By Danni Moss
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[To read all the articles in this series, see Is Dr. James Dobson’s Advice to Abuse Victims Dangerous, Series. A link to the next article is provided at the conclusion of this one.]
7. “A plan can be agreed upon that involves intensive Christian counseling with a person of the wife’s choosing.”
Dr. Dobson throws a bone to the wife in allowing her to choose the counselor. This point was brought up by another commenter on the original referenced post. There is an implication in Dobson’s quote that this counseling is intended to be joint counseling with both the husband and wife. Dr. Dobson doesn’t say this specifically, but it such an important point, it must be clearly stated that counseling must not be joint and it must not be marital counseling when the issue on the table is abuse.
Now, elsewhere on the Focus on the Family Troubled With site there is a statement that abuse counseling “may be” separate, with abuser counseling and victim counseling.
There is also an assumption that a Christian counselor is available who also has a thorough understanding of the issue of abuse. What additional options are available failing this? This very real possibility needs to addressed.
Also, given the widespread lack of understanding regarding abuse, by both secular and sacred counselors, the victim needs to have the option of changing counselors if she finds she is not safe in the first counseling relationship. And this needs to not be viewed as a weakness or fault on the part of the victim! She needs to be fully supported.
You can see the entire original exchange and related posts here: