Why therapy is a bad idea in abusive relationships

Taylor Armstrong, one of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, was married to an abuser when she joined the show. In a recent episode, she and her husband, Russell Armstrong, go to therapy. The show actually aired after Russell Armstrong committed suicide in August.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline posted its views on the topic:

We at The Hotline do not encourage anyone in an abusive relationship to seek counseling. Abuse is not a relationship problem. While there can be benefits for couples who undergo therapy, there’s a great risk for any person who is being abused to attend therapy with their abusive partner.

I’m really glad to see the National Domestic Violence Hotline take this position, which they explain further in their blog post. The interview with Taylor Armstrong at the end of the post is also interesting. She credits the show with saving her life.

RHOBH recap: Taylor’s therapy and why we don’t recommend it, on TheHotline.org.

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33 Comments on "Why therapy is a bad idea in abusive relationships"

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Just to add to Oxy, DON’T look at him. Rid your life of pictures and reminders or YOU WILL NOT HEAL.
It is just ripping off the scab.

if you think about him, it creates bad feelings, which in turn causes you to act in ways that don’t serve you well

Think good thoughts, you will feel better, it will cause you to have more productive actions


Thank you OxDrover and honestkindgiver. I’m going to print your messages and keep it next to me at all times.

I forget the simple things and get inundated with detritus. I appreciate it.

Thank you.

*enters topic* *hugs shelby* *leaves topic* ^_^

Thank you for the encouragement honestkindgiver. it really does help when someone is there to give that. i just got home from a girlfriends house and was telling her about being scared to go to court. she told me that i can do it by telephone. if i tell them i’m too scared to be in the same room as him. she said they did that for her. she said i can hear him make his statements and i will be asked questions from his attorney too. so i am going to see if i can do it that way. that would be totally way better. haven’t heard the outcome of what todays court appearance was. i’ll call the prosecuter in the morning and she said she would let me know.

I like that:
move, pray, serve.

wonderful advice for lifting the spirits.


OMG. I’m starting to think that therapists are like cops – on a power trip. Well not all, but we do have to watch for red flags.

Also, watch for the vibes you are giving off. Too much vulnerability attracts spaths.

A friend sent me “Fear of Life” by Alexander Lowen, MD. I’m reading it now. You might like it and not need too much therapy after reading it.

It’s excellent.

Skylar: Hey, buddy! ^_^ How is it going this holiday season?


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