Counseling can be a helpful source of support along the journey of recovering from a past abusive relationship. However, unfortunately, many counselors lack sufficient training to understand the dynamics of abusive relationships and fully consider the safety implications that could impact survivors' emotional and physical safety during the counseling process.
Survivors can advocate for themselves and ask questions to help determine if a particular counselor is the right fit for them. Some questions to consider asking a prospective counselor include the following:
In addition to these questions, it's important to consider your overall "fit" with a particular counselor and how comfortable you'd feel to talk with them and seek their support throughout your healing process.
It's critical to get the support you need as you work through all the ups and downs of the aftermath of an abusive relationship. This includes family, friends, and professionals who understands the dynamics of abuse and can provide adequate support. It's worth some extra effort to ask questions and get the information you need to ensure that you have the right people in your corner.
This blog post was adapted from a previous post I wrote for the See the Triumph campaign. To learn more, check out the whole post here: http://www.seethetriumph.org/blog/finding-a-counselor-who-is-competent-to-serve-survivors.