Thinks we have Misrepresented Biblical Counseling

Another Example of “Biblical Counseling” that is Enslaving

 

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66 Comments

  1. Yet Another Anon

    I’m telling folks that slavery mentality is alive and well in the church. These counsellors are either abusers themselves and their spouses know the true truth or they’re brainwashed. I’m so sorry for the abuse this poor lady suffered.

    • Thanks so much for your comment and welcome to the blog 🙂

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      I changed your screen name to Yet Another Anon – as a precaution for your safety. If you want us to change it to something else, just email TWBTC (The Woman Behind The Curtain). Her address is twbtc.acfj@gmail.com

      • Thank very much for doing that because you’re right. My daughters ex has promised to destroy her and so far with the church elders, counsellors, and our state family courts help, he’s doing it and hurting the children, my daughter, and our family, and he especially blames me because I didn’t order her to go back to him.

  2. I can tell you about spiritual rape

    Once a Christian marriage counselor had my abusive husband and me each write a list of all the things the other spouse had done to hurt or anger us. We each had our own list. My husband included such things as “talked to therapists about our marriage” or “talked to her family members about money”.

    Then I had to stand in front of him and the counselor and as he read off each item, I had to apologize then “repent” of each thing, promising never to do it again. This went on and on for his three page list. I was zoning out and feeling like I was going to be sick. It was the most horrible spirit rape. Finally, I could not go on and the counselor felt I was being rebellious. She left and I went into the bathroom and cried and looked for something in there to kill myself with. I was so devastated and wounded.

    My husband got so angry when I would not come out of the bathroom that he began yelling and ranting.

    He never had to let me read a list and answer for his “sins” like I had been forced to do.

    We were instructed to text the counselor when we had gone through both lists and fully repented and made peace. My husband made me text the counselor saying we had gone through the lists.

    The next morning we had to attend a “church session” with other couples where we had to worship together and listen to a really preachy sermon about forgiveness, then listen to other couples say how this Christian conference had restored their marriage. I could not stay in the room.

    I went and hid in a stairwell. A member of their therapy team found me and I confessed everything to her in the stairwell, telling her in detail of the abuse in my marriage and how I was at my wits end. She told me I needed to “just stay in prayer and read my Bible more”. She said I needed to be meek and humble and “wait on the Lord”.

    • Oh wow! My heart goes out to you! Thank you so much for sharing your story!

      And welcome to the blog 🙂

      We like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

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      I changed your screen name to I can tell you about spiritual rape. I did that as a precaution for your safety because it looked like you had used your full name.

      If you want us to change the screen name to something else, just email TWBTC (The Woman Behind The Curtain). Her address is twbtc.acfj@gmail.com

    • Helovesme

      Oh my goodness I am SO sorry for what you went through! I hope you are doing better and are safe.

      I forgot to include in my comment what MoodyMom said so well: “Thank you for your anger!”

      I’ve heard the preachy, do not sin in your anger argument, which is right and true btw. No one is justified in sinning and using anger as a “cover” for it.

      But no one really acknowledges or teaches that righteous anger is perfectly fine and frankly, a good thing! It demonstrates that when evil occurs, we have strong reactions to it.

      I felt a lot of anger when I read your comment. I was baffled and flabbergasted at what you went through, and I”m beyond sorry for the paltry reaction you got when you finally lowered your guard and told someone.

      Anger, in my childhood home, meant violence or verbal abuse was just around the corner. In my own personal life, I was scared of my own bad temper, because anger felt like a dangerous (or potentially dangerous) thing.

      It felt like I had a sense of power that I wasn’t sure I could control, or if it was controlling me.

      I was always afraid of making anyone angry around me, because that immediately inspired fear and dread in me. I had done something wrong, and I was about to be punished for it.

      Anger, in my mind, often meant you are going to lash out with the tongue, or strike with the fist. Someone was going to get hurt, and when anger meets anger (if the other person got angry)—-the results might be disastrous.

      It took many years, and help from this site to realize that it was all right, and even healthy to feel angry about injustice, personal or otherwise. I could depend on the Lord to help me express my anger!

      This is something I have BEGGED others to understand: when a victim comes out with a story, all they want is to be believed and taken seriously. It’s okay to feel anger, but don’t get “angry” in a way that won’t help the victim. Don’t start name calling or throwing language at the accused OR the accuser. Don’t lash out or start making threats or “saddle up” to execute mob justice. The victim needs your support, your encouragement, your prayers—your love.

      Vengeance is the Lord’s and He will repay.

  3. T in VA

    Yes! I had to learn that anger can be a Godly response to sin.

    It’s so ironic that I was part of a church that preached about the real existence of evil, and yet could not fathom that people sitting in their pews could be capable of evil. Even motivated by it.

    • Hi T,
      We like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

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  4. Jillian

    My experience exactly with Pure Life Ministries of Dry Ridge, Kentucky, a residential program posing to be for sex-addicts, but used as a front to lure in abusers for “discipleship” (creating more abusive biblical counselors.

    I have a public courtroom testimony of one of the counselors admitting this on dvd, stating that the criteria they use to determine if the abuser is repentant is “nebulous” and that no one would come to the program if they disclosed up front that it was for discipleship)! They even sent me a curriculum on repentance to work through while my husband was in the program and limited in his freedom to talk with me….Yes, a study guide on MY repentance for his 30 year sex addiction issues and the trauma it wreaked on our family even though I had only been with this man for 4 years…needless to say, I did NOT work through the curriculum.

    Jesus cared for my hurts, and led me out of this very toxic marriage, and away from the abuse these Pharisees, aka “biblical counselors”, wreak on marriage and hurting individuals. #purelifeministires, #IABC #churchtoo #cult

    • Hi Jillian,

      Welcome to the blog! Thank you for posting your FB comment here as well! We have Pure Life Ministries on our Christian Authors and Ministries in our Hall of Blind Guides page We have had other readers tell their stories of Pure Life. Not good!

      We like to encourage new commenters to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

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      Again, Welcome!

    • AW

      Thank you so much, Jillian, for calling out Pure Life Ministries. A few years ago, my poor mom poured her heart out in what she was dealing with from my abusive father, and was told by one of their counsellors that she “had not yet resisted to the shedding of blood.”

      Talk about the twisting of a scripture into a weapon to further oppress the victim, when that verse references the struggle of a person with their own sin… exactly what the abuser refuses to do. It makes me furious just thinking about it now, and yet this is how it is for most victims from most “ministries.” I’m so thankful for A Cry for Justice!

      • Jillian

        AW, I am unfortunately not surprised at all that that was the advice of one of the counselors.

        My ex-husband was sent to “therapeutic massage” while in the Pure Life Ministries residential program (for sex addicts)…Then his counselor lied in court before the KY Medical Board to cover the fact that he sent my husband at the time back to work in [a workplace where he had access to many vulnerable people] unchaperoned well before graduation from the program! …

        I told this counselor that if my husband were to return to working while still ungraduated, that I would need to seek a legal separation to protect our assets from potential lawsuits.

        The counselor dismissed my concern and carbon copied me instead on my husband’s letter of employment application to [another workplace where he would have had access to many vulnerable people], (sent from the counselors email!!!)…

        To make things worse, both myself and a Covenant Eyes employee were blocked from Pure Life Ministries’ facebook page after commenting on how very wrong the following article is, (written by Kathy Gallagher aka wife of the president of Pure Life). It is startling how it encourages wives to become second to their abusive husbands, all while the author continually is comparing herself and her ‘happy marriage’ to the ‘miserable situation’ of the wives she (the author) has had the ‘privilege’ of seeing the husbands of!

        https://www.purelifeministries.org/blog/when-a-betrayed-wife-protects-herself

      • Hi Jillian, spot on and amen to everything you said!
        That article by Kathy Gallagher, the Co-Founder (with her husband) and Senior Administrator of Pure Life Ministries, is indeed terrible. And very dangerous for abused wives to read.

        I’ll give link to it again, but TRIGGER WARNING for any abused wife who reads it.

        When a betrayed wife protects herself

        Here are excerpts from the article. This is Kathy Gallager telling abused wives what they SHOULD do…. yeah, the “S” word which is often used to slam down abuse victims:

        I hate to be the one to say this (I am certain I will get a pile of angry letters), but someone has to say it: How can wives decry their husband’s selfishness (as obvious and blatant as it is) without seeing their lack of concern for his eternal destiny? How can they mourn over their own personal pain and have so little concern about the fact that their husbands are owned by the enemy to do his evil will? Yes, a happy marriage is a wonderful thing, but it is not the most important thing.

        So much of the help for wives available today focuses upon how they should erect boundaries to protect themselves from their husbands’ sin. And, kept in its proper place, this kind of teaching can be helpful. But my concern is that the underlying principle leads a woman to believe that protecting herself is the most vital issue involved. Are we becoming so wrapped up in self-preservation that we can no longer look outside ourselves at the very deep spiritual needs of others? Are we allowing temporal happiness to take precedence over the possibility of eternal damnation? …

        I believe the Lord wants us to have happy marriages. I have one for which I am extremely grateful. But the happiness of our marriages should be secondary to our concern for the eternal well-being of sinners. The primary battle for the hurting wife should not be to protect herself; it should be to see the lost sinner snatched from the burning fire!
        [bold emphasis added by Barb]

        Kathy Gallagher sounds like Gary Thomas. If I knew how to put an angry face emoji into this comment, I would do so.

        Jillian, would you like to write a guest post for us about Pure Life Ministries? If so, draft it and send it by email to TW and myself. Thanks!

  5. Screen Name

    This! She said it all so well. I’m deeply grateful too for the work you do. I finally escaped my abusive husband through divorce, and then of course got kicked out of my church for this unrepentant sin. I’ve soooo been down this path. God brought me a counselor who gets this stuff for real.

    • Hi dear sister, it looks like this is your first comment on the blog, so welcome!

      We like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

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      I have changed your screen name to Screen Name, just in case it’s not safe for your real name to be shown on this blog. If you want to change it to something else, or if you feel it’s safe for you to show your real name here, then please email twbtc.acfj@gmail.com — tell her what you want to be known by at the blog.

  6. Mark

    How interesting, every experience I went through is the same. They smile in your face yet totally disregard what you have and are going through. I agree, thank God for ACFJ’s understanding and anger against the evil we contend with. Press on!
    Mark

  7. Neveralone

    I am so thankful to God for this ministry. It was the scalpel God used to open my eyes to what was happening to me for over 20 years of abusive marriage. I had a feeling there was something really wrong but nobody in the church during all this time ever told me I was being abused, neglected and exploited. Being in ministry leadership only made things worse. My only question was: who is going to protect me from him? Who is going to hold him accountable? I was expected only to love and forgive.

    For me it was also the first time I saw holy anger toward abuse and a real care for the victims. I have been educating myself with the precious information released thru this ministry and all I can say is that it has saved my life. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. Continue the good work.

  8. Samuel Conner

    I found Martha Stout’s book “The Sociopath Next Door” to be helpful; I have both read about and encountered people in church settings, including church officers, who were eerily reminiscent of the personality type described in this book. Sadly, sociopathy as a personality type does not seem to be taken seriously by conservative churches, in spite of the fact that there is a clear biblical paradigm in “the unjust judge” who neither feared God (no conscience) nor cared about people (no empathy).

    From the description, it kind of sounds like the counselor may have been of this personality type. What a horror when an unjust judge doesn’t ignore sufferers, but makes a living out of not helping them.

    • Samuel,

      Welcome to the blog!

      Yes, we recommend Martha Stout’s book, The Sociopath Next Door. We have it on our Recommend book list.

      We like to encourage new commenters to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog if safety is an issue for you.

      And our FAQ page FAQ may be helpful for finding information on the blog.

      Thank you for your comment!

    • Well said Samuel! And if you want to see the list of all the books we recommend, go here: https://cryingoutforjustice.com/resources/books-by-topic/

  9. Free At Last

    Amen. Amen. Amen. This was my EXACT experience. The enemy is not creative. We must band together as sisters (and some brothers) in Christ to be outraged, to be righteous and to speak truth in defense of the wounded, bleeding sheep. The wolves may tear at us and attack, but we must lift each other up to the throne of grace and support one another so that we are lonely no more.

  10. Living by Grace

    test. I’m trying to leave a comment without a picture.

    • Hi Living by Grace. Your test worked. The gravatar which goes with your screen name is not your picture, it is a randomly generated thingy created by WordPress. So your comment does not identify you in any way. 🙂

      G’day and welcome to commenting on the blog!

  11. Amy

    Excellent comment, and yes, anger is needed towards the abusers and how they are destroying families.

    I was married for 20 years to an abusive man who walked out in ’09 after devising an elaborate plane to show everyone what a bad person I was. His plan almost worked except for one thing he had figured on — ME! I stood up to the abuse once in for all, which wasn’t easy in due to the fact my church family all but abandoned me except for one elderly couple who could see through my then-husband’s charade. But I turned from all those people and allowed myself to fall into Jesus arms who continued to lead me in the right direction.

    I found the encouragement and support through this site and a couple others, and yes, I allowed myself to be angry! And to use that anger to keep my eyes open to the truth — that my then-husband was (and still is) an abuser.

    I too was often told how I was bitter and how I needed to forgive and forget, and reconcile, because of course, God hates divorce. Oh yes, how I loved that little piece of scripture being used to try and force me to stay in an abusive marriage. But I learned better and had much to say to people who threw those things at me, and I moved on.

  12. FinallyFree

    boy does THAT ever sound familiar! The narcissistic ex lied to the “christian” “counselors” about me on a regular basis and even sent them private emails claiming that I had done stuff to him and telling them how he wanted each session to go each time. He LOVED telling them either partial truths that he carefully edited to make himself look like the poor victim (or the hero husband) or flat out lies and knowing that I knew I couldn’t tell them the truth because he would punish (abuse) me later for it.

    “counseling” sessions were a 3 against 1 extra helping of severe abuse!

    NEVER attend counseling with an abuser (yes the “counselors” knew he had been abusive but he convinced them that I was lying about the abuse and we couldn’t make “progress” unless we had joint sessions)

    SO thankful for this blog!

  13. Helovesme

    Maybe we ALL need to thank A Cry for Justice and share how we found this site and how much it’s helped us. The brothers and sisters who run this site have gotten a LOT of mud thrown at them for standing up for the abused, who often have little to no voice.

    I cannot wait to see the smile of joy on Jesus’s face when He sees them again, and says “well done, good and faithful servant.” because of how much they’ve helped people like us.

    Who, as this AMAZING lady stated, is one of the MANY persons they have encouraged. Btw, thank YOU for leaving that comment and sharing your story.

    I am a maniacal and fanatical dog lover, and fur babies are often abused and neglected and thrown away like trash. Your words about being treated like an animal especially angered me, because that is beyond demeaning to humans AND fur babies—both who deserve to be treated with dignity and love. I am so sorry for that humiliation.

    Ironically, this morning I was thinking about my MANY times of being humiliated by others, authority figures included. I wish I could explain what it does to a person, short and long term. But I can’t, because there are no words.

    I resonated with your story in a few ways. I am glad I am anonymous on this blog, because even considering sharing my stories made me feel anxious. I was the subject of a reviler many years ago, and I was pretty much coerced into hearing her “fake” apology and for some reason, I sat there an apologized to her (I don’t recall why I did that).

    I went to a Christian counselor over that issue, and because I was abused for many years as a child. Not once did he say that neither incident was NOT my fault. We were there to work through MY issues (is what I told myself) but it would have made a WORLD of difference to be told that I was not to blame.

    I was at a Christmas gathering with my Christian in laws, where I was not told (deliberately) that a family member was no longer a member of the family. I was close to that person, and I had a holiday bag for her. Everyone else knew that she wasn’t part of the family anymore, so there was nothing for her under the tree. No one said anything, but after I realized the enormity of it all—I spent MONTHS feeling so embarrassed and humiliated.

    Please, don’t comment and tell me it wasn’t my fault, and that I should not feel that way. I understand how true that is, but just accept that many times, we feel things that don’t quite make sense—-even to ourselves!

    It’s not a story of abuse, so many might rightly think that it doesn’t belong on this site, but I felt abused nonetheless. It would take too long, but that was just ONE incident in a long line of terrible incidents.

    I love giving gifts and I love putting together gift bags to bless others. I am not a wealthy person, so I bargain shop like mad to bless others. My love and joy in giving to others took a personal blow when that incident happened.

    If it had not been for the Lord’s intervention I probably would have stopped giving all together. Or at least held back and tried to minimize even more humiliation.

    When professing Christians and leaders make fools out of you, for things that are NOT your fault and do NOT require your repentance, it messes with you on EVERY LEVEL. Your walk with the Lord, your relationships in general, your personality and your overall sense of dignity. Your emotions, your thoughts, your mindset and your very soul.

    I try to recall how often Jesus Himself was mocked and sneered at and taunted, when He was blessing others and when He was dying for us. My sufferings DO NOT come even close to what He went through for us, but I do know that I am in good company, and I know He understands full well what it is like to be treated so wrongly.

    • Finding Answers

      In reply to Helovesme…

      On gratitude to ACFJ – ^^^That!

      On I love giving gifts – ^^^That!

      I am profoundly grateful for not experiencing this kind of Christian counselling – it would have sent me over the edge. The secular counsellors I saw had no concept of what complex trauma is or how to help. This was especially harmful as *I* wasn’t even aware of the breadth and depth of the damage. For the money invested, the harm significantly outweighed the good.

      And in my case, EMDR was seriously bad news, leaving me very close to suicidal. (I know others have had success with EMDR.)

      While I have not experienced this type of Christian counselling, I remain grateful for the information the posts contain and the courage taken in hand by those who comment. There are still things I can learn.

      • Helovesme

        Thank you Finding Answers! I want to be fair to my counselor; he wasn’t all bad but I would never go to him or any “Christian” counselor again. I just don’t think he understood abuse or trauma.

        When I became a Christian, the people around me, leaders included, did NOT understand abuse or trauma, either! I don’t hold it against any of them anymore, because ignorance is a real thing out there, and I certainly have had my fair share of it.

        They seemed to be very eager for me to start witnessing to my family, which included my abusive father. THAT was a mistake. They had no idea how terrified I was of him still. I kept thinking I just needed to be bold and brave “for Christ.”

        Fear was preached as the opposite of faith, so obviously there was something wrong with me. Faith would guard me against his tantrums and rage.

        Before I became a Christian, I had attempted suicide, which angered my parents to no end. Then I became a Christian, and that angered them even more. How was witnessing to them going to “help” any of us??

        I was given no time or space to work through my suicide attempt, the abuse I had suffered for years or try to “ease into” a very different life that I now had with Christ.

        Being “born again” is beautiful and precious, but due to my instability, I was in danger of giving up on Him when the going got rough, which was right away! I was born again and thrown into a boxing ring it felt like.

        It was shaky for sure, but I never completely gave up on Him and walked away for good, but I take no credit for that. Not one bit. He always managed to find a way to reach me and guide me back to Him, because I was constantly losing my way.

      • Helovesme said —

        Fear was preached as the opposite of faith, so obviously there was something wrong with me.

        The Apostle Paul felt fear sometimes:

        (1 Cor 2:2-3, NMB) “Nor did I show myself to know anything among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was among you in weakness and in fear, and in much trembling.”

        (2 Cor 7:4-6, NMB) “I make very much of you, and rejoice greatly in you. I am filled with comfort and am exceedingly joyous in all our tribulations. For when we had come into Macedonia, we had no rest in our flesh, but we were troubled on every side. Outwardly was conflict, inwardly was fear. Nevertheless, God, who comforts the abject, comforted us at the coming of Titus.”

    • Hi HeLovesMe, that story about the Christmas gathering, what your family did to you there was very wrong. They were uncaring about how you would feel. They left you out of the family loop by not telling you beforehand that that female relative was now ‘out of the family.’ So they exposed you to humiliation and they didn’t care about your feelings.

      It sounds to me a bit like they treat you as someone who doesn’t count, someone who doesn’t deserve consideration or respect. It has a flavour of family scapegoating.

      • Helovesme

        Thank you both for the encouragement! I have never spoken “publicly” about that Christmas incident because of deep shame and embarrassment I carry around still.

        I didn’t realize what was going on until months later, so it took time for the full impact to set in So my humiliation kept piling up as I realized how ignorant I had been so long.

        I actually bookmarked the Family Scapegoating pages, because I so resonated with them! I was heavily scapegoated by my non Christian, abusive family for years, and it truly is a stone around your neck that is very hard to get rid of.

        I had no idea how prevalent it was among professing Christians—until I became one. No regrets there, by the way. The Lord has not one iota of abusiveness in Him.

        When I married into a family who (most of them) professed to be Christians, I was so pleased and overly eager to fit in, and finally have a family that would not be so cruel and callous as I was accustomed to. But I was shocked and mortified by what I started to see. Many resemblances to my father’s abusive techniques.

        To be fair, I was still engulfed in people pleasing and kept trying and trying to fit in and belong. There is much more I could explain, but I finally gave up. Hardest thing ever.

        Thank you both again for the compassion. If I gave up on giving to others, I knew I was (in a sense) giving up on Him (is what I believe He laid on my heart for my personal life. Not trying to guilt anyone! Giving is thing we do freely, not out of coercion)

        Giving is one of THE MOST precious forms of love. The Lord is a Giver, who loves to give and loves it when His people give to each other as well.

  14. Gany T.

    THIS. So very sorry for the spiritual violence those counselors inflicted upon you, MoodyMom. Yes, “spiritual rape” (ICTYASP) is the correct term for it.

    MoodyMom, your 8-point list will now be one my main go-to’s when trying to educate unaware and ill-taught believers (pastors, leaders, and members alike. I avoid actual biblical counselors, for my own sanity and because I think they have too much at stake and too much arrogance to be reachable.)

    You keep the focus where it should be: evil doers, ravaged sheep.
    Simple words (no big theological terms, Greek or Hebrew)
    No specific doctrines cited (marriage, divorce, gender roles, authority, submission), thereby allowing the chance for debate or to go off into the theoretical vs. the ugly, painful reality standing in our midst.
    And no camps (conservative/liberal, comp/egal, various denominations, favorite teachers).
    Just THE point: Christ’s people, Evil people. In the visible church. What are you going to do about it?

    I share your gratitude for ACFJ’s true wisdom and what it’s meant in my life, MoodyMom, Thank you for your post.

  15. cindy burrell

    This article was hard to read – so sad, but the counselors’ mindset is so tragically common, more the rule than the exception. It’s okay to impose guilt and shame on victims, but the abuser must be extended every measure of grace, when he (or she) should be powerfully confronted with the truth and expect to suffer the natural consequences of his (or her) actions. I’m glad the writer could see through the insanity and found the truth and support she needed here!

  16. AppleofHisEye

    I don’t know if this reply is appropriate for this topic, but it’s actually a combined response to the last 2 posts, so it’s rather long. If it doesn’t fit in, please feel free to not post it.

    I am wary of church “programs” that appeal to people who have been abused. Jesus did not have a one size fits all style of ministry.

    What I have observed in churches is a desire to grow big, and do things large. They want to have something for everyone, from infancy to retirement. While this makes for great social opportunities, they have lost sight of what it means to minister in a Christ like way to the individual.

    This is an excellent opportunity to apply the post on 2 Tim. 3:6.
    Unknowingly (like the gullible woman in Timothy), while seeking help and healing from physical or sexual abuse, the victim ends up trading the old familiar system of abuse with a new system of abuse – spiritual abuse. This pattern is something I am personally familiar with, and it is dangerous.

    Men, women and children who are fleeing from abuse need to be warned about and protected from their own tendencies to be drawn to abusive situations. I’m not saying that all folks in churches are hurting abuse victims, however, we cannot assume that just because a person is a minister or leader of some type of program within a church that they are safe and capable of meeting the needs of the victim. There are some sincere people in churches who God will bring into a victim’s life to walk alongside them during difficult times. Unfortunately, there are also some very sincere misguided people who are more than willing to become involved with vulnerable people only to lead them further into confusion.

    As you stated in your post, the person seeking refuge needs to be led by the Spirit in this pursuit. They need to have people who encourage them in that way, and pray God will provide the people and means for healing and recovery. He is our Refuge, our Rock, and our Redeemer.

    We learned through our abusive church experience that it isn’t safe or wise to trust them with our family’s counseling needs of any kind. It seems they had an agenda that got in the way of simply offering godly wisdom and counsel.

    In our case, rather than forcing us to confess our sins to them, they somehow collected information on us and used very deceptive and worldly methods to try to force us to repent. Keep in mind; many of the things they wanted to convict us about were things that THEY saw as a sin issue… more to do with attitudes we had that they were not happy about rather than actual sin issues.

    They preached/taught a lot on “sins of the heart” and “idols of the heart”, which is a large focus in the church. Most of what they thought they knew about us was based on their own impressions. I am not saying that we were without sin or fault of any kind, but we were never personally confronted or approached directly about anything we may or may not have done. We never had an opportunity to know what we were being accused of. It was all very subtle and deceptive.

    The model they base their method on comes from the Biblical Counseling Movement. They use the confrontation between David and Nathan as the basis for one of their methods of convicting people of their sins and bringing them to repentance. Rather than directly confronting the accused as Nathan did with David, they would use the “seeding” method. Seeding is when statements, phrases, or stories are shared or repeated which allude to something that would remind you of the supposed fault or offense. Their goal is to draw the guilty party into an “aha” moment in which they (the guilty party) realize their sin without having been told what it is. I think the purpose of this is to arrive at a “sincere” repentance, rather than a repentance that is forced and maybe insincere.

    There are alot of problems with this tactic, but one that I had was that if there is no direct conversation, there is no level playing field. It becomes all about what someone else thinks or says about the accused. It doesn’t allow the opportunity for the accused to take part in the conversation, and to share their side of the story. There is a judge and there is the judged.

    This practice caused a lot of confusion and anxiety for me. Knowing how careful I was about whom I shared confidences with, it was unnerving to constantly be hearing these seeded conversations and wondering if the person who was seeding somehow knew something about me, or if it was some weird coincidence that he/she was saying these very specific phrases. Thankfully, they did it to my husband too; otherwise he may have thought I was losing it.

    I don’t know if other churches use this method, but after waiting and watching (and a lot of listening), we are sure that this was definitely happening.

    Maybe they approach “discipline” in this way to avoid legal problems. I don’t know. This is the same church that used the “choking sweater” story to trigger me, so I wouldn’t put anything past them. In my opinion, it’s playing with peoples’ heads, and it’s wrong.

    If it weren’t for this blog and others, and the recommended reading, I may never have gotten out of that quagmire; I had no idea these kinds of things went on in churches. . I most likely would have ended up going to another church and making the same mistake.

    I no longer seek counsel from church organizations, but that doesn’t mean I won’t seek counsel from Spirit filled Christians.

    I trust the Lord to guide me as He has done so far.

    • Thanks AppleofHisEye, your comment is very helpful to me.

      This tactic of ‘seeding’ which you describe. I’ve not heard of it before in so many words, but I think I have witnessed it or felt it subconsciously, without being aware of what it was exactly, let alone having a word to call it. So thanks. Much food for thought here.

      And you’re right about how unfair it is. They have formed an impression about you and made assumptions about you without ever bothering to have a conversation with you to see if their impression is correct.

      They drop these ‘seeding’ phrases on you, phrases which they’ve arrived at just from their impressions of you and gossip they’ve heard about you second or third hand. They’ve stuck all that together and have their assumptions about you fixed in their mind. They are pridefully sure that they know the truth about you. And then they skewer you to ‘provoke you to repentance’!

      And all the while they are preening themselves for their ‘wisdom’ and ‘discernment’ and ‘sensitivity’ and ‘sincerity’ and ‘discretion’.

      Gah!

      And btw, when I read comments from readers that show they are deeply mulling over the various posts I’ve written, I feel gratified and blessed.

      One of my goals at this blog is that our readers and all Christians who are survivors of abuse become more and more insightful and articulate about the mentality and tactics of evildoers, and the mentality and tactics of ‘sincere’ but misguided people who are unwittingly hurting the abused.

      • When I was in the New Age movement, before I was converted, I learned a little bit about Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). I think the ‘seeding’ thing which AppleofHisEye has described is similar to one of the techniques they use in NLP.

        I recommend that people have nothing to do with NLP.

    • very much anon

      Oh, Apple of His Eye, that whole choking sweater horror bothers me to no end. Sorry you went through that.

      I think most counselors are power-tripping individuals. There’s a certain abusive personality that seeks out opportunities to lord over others. Mental health agencies are rife with abusers. Just like anywhere else in the world, many people are wicked. Most are selfish. Many are power-hungry. Many are abusive. Many are liars. Most are not trustworthy.

      I know of many examples, enough predators and abusers in the so-called helping professions. Just as men abuse their wives because they can, doctors abuse patients, counselors abuse their clients, gossip about their clients, bully the vulnerable, etc.

      This site is a part of my church, my support group, my counseling and education. Thank Almighty God for this website!

      Thanks again for sharing about the sweater chocking evil, as I’ve had such things done to me, without the guise of any ‘counseling or healing’ aims, just wickedness , cruelty, and evildoing.

      • AppleofHisEye

        Thank you, “Very Much Anon”, and Barbara, for your responses.

        I’ve been reluctant to share these things publicly because they sound so far out, but the further I’ve gotten from the situation, the more I realize how very real and how very damaging their practices are. It’s actually taken me quite some time to put all the pieces together, and I still find myself discovering some added nuance to what was going on that I didn’t get before.

        There’s no reason for me to believe that the things they did were only done with/to us. If sharing some of what I’ve experienced and know about abusive church environments can help even 1 other person to become aware, then it’s worth it.

        I agree that there are many in the helping fields that have more interest in their own sense of power over others than actually helping others to heal, and that is very sad.

        But every now and then I come across an individual who is authentic in their desire to help others (like the crew that runs this blog), and it gives me hope to keep my heart open to those who earn my trust. That is a lesson I had to learn the hard way – people don’t automatically deserve to have my trust – they must earn it. I used to think I could and should trust everyone.

        Thank you again for the love and care that you give through this blog.

    • Helovesme

      AppleofHisEye it took me a bit of time (off and on) to read through your whole comment, so sorry this is a day late or so.

      Thank you so much for sharing! It really did give me a LOT to chew on.

      It sounds similar to “gas lighting” when you described the “seeding” technique. Just enough hints are dropped to plant doubt, anxiety, stress, second guessing and/or paranoia without actually saying anything condemning out loud. That way they are not the “guilty” party for your reactions, because technically they never said it out loud.

      My father would come so close to calling me worthless, without ever using those words, but everything he would and do made me feel like dirt. He could always point the finger back at me, should I dare to confront him, with the attitude: I never SAID you were worthless. That’s all on you. YOU have the problem if that’s what you think you heard.

      When Nathan confronted David, he was clear and to the point about what David had done. Yes he used a fictional story to illustrate David’s sin, but that was not to entrap him—eventually Nathan directly said: You are that man! Making it clear what David had done.

      It took me years to understand that I had to learn how to communicate directly with people, and expect that in return. No amount of hemming and hawing was acceptable anymore. I know I’ve done badly in the past, trying to learn and grow. I will have to ask the Lord to search my heart, but if I ever unintentionally hurt anyone who was weak and vulnerable in my very bad and clumsy efforts. I believe you mentioned sincere but misguided people, and I can count myself among those for sure.

      I also recall others trying to convict me of sin with innuendos. I still recall those incidents very clearly to this day, because they hurt me so badly. They too were very misguided, but thought they were helping. Thankfully, they also serve as a reminder to NOT treat others that way, no matter how much courage it takes to speak clearly and directly to others in gentle but firm confrontation.

      Anytime and every time the Lord has convicted me of sin (I’ve lost count as to how many times at this point!), it is always clear, direct—and wait for it—done in KINDNESS. I have never, ever felt one drop of condemnation from Him. He never uses abusive words or techniques or discipline to reach me. I know what I’ve done wrong (in His eyes) and how to undo that wrong (ask for forgiveness)

      And ironically, I am encouraged and blessed after such an experience. I’ve drawn closer to Him, and I sense His love for me, unchanging and consistent. I am never unsure of where stand with Him, because I know He would tell me if I was not in the right with Him.

      So any other technique is absolutely unnecessary, because His ways WORK. Seeding is manipulative and debilitating—it brings a person down and even further down into a pit. You’re so afraid of opening your mouth (fear of saying the wrong thing) or doing the wrong thing! So you are just paralyzed, unsure of yourself and of everything else!

      What a rotten way to live! It is nothing like the freedom that He says He came to give us!

      • AppleofHisEye

        Thank you, Helovesme, for your thoughtful response. You hit the nail on the head with the points you make. When I was in the church, I wasn’t sure if what they were doing was right or wrong. There was so much confusion.

        When Nathan confronted David, he was clear and to the point about what David had done. Yes he used a fictional story to illustrate David’s sin, but that was not to entrap him—eventually Nathan directly said: You are that man! Making it clear what David had done.

        You are so right! And this is what kept going through my mind when I learned about the method they use. It came from lay counseling training literature which they used and promoted in the church.
        Thanks again for you insights.

  17. Kind of Anonymous

    I too am weary of the idiocy of many Christians. Many times I have wracked my brain with a thought that goes something like this: Christians are supposed to have the truth. We are supposed to be people of truth, deep thinkers and thoughtful prayerful people. So if we have the truth, why is there so much mindless, parrot like stupidity amongst churches and Christians? Why do we treat those who confess their sin with disdain as though they are too filthy for holy people like us to touch, and refuse to walk with them, while we reward those who maintain the image of togetherness or who refuse to admit or address things in their lives? Why does musical talent or spiritual talent create the Tiger Woods effect in the church so that no matter what you do, if you are talented, you are Teflon? Why do we jump on bandwagons, blindly follow people we shouldn`t follow and basically engage in an ongoing live version of the Emperor`s New Clothes? Didn`t AW Tozer say “Follow no man farther than he follows Christ ?

    Ack! I attended one church where I watched a word that had been originally given to one person for their situation, suddenly make the rounds and get mindlessly repeated to anyone else with a similar query, as if that was now God`s word for everyone. I mean the monkey see monkey do attitude was only topped by the total unwillingness to admit how stupid and NOT Spirit led that way of falling upon methodology truly was! It was so patronizing! I would think that anything that is truly led of the Holy Spirit, even a much needed rebuke or correction, would be seasoned with humility, mercy and grace.

    * possible trigger warning`* Most recently, my husband tried to argue from scripture that women are not people in the same way that men are, because supposedly the bible says only men are made in the image of God. The point of this was related to my assertion that women DO have basic personal rights and that this includes the right to say no to abusive behaviour and to set boundaries against stuff that is abusive or unhealthy garbage. My husband was trying to make the point that because I am supposedly not made in the image of God, being a woman, that therefore I do not have basic human rights and that this proves I am a feminist and disobedient to God if I think I do. He believes women have no God given authority at all. While there have been times he has shown some genuine interest in God, he has most often used my Christianity against me to tear me down and manipulate me, and the feminist accusation is one of his favorites.

    Yet, like my narc father, who was handsome, charming and came across as a gentle, almost shy and boyish vulnerable fellow, he manages to have people feel sorry for him as if he is not at all responsible for any of his own problems. And I get the blame because I am honest about my sin in the situation while he conceals his. Yes, something is wrong with this picture we think is Christianity. Something is wrong when the openly defiant or manipulatively dishonest are rewarded with grace and favor while those who bare it all in the name of truth and are willing to receive help are shamed and punished for being honest.

    • the fog is lifting

      “women are not people in the same way that men are, because supposedly the bible says only men are made in the image of God”

      Oh wow, this is really disgusting. I’m so sorry you’ve been through this. I think it is the logical conclusion of a lot of the “submission” abuse, but to have him come out and say it?! I’m so sorry

      • Kind of Anonymous

        ((((( )))))) Thank you Fog is Lifting. Yes I agree, it is very warped thinking and at first I did a double take; does he REALLY think crap like this. Apparently so.

    • anon

      ”Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings.”

      Enslaving people want others not to feel or be recognized as human. The ‘f’ [feminist] word is \ not what the abusers make it out to be.

    • AppleofHisEye

      I am very sorry to read what your husband said to you about women. I suppose he hasn’t read what Psalm 139 says about you being “wonderfully and fearfully made”, because that’s what God says about you.
      I will pray for you, Kind of Anonymous- that you will hear and believe God’s truths about how He sees you.

      • Kind of Anonymous

        Thank you. I am grateful for your prayers and need them.

    • AW

      “women are not people in the same way that men are, because supposedly the bible says only men are made in the image of God”

      Yeah, that teaching is growing in popularity, as I’ve heard it from a few sources in the last couple of years. Eventually they take it to the point that we women are not only inferior in the present reality, but will continue to be eternally inferior (and subject to them, of course) in the hereafter as well.

      And the only thought I can muster in response is, well, I guess we’ll see their stunned faces when they realize they won’t be part of that ‘hereafter’, because a true child of God could never even think, let alone say, that to another.

      It’s so absolutely, completely the opposite from anything Jesus would ever do, say, or think, that they reveal themselves to be none of His.

    • Helovesme

      THIS:

      Something is wrong when the openly defiant or manipulatively dishonest are rewarded with grace and favor while those who bare it all in the name of truth and are willing to receive help are shamed and punished for being honest.

      There is FREEDOM when we confess and admit our sin, and are cleansed from our unrighteousness. Acts describes “times of refreshing” when we repent (3:19).

      Don’t let anyone steal that from you (from any of us!) I do NOT want to become a person who emulates the “father of lies” (satan) than my Father in Heaven, who says the truth sets us free.

      “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20).

      You can be assured that NOTHING good awaits such persons who do this, as your comments have described. Those who choose to live in the Light are blessed, even if we are shunned and ridiculed for choosing to live that way.

      I am so sorry for your experiences. They made me wince inside, thinking of how badly such assaults are hurtful.

  18. ruth8318

    Excellent article!! Great points!
    For church leadership who think that wives should just submit more, I wonder what they would think of the story of the Texas school shooting victim who was targeted bc she wouldn’t date the shooter. 😥

    • Hello Sunshine

      I’m afraid they’d say that is an example of how easily men are wounded by women’s rejection…so wives should just submit more.

      • Yep, that’s one of the things those blind guides might say.

      • Kind of Anonymous

        Women are also easily wounded by the rejection of men, whether it is from their father or from a man who they had hoped would care deeply for them and doesn`t. That doesn`t mean men are obligated to have their boundaries and personhood violated or to give up their lives so that said woman doesn`t have to feel bad. What a double standard. I wish these leaders would stop and think more deeply on the whole thing. Sigh. A great example of the collective UNconsciousness that the institutionalized church seems to create.

  19. Anonymous Grandma

    Thank you for sharing your story, MoodyMom. How horrible that your counselors tried to rob you of the help and support you found online.

    There must be some secret guidebook making the rounds, on how to further abuse victims by undermining their support groups. These abusers are all reading from the same script.

    Many years ago, I was briefly part of an authoritarian college church movement. “Authoritarian” is an understatement. They were so controlling and spiritually abusive that some people, even to this day, classify them as a cult.

    About ten years ago I found an online support forum for former members of that movement. Finally, there were people who really got it! They were people who had been through the exact same things, sometimes even from the same abusers. God used that forum to help release me from some of the lingering trauma that I was still suffering. And it has been a huge blessing to offer the same comfort and compassion to forum newcomers who are still finding their way out of the movement.

    Then, earlier this year, a woman on our forum accused a prominent pastor in the movement of some very specific inappropriate behavior. Nothing criminal, just icky and wrong. After that, it was like the floodgates of hell were let loose. Enraged followers of that pastor suddenly flocked to our forum to defend him, to accuse the woman of everything from mental illness to bankruptcy (because women with financial problems MUST be lying about abuse, right? /sarcasm), and to deride the forum members as bitter, angry, unforgiving slanderers who were never abused in the first place. They insist that our forum is doing us more harm than good. In short, they sound exactly like your counselors, MoodyMom.

    Some of our forum visitors are just angry and insulting, but one or two seem completely unhinged. A couple of the gentler-sounding voices want to “find common ground” by insisting that “both sides are wrong.” All the tactics I’ve read about on ACFJ are playing out right now on that forum.

    It’s almost like they all sat through the same classes with the same professors at some secret Academy of Abuse.

    By the way, Barbara, I’ve gained a new appreciation for the way you keep abusers and revilers from re-traumatizing their victims online. I shudder to think of some of the vicious comments and emails you must receive. Thank you for not exposing your readers to such vile things.

    • Finding Answers

      Anonymous Grandma:

      ^That!

    • By the way, Barbara, I’ve gained a new appreciation for the way you keep abusers and revilers from re-traumatizing their victims online. I shudder to think of some of the vicious comments and emails you must receive. Thank you for not exposing your readers to such vile things.

      Actually, we receive very few vicious comments now. I think the abusers have learned that we don’t give them any oxygen, so very few of them even bother submitting comments to this blog. Over the years we have been running this blog, the number of comments we receive from abusers has diminished.

      I suspect that they prefer to comment on forums and websites like the one you mentioned, because they know that they are more likely to be given oxygen there. Their comments will probably be published and then some genuine victims will try to admonish them and ‘teach’ them… and these abusers don’t want to be taught, they just like to throw spanners in the works and entice naive victim-survivors into debating with them.

    • anonymous

      “to accuse the woman of everything from mental illness to bankruptcy (because women with financial problems MUST be lying about abuse, right? /sarcasm), and to deride the forum members as bitter, angry, unforgiving slanderers who were never abused in the first place. ”

      Thanks, Anonymous Grandma, for posting this. The whole spiel about how the mythical woman is scheming and just hoping to be abused in order to solve her financial problems….. because of the effects of abuse, and what abusers do to their prey, it’s kind of a given that abused women are going to have financial problems. Reversing cause and effect, just like abusers reverse offender and victim roles (abusers play the victim while accusing the real victims of being the abuser)

  20. Julie Nixon

    As a counsellor who is also a Christian, this sickens me to the stomach. How misled can people be?

  21. Kind of Anonymous

    Kathy Gallager`s thinking is rather entrapping if one fails to flesh out the logical conclusion. So in order to prove or assure that one is not unconcerned about the eternal destiny of one`s abusive and selfish spouse, one must stay in the abusive situation? And if you fail to do so, you are a poor example of a Christian and disobedient? I think one can be “ concerned“ about the eternal and temporal destiny of a person who is at the moment, fine with their sin, from a safe distance.

    The thing with Gallager`s comments is that they, like many Christian ideas, have no limits. It makes it seem that because God can do anything and because we should walk in faith, we should not have limits either and that having limits equals sin and lack of faith or obedience. As a result of this we can not say enough, stop, or this is it without feeling like we are not really walking the walk or being obedient.

    It’s interesting that no one accused Abigail of failing to be concerned for the eternal destiny of Nabal.

    Paul does not say `Now, wife, you are responsible for saving your husband“. Instead he says

    But if the unbeliever leaves, let him go. The believing brother or sister is not bound in such cases. God has called you to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?1 Cor. 7

    I think Kathy Gallagher’s advice fails to take in pertinent scriptures.

  22. anonymous

    I found a church-related counseling org to be rife with abusers. Watch out for those who profess to be Christian, of the highest ethics, etc., as liars lie and even being in a church building such prevented no abuse. Then they pretended not to know why I never wanted to come back, complete with snickering by other staff. God will judge. A person is already vulnerable enough in seeking counseling. That this latest abusive counselor fully knew how suicidal I already was because of abuser attorneys and still spent the time lying, duping, snarking, triggering me and being unbearably cruel is too much for me. Other staff, etc. snickered and gave each other looks in my coming and going. Wolves in counselors clothing.

    How a person sinfully abuses their power says everything about them, especially when it is planned and a sustained attack of clever insults, deceptions, cruelties, baiting, and more. God will judge all, especially those who work out of a church, claim to be Christian and use such to bait and lure and ambush attack.

    • So sorry that you’ve been subjected to all that. 😦

      • anonymous

        And when they refuse to give you your records as promised, suddenly claiming such is a policy issue, and the ‘super ethical counselor’ turns suddenly extra sympathetic, extra nice, extra clueless as to why you are never coming back to that snake in a counselor’s getup, extra sad that you won’t be returning, extra soliciting for ‘feedback’ as to why you’ll never return, then it becomes yet another swirling of the drain.

        The wicked are liars. Good thing I’ve been down this road before and although I hoped for better, it was but very much like wifebeaters do in the games they play, the lies they tell, the innocence and cluelessness they feign. Reprehensible.

        There is a posting on Pastor Powell’s blog
        https://myonlycomfort.com/2018/05/01/brothers-and-sisters/

        what they do to you, is as though they do it to Christ, Himself, and so that wolf ‘therapist’ will eventually get her due.

        She got her chance to be repentant, and yet she proved to be but a typical, power-tripping, head-games-playing, abuser running defense, doubling down on her supposed ‘goodness’ and ‘innocence’ and ‘desire to help’ my supposedly ‘crazy’ self. Reprehensible.

        Just like wifebeaters claim about their supposedly ‘crazy’ and ‘out-of-control’ wives who they merely were trying to ‘restrain’ and keep from ‘hurting themselves’ (when actually they grabbed their wives, pinned them in place, did all sorts of other crap and then when the cops show up, it’s ‘my poor, poor, crazy wife was trying to hurt herself and I being the ‘good guy’ simply tried to restrain her just a little bit in hopes of preventing her ‘out-of-control’ self from doing worse damage to herself’). Endless lies.

        I have met many people who have abusive husbands, abusive parents, etc. who are workers in state hospitals, licensed psychologists, or other ‘helping professionals’ who talk about what over-the-top abusers and horrible, wicked, power-tripping people they are and yet due to their professional title, they get assumed to be ‘good’ and ‘above reproach/criticism’.

        I met one person who was but a total snake and that person talked about how they chose to work with children (rather than having adult clients) because they enjoyed how malleable they were and how it was easier to have complete and utter control of the kids, forming the kids into whatever they wanted them to be.

        Reprehensible. The license means nothing. It means they completed their educational requirements.

      • Hi anonymous,

        I had trouble understanding this paragraph in your comment:

        I have met many people who have abusive husbands, abusive parents, etc. who are workers in state hospitals, licensed psychologists, or other ‘helping professionals’ who talk about what over-the-top abusers and horrible, wicked, power-tripping people they are and yet due to their professional title, they get assumed to be ‘good’ and ‘above reproach/criticism’.

        Did you mean you’ve met many health professionals who in their personal lives have abusive husbands or parents — yet they abuse the domestic abuse victims they deal with in the course of their professional work?

      • anonymous

        [I meant] batterers and abusers who worked for state hospitals, as licensed psychologists, nurses, doctors, etc. The wifebeater (or abuser) terrorizes his wife and kids at home and then goes to work and is in the ‘helping professions’ and in direct contact with very vulnerable, dependent, or otherwise needy populations.

        A person wants so badly to be able to seek help from, and trust, the helping professionals and yet mental health agencies, state hospitals, and the healthcare profession are rife with abusers, both at the office, and at home.

        I think abusers gravitate to the helping professions due to the inherent vulnerability of patients, clients, and wards. Then the medical profession teaches healthcare professionals to do ‘defensive documentation’ whereby the medical record produced always covers the butts of those doctors, nurses, psychologists, state hospital staffers, etc. involved.

        I’ve watched firsthand what happens to those who are poor and perhaps struggle with mental illness or have serious mental health issues. Staff is assumed to be benevolent, patient-privacy laws, professional ethics are assumed to be there, but they aren’t. Staff is vindictive, manipulative, passive-aggressive, snarky, condescending, bullying, insulting, derisive, uncaring, etc. And the endless gossiping. Confidentiality means nothing. But they pick off the most severely ill, the disliked ones, etc. and just mistreat them with complete and utter impunity and the target (the disabled client/patient) has no recourse, no options, no support because the very staff entrusted to care for them is horrible to them.

        And if the patient/client dares to complain or resist, they blacklist the person, make all sorts of fabricated, smearing notes about their supposed attitude problems, character defects, and instability, and those falsified, smearing medical records follow them for good, with new places assuming the old places are accurate in their listing such and such patient as being ‘difficult’ ‘manipulative’ ‘paranoid’ and so forth. It’s bad.

        The best thing that can happen is that none of us every need any healthcare. Finding really great healthcare professionals is so unbelievably hard.

        In short, there’s a lot of abusers and power-tripping, untrustworthy, harmful people in the counseling/psychology/medical fields.

        Knowing this doesn’t make anything better, though.

      • I’ve been a client/patient in the health system, as well a a nurse in the public hospital system. As a client or patient, I’ve been mistreated by some health professionals; the one who stands out most was a female psychologist who took a really superior judgemental attitude to me when I told her my experience of being a victim of domestic and spiritual abuse. But I’ve also received superb treatment by some health professionals.

        I’m not wanting to discount your experience, anonymous, I’m only reporting my own experience. 🙂

        And when I was nurse, I saw some professionals in the health system who were bullying or lording it over other staff members, and some who IMO were misunderstanding the needs of a client/patient. I’m not sure that I detected a fellow staff member maliciously treating a patient/client. But I did see a lot of ‘system failure’ and ‘system shortfall’. The red tape of the system often got in the way of delivering really good patient care.

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