A few posts ago, I talked a little about “charmers and con artists,” and encouraged any readers to use the free resources available on the attached links. I’d really love for that information to get out there to every therapist, from coast to coast, country to country.
Today I received a package of information from another counseling agency. One of their therapists had seen my new client and her husband some months ago for some marital counseling. I had requested information on their time together to learn what the previous therapist had gleaned during those sessions.
If I hadn’t been experienced in working with domestic abuse victims, and hadn’t learned to recognize a narcissist when I saw one, I might have had the same response as this couple’s marital therapist. She had been completely ‘charmed,’ seeing him as the victim, siding with him as he convinced her that his wife was the crazy one. It only took one session for him to have her totally convinced that his wife was the one who needed to do all the changing in order to make this marriage work. The last notes recounted that the wife was “working on being more understanding of her husband.” Months later the wife came by herself to my office, convinced that she was losing her marbles.
Within five minutes of our first meeting, I had handed my new client a copy of “Charmers and Con Artists” from FOCUS Ministries. She quietly read the list and in a whisper said to me, “He’s every one of these.” I gave her a copy of the Domestic Violence Wheel and she identified her husband in every ‘spoke.’
it couldn’t be clearer to me that this woman was a battered wife and yet a fellow colleague from another counseling agency had missed this throughout the weeks they had been together for marital therapy. If a professional thought she was the problem, and that SHE needed to change, no wonder this poor woman thought that she was about to fall off the edge of her emotional cliff.
If you know a counselor, print out these resources for them. We are never too old to learn.