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  • Writer's pictureTyler N. Tolson

Couple Counseling: Domestic Abuse

Image: TalkSpace

When clients enter my office for couple counseling, oftentimes one or both parties are aware what significant red flags may be flying high when the subject of abuse rises to the surface. Some of these red flags are (but are not limited to):

-Name-calling, harmful language towards the other person

-Attempts at speaking for the other person

-Gaslighting (psychological manipulation to make the other person question their sanity, memory, or perception)

-Throwing objects, furniture and/or destruction of property

-Physical battery, such as slapping, scratching, punching, biting

Unfortunately, more often than not, the abuse tends to be excused and/or downplayed which prompts the following responses:

“X has a troubled past. I see that there are reasons for this behavior.”

“I don’t think X was serious.”

“Maybe I am at fault and deserved this reaction.”

There is also the tangible negative aspects that could arise, which prompts these possible responses:

“I’m afraid if I leave, X will harm me, X’s self, or someone else.”

“What if X finds me?”

“I don’t have resources to escape.”

In these cases, it is not possible to reach successful results in couple counseling, because the abusive partner(s) will need to undergo sustained individualized therapy or deep strides in their own journey to self-improvement (largely, having desire to radically improve) in order to reach the potential of working together to build a solid foundation for a renewed and improved relationship. This can sometimes be to the dismay of one or both parties for having unrealistic expectations of couple therapy, and if you are reading this and feel unsure about whether or not couple therapy is right for you, check if you or your partner are exhibiting the aforementioned signs and consult a mental health professional for further guidance.

In the case that you have said yes to one or more of the signs of abuse above, or you know someone who is suffering from abuse, and you reside in Prague: Seek out mental health support and look over these reliable resources for victims of domestic violence in English and Czech in a secure location. If you are sending these resources, please insure that they are delivered privately and safely.


Bílý kruh bezpečí


Charitas Prague


Centrum sociálních služeb Praha (Intervention centre - help to victims of domestic violence)

Image: The Working Parent

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