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On the previous track we discussed the Pre-Somatoform Risk Behaviors of Compartmentalization: Repression, Deadening, Resigning, Projection, and Externalization.
Now let's look at how a battered woman's role as the Irresponsible Child can allow her to have her fundamental rights as a person abused be an important factor in her decision to leave.
As you know, the battered women's role as the Irresponsible Child can prevent her from making her own decisions. Have you found, like I, that being the underdog and having her life decisions made for her are often psychologically actually comforting for the battered woman? Without the misery and discomfort of her abuse, a battered woman is faced with the more pressing obligation to make her own decisions. Think of a client you are treating who is assuming the role of the Irresponsible Child, and giving up their many Fundamental Rights.
Monica, age 35 and her husband, Derek, both held top management jobs in the corporate sector, when they met seven years ago. However, Monica quit her high profile job to become housewife and mother of three. During our first session I noticed a large bruise on Monica's arm. She said she was here because of her migraines and needed some help with stress. She appeared to be a prime candidate for the Underdog syndrome from assuming the Irresponsible child role.
How to Assess the Irresponsible Child Role
asking Monica these questions, I was able to help her see how her role as the
Irresponsible Child was holding her back from making any of her own decisions,
and from some fundamental rights. As I discuss Monica's loss of power regarding
her rights related to speech, money, time, feelings and wants, think of your Monica
and perhaps some education during your next session.
Right to the Freedom of Speech
Monica knew that when she would state her goals and dreams, Derek would silence her because he considered it to be critical of him, so she stopped. Is it appropriate to your Monica's situation to talk about freedom of speech? Obviously by appropriate, I mean to assess whether standing up for her rights would endanger her safety or not, prior to her leaving.
2. Right to Spend Money
# 5. Right to Do What You Want
Monica stated, "I never realized just how much I have been giving in this relationship, and how little I receive from Derek. Our whole life has been so lopsided. It's really not fair, I want to do something that is for me, that I want to do, that has nothing to do with Derek." Is it appropriate to your Monica's situation to talk about the right to do what she wants?
If your client is considering leaving, would a discussion of the right to speak, spend money, take time for herself, express feelings, and do what she wants be appropriate?
In the next track we will discuss the role psychological control plays in postponing the decision to leave.
Online Continuing Education QUESTION
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