Saeed Abedini and Franklin Graham Promote “Couples Counseling” to Reconcile the Abedinis. Because of Saeed’s Abuse, is This Counterproductive?

Experts on the dynamics of abuse strongly recommend separate, individual counseling for abuser and victim, not couples counseling. If abusers refuse to work through individual counseling on their personal issues, that creates a stumbling block to relational reconciliation.

This blog post was written by Julie Anne Smith, with contributions by Brad Sargent. The post was reviewed by Naghmeh Abedini.

Key Points:

  • Counselors with expertise on dynamics of abuse recommend individual counseling – for both the husband and wife – not couples counseling. Couples counseling implies the abuse is equally both partners’ fault, when this type of abuse is definitely more one-sided. It will never be “fixed” if the abuser does not address the personal problem first, and couples counseling gives the abuser multiple opportunities to manipulate the situation and triangulate – get the counselor to side with him against the victim.
  • On Valentine’s Day, Saeed Abedini sent a Facebook message about love to his supporters, thanking them for their love, prayers, and encouragement. But, in his post, he also implied that his wife, Naghmeh, is blocking progress in their relationship by not joining him in couples counseling. The context and the language give an example of manipulating the situation to get public opinion to side with him.
  • Franklin Graham, who has acted as an advocate/promoter for Saeed Abedini since his release, has no known expertise on the dynamics of abuse, yet has pressured Saeed and Naghmeh Abedini toward couples counseling.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Yesterday, Pastor Saeed Abedini, who was recently released from an Iranian prison, posted the following note as his first Facebook post in 4 years, thanking his many supporters:

Warm Greetings Dear Saints!

We Love because He first Loved us. (1John 4:19)

This is my first post on Facebook after 4 long years of imprisonment. I see there is a LOVE story between us as I went through hardship of imprisonment by you showing your support with sending hundreds & thousands of letters of encouragement and LOVE to the prison. 1000’s of cities and countries and locations gathering for pray vigils, sending gifts to my wife and children, etc.. .
You created a LOVE story that even Muslims in Iran talked about.

My beloved sisters and brothers, I want you to know how much I LOVE you and how much Your prayers and support changed my situation and how much I am thankful for your heart and Care.
I am grateful for marriage counselors who have been helping me but my wife’s relationship with me is not good at this point, so we need prayer that she joins this counseling process with us.

Free By Christ For Christ
Saeed Abedini

 

On his post, he included pictures of himself and his beautiful children, including this one:

12716440_10206091066255298_66885656804089378_o.jpg

 

Some will look at the Facebook note and pictures and will:

  • Thank God for his release.
  • Thank God that Saeed is back together with his children again.
  • Be thankful that they were in consistent prayer for the Abedini family all these years.
  • Notice Naghmeh’s absence from the pictures.
  • Be moved to pray for Naghmeh, that she would change her heart and seek marriage counseling.

In less than 24 hours since his post went up on Valentine’s Day – February 14, 2016 – at 7:38 pm, there have already been over 3,500 “likes,” 425 shares, and 750 comments. Many who reached out to Saeed left supportive comments, encouraging him with their words, and saying they were praying for Saeed, for his marriage, for his family. However, a few commenters have been critical of Naghmeh directly, and some have attempted to shut down any commenters who bring up the Saeed’s issue abuse, primarily through “sin-leveling.”

You can read those for yourself to see how they are responding overall to him, to her, to them. Meanwhile, let’s consider his post more closely. I’ve seen Saeed’s language and approach before. It’s typical flowery manipulative abuser language meant to draw people to his side. Notice the context, plus what he puts there, what he doesn’t mention, and what is missing:

  • The pictures of Saeed and his children, with Naghmeh obviously missing tugs at people’s heartstrings knowing that this family is not whole.
  • There could be no better day to choose than Valentines Day to solicit support for his cause.  People will notice the contrast in the day when most people are celebrating love, he is soliciting support by revealing that Naghmeh is dropping the ball on marriage counseling.
  • A healthy pastor with no vindictive agenda would have briefly said, “Pray for my family.” But instead, Saeed blames his wife under the guise of soliciting prayers for the “marital” problems. For instance, note how he says that “my wife’s relationship with me is not good” – not, “my relationship with my wife is not good” or even “our relationship is not good.” Even from just that one twist of a sentence, how easy is it now for Saeed’s supporters to see Naghmeh as the stumbling block to reconciliation, and certainly not Saeed?
  • These words are not words of humility and honesty. They are manipulative words meant to draw people into Saeed’s sad plight. Even if we were to assume that the problem is a marital issue, an honest response would be one where he admits his failures as well. We see none of that.
  • A husband interested in saving his marriage would never put his wife under the proverbial bus by publicly disclosing her faults … ever. He would protect her at all costs and try to win her back.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

It’s important to note that there is more going on here than just Saeed and Naghmeh. Their relationship has been …. crowded. Prior to Saeed’s public notice on Facebook, Franklin Graham has been a primary mouthpiece for Saeed since his release. Saeed flew home to the US on Graham’s private plane, and the first pictures of him are with Franklin Graham. Saeed was immediately whisked off to the Billy Graham Training Center in North Carolina. Saeed’s first interview after his release was with Graham’s friend, Greta VanSusteran.

Franklin Graham inserted himself directly into the heart of the Saeed Abedini story, and we all heard about the Abedini family, filtered through his personal perspective – that Saeed and Naghmeh have a troubled marriage and need counseling. Here is what Franklin Graham posted on his Facebook page days after Saeed’s release:

While we rejoice at his new freedom, we now lift him and his wife Naghmeh to the Lord for healing in their marriage. Other than God, no one knows the details and the truth of what has happened between Saeed and Naghmeh except them. There’s an old saying that there are at least two sides to every story. I can tell one thing for sure—not everything that has been reported in the media is true.

As a minister of the Gospel, I have tried to be a friend to both and to assist them in getting Saeed home and in getting access to any help that they may need. Clearly, there is a great need for prayer for their relationship and their family. God has answered prayer by bringing about Saeed’s release from prison, and now, Satan would like nothing more than to continue to destroy their lives. It is my prayer that this will not happen. (Source)

More about Franklin Graham’s prominent role in a moment.

Returning to Saeed’s Facebook post, I found his comment, “we need prayer that she joins this counseling process with us,” conflicting with the public messages Naghmeh has reported. I have read nothing about Naghmeh not wanting to have the marriage restored. Nor have I read anything about Naghmeh not wanting to seek counseling, so I contacted Naghmeh.

After hearing from Naghmeh, I believe Saeed is misleading people with his comments, and in turn, is turning people away from Naghmeh and painting her to be the primary problem.

Naghmeh confirmed to me that she has indeed been and is currently seeking individual counseling. She gave me the name of her counselors (which will remain private). She also mentioned another well-known therapist/author with whom she has been in touch for additional counsel. Naghmeh has also stated publicly that her pastor, Bob Caldwell, is aware of Saeed’s abuse and of the appropriate boundaries she has sought to put in place.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Now, some may wonder why Naghmeh is only seeking private counseling versus marital counseling. Keep in mind that a few months ago, Naghmeh revealed that during most of her marriage, she has been the victim of abuse by Saeed. Is couples counseling the best choice of action for a marriage in which there is abuse?  Abuse experts are in agreement that couples counseling is not appropriate when there is abuse. The National Domestic Violence Hotline has an article, Why We Don’t Recommend Couples Counseling for Abusive Relationships, and offers further explanation:

In order for couples counseling to be successful, both partners must be willing to take responsibility for their actions and make adjustments to their behavior. Abusive people want all of the power and control in the relationship and will focus on maintaining that imbalance, even if it means continuing unhealthy and hurtful behavior patterns. Many callers to the Hotline have related stories of trying and “failing” at couples counseling because of an abusive partner’s focus on manipulating the sessions to place blame, minimize the abuse, and attempt to win over the therapist to their side. If the therapist tries to hold the abusive partner accountable for these tactics, they will often refuse to attend further sessions and may even forbid their partner to see the “biased” therapist again. The abusive partner may even choose to escalate the abuse because they feel their power and control was threatened.

We can see evidence of this type of control in Saeed’s public comment. He minimized the abuse by never even mentioning this topic and, as mentioned earlier, he also put blame on Naghmeh for not seeking counseling.  Saeed displayed common tactics of abusers.

Some may dismiss secular counselors’ views on separating couples when there is abuse. This article, “When NOT to Do Marriage Counseling,” gives a Christian perspective. It is by Winston T. Smith who teaches and counsels at Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He sees the importance of individual counseling over couples counseling when abuse is present in the relationship:

However, there are situations in which marriage counseling is not the best approach and may actually do more harm than good. Marriage counseling presumes that a couple’s problems are shared and that each spouse is partly responsible for what is happening. But there are situations in which one spouse’s behavior is so destructive (e.g., addictions, abuse) that marital problems are best understood primarily as the result of that behavior, rather than the shared responsibility of both spouses. In these situations, it is best to focus on that individual before addressing the marriage. There are other times when one spouse’s weaknesses, hidden issues, or lack of motivation may limit the effectiveness of marriage counseling. Here again, it may be wise to meet with spouses separately for a season, both to address individual problems and to lay the groundwork for working with the couple together.

Winston T. Smith further explains the character and behavior of abusers:

“[A]buse is a pattern of destructive and dehumanizing words and behaviors that often involves physical battering, intimidation, and attempts to isolate and control. If it becomes clear that abuse is present in a marriage, arrange to see the spouses separately.”

Here is another article you may want to read on the importance of separate counseling: To fix abusive relationships, a counselor must have expertise. The principles in this article are especially important to thinking through the larger context of counseling in this all-too-public relationship. That is because it appears that someone with no understanding of abuse has been pushing for couples counseling: Franklin Graham.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Ok, now with regard to my conversation with Naghmeh, I think it is important to note that Saeed has not personally reached out to Naghmeh since he has been back in the US. It has only been through Franklin Graham, on Graham’s initiative, not Saeed’s. It should be noted that the post from Saeed on Facebook was really the first time Naghmeh has seen/heard anything directly from Saeed on the subject.

Franklin Graham has been the one to push “marriage counseling.” Why is that? Franklin Graham has not demonstrated any expertise on abuse issues that I am aware of. He has no business putting himself above this couple and telling them how to solve their issues. Why has he intervened to take a pastoral/oversight role here? Why isn’t he backing away from the situation and allowing Pastor Bob Caldwell, their long-time pastor, to do his job?

Naghmeh had been counseled by her pastor and her counselors that the “abuse must be dealt with first before any marriage counseling can occur.” But that is not the setup Franklin Graham devised. Naghmeh specifically noted that when Saeed came to the US, Franklin Graham first “wanted to put us in a cabin together” at Billy Graham’s training facility, The Cove. Naghmeh declined this offer and only agreed to go if there was counseling, and separate cabins with guards. Graham finally “agreed and picked marriage counselors.”

Naghmeh realized what was going on, and at the last minute changed her mind, knowing she could not go under the conditions Graham had created. She knew that individual counseling had to be first, and this was not the direction Graham’s chosen counselors planned to take. His path was solely couples counseling.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

In conclusion, I hope that it is clear that Naghmeh has not declined counseling. She has already been seeking appropriate counseling for the specific issue that has destroyed her marriage: abuse by her husband, Saeed.  If there is no success in individual counseling for Saeed and Naghmeh, no marital/couples counseling will be beneficial. The horse must come before the cart.

I applaud Naghmeh for seeking wise guidance in her very difficult and public crisis. She could have easily followed the very powerful and influential Franklin Graham, but his way is not the recommended path chosen by those with expertise on the dynamics of abuse. In fact, his way would have enabled delay in addressing the issues involved. His way would have been counterproductive for Saeed and Naghmeh as individuals, and for their marriage relationship.

 

 

 

181 comments on “Saeed Abedini and Franklin Graham Promote “Couples Counseling” to Reconcile the Abedinis. Because of Saeed’s Abuse, is This Counterproductive?

  1. @ Bike Bubba

    What do you mean “portions” – you’ve only read some of my summaries of his content?

    That isn’t the same thing. You need to get a copy of the guy’s book.

    An appeal to someone who is an authority on a topic is not always a fallacy

    Bancroft would know more about abusers and how best to treat them than you or I.

    I’d also listen to what Barbara Roberts has to say (she has posted to this thread) and Jeff Crippen, since they are experts in this field.

    You said, ” argument that patriarchy is the dominant problem.”

    Splitting at hairs. It is a problem. I don’t care if it’s a “dominant” one or not, it is a problem.

    Abusers need to be in counseling specifically for abuse – not marriage counseling or anger management courses. Certainly not “biblical” (aka, Nouthetic counseling). Because none of that will effectively address the abuser’s problems.

    I’m not seeing what your problems are with whatever Bancroft said.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. @ Bike Bubba

    P.S. I said above,
    “Bancroft would know more about abusers and how best to treat them than you or I”

    That is, the guy is regularly called in by various organizations to give speeches and conferences about domestic violence.

    These organizations are sure as heck not phoning you or me up on the phone asking for our input, now are they?

    Like

  3. Dear Paul,

    My statement… is that rumor, opinions based on rumor and emotions fed with opinions based on rumor are poor judges of character. Truth is best to fuel our opinions and emotions.

    OK, fine. But what part of Julie Anne’s post is based on rumour? Saeed did make a Valentine’s Day post on Facebook, in which he made statements that those with experience and training recognize as classic abuser language — subtly blaming his wife, and putting the onus on her to “get with the program”. And (as BeenThereDoneThat pointed out) this comes after a previous statement saying that he wouldn’t make any more announcements over social media. Furthermore, Saeed does have a previous conviction for domestic violence. These are all facts. I think it’s perfectly valid to form opinions based upon those.

    For that matter, what about Franklin Graham? Is he allowed to “fan the flames”, as commenter Georgia put it? Do you think we are allowed to criticize and form opinions about him?

    Liked by 1 person


  4. “My statement “In matters like this… social media silence about our friends is best until truth is known; not rumor, not opinion, not emotion.” is that rumor, opinions based on rumor and emotions fed with opinions based on rumor are poor judges of character. Truth is best to fuel our opinions and emotions. They are more reliable than rumor”

    Truth: Saeed has a DV conviction. There is a history.
    Truth; Saeed said he wanted the situation private then he posted on Facebook the opposite of private.

    Opinion: many of us recognize the manipulating words and maner of the fb post. We are commenting on it

    Emotion: ?

    Rumor: please give example

    And I am still curious about the “profess Christ discipline” thing and what it means in non church bubble speak.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I disagree with the notion that Franklin Graham does not know a thing about abuse. I think it is far worse than that. I think he absolutely knows about it, but is willfully, deliberately promoting marriage counseling that he knows to be the wrong answer strictly for damage control & to save face. JA had a great post on how he used the Abedinis & then jumped ship. He comes out smelling like a rose to the Christian masses who are naive about abusers & their tactics. And although his smell is much worse to those who are educated on abuse who dislike him for butting in with horrible advice, they still give him a pass in the sense that they assume that he does not know a thing about abuse which to an extent still leaves him off the hook. This is the best possible scenario for him.

    To do the right thing, to stand with Naghmeh, confront Saeed & publicly prescribe the need for Saeed to go through counseling for batterers would likely cost him dearly in terms of both his popularity and his bank account from losing donors. Researching about him on line I discovered that his salary/benefits from Samaritan’s Purse are over $600,000 and he gets almost an additional $300,000 as head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

    I personally doubt he is ignorant about abusers & their tactics & I believe he knows full well that he is advocating for the wrong thing by pushing marriage counseling. He has everything to gain by doing so & virtually nothing to lose. To anyone still considering he may not know, ask yourself this: Is it all possible to be Boz Tchividian’s uncle and still be clueless about abuse? Isn’t it likely that Naghmeh who wishes for Saeed’s true repentance so they can be a family explained to Franklin why marriage counseling is the worst thing to do (also telling Franklin about Saeed’s prior conviction for abuse)?

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I second that — great comment Sister!

    “I personally doubt he is ignorant about abusers & their tactics & I believe he knows full well that he is advocating for the wrong thing by pushing marriage counseling. He has everything to gain by doing so & virtually nothing to lose.”

    If he knows full well that by advocating for couple counseling he is advocating for the wrong thing, he strikes me as someone who $its on his giant butt on the fence.

    (giant butt being a metaphor for the gigantic income he earn$)

    .. that typo must be infectious …

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A 2002 editorial review by Reed Business Infirmation said Bancroft had 15 years of dealing with abusive men. Today that would almost be 30 years experience with abusive men.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Just Need Coffee and commented:

    I agree. My prayers for both….but I agree….Saeed NEEDS to deal with his stuff FIRST! Pray for them. The trust issue seems to be daunting. Whatever they do should NOT be played out on FB. It could be a starting point that they both agree to stay off social media so they can truly work on their marriage.

    Like

  9. “Those who are new creatures in Christ, don’t abuse”.

    This is not true Lydia.

    Abuse is sin.

    Don’t turn abuse into a sin that “true believers don’t or can’t do”.

    You might not think you sin or struggle with sin but others sure do.

    My trust is in a God who saves sinners.

    From the penalty for sin.

    There is not one verse in the Scriptures which says that true believers do not sin, nor struggle in it.

    Quite the opposite actually.

    Your statement is Lordship Salvation and quite honestly it scares me as it indicates a different gospel.

    Like

  10. Nutshell; yes, but that’s still appeal to authority. Bad logic, and it proves nothing. Let’s try something else; if those, like Daisy, who have read Bancroft’s work in full disagree with my characterization of his work, they are free to note that disagreement. I submit that the general tenor of his work is pretty evident from the samples available on Google.

    Like

  11. Bike Bubba, you need to read more philosophy. It is not considered a fallacy to cite an authority who is a genuine expert based on experience and/or research and is stating a conclusion that is generally accepted by others in the field.

    It is only a fallacy when an authority is cited for an opinion outside his or her field. For example, I might cite my pastor who is a Biblical scholar on the meaning of a Bible passage but it would be a fallacy to cite his opinion on a medical issue since he is not a doctor.

    It would be a fallacy to cite an expert on an issue that lacks data and is controversial as if he or she had the definitive answer.

    It would be a fallacy to consider a member of a group the expert on the group. For example, I cannot speak for all American women just because I am an American woman.

    My mother was given an orchid and called a neighbor for care advice since he had successfully grown them in his greenhouse for sixty years. It was not a fallacy to seek information from him just as it is not fallacy to learn about domestic violence perpetrators from someone with decades of experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. My point being that Bancroft is even more so credible as an expert with almost 30 years of experience!! His book was a wake up call to me 7 years ago!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m so thankful for this blog. My heart hungers for truth and it is in such short supply in this world. It is so encouraging and validating to see that other appreciate truth as well.

    On another note, here is a piece of my story: my mother stayed with my abusive father until we children were grown because she thought it was “the right thing to do.” She never spoke against my father, she covered over his crimes (he was not physically abusive but emotionally). She said she wanted us children to have a father figure we could respect and that she didn’t want our home filled with discord of them arguing or fighting openly.

    I can’t tell you the toll this took on us kids. You cannot cover up truth. It is there, everyone senses it. All that my mom did was keep it ambiguous so it could not be named and dealt with. When she finally filed for divorce, it was the first time she acknowledged openly that the marriage was a mess. It was such a relief to me! To finally be able to put a name to the unhappiness, to know the source of it, to know it had nothing to do with me. All of those years spent living a lie, what a waste. Speaking for myself, it would have been so much easier to grow up with a divorced and honest mom, dealing with financial hardships would have been so much easier than dealing with the undercurrent of misery and the manipulations and lies of our father. I love my father but he was a terrible husband and father. After the divorce, his true character became so evident. But at that point it was out in the open and could be talked over and dealt with.

    Honesty is the best policy.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I just want to point out that I think it is weird how Saeed capitalized LOVE all through his comment, as if the word LOVE is a weapon. Somehow I wonder if he really understands and experiences love?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. If Saeed gets angry at Graham and punches him out, will Graham seek out a relationship counselor for the two of them?

    Of course not. And absolutely no one would expect Graham to reconcile with Saeed either.”

    Because Saeed would have Raised Hand Against GOD’s Anointed and GOP Kingmaker.

    Like

  16. No, Marsha, appeal to authority is always a fallacy. Let me illustrate; imagine it is 1907, and I argue against some amazing new developments in physics by appealing to a Nobel Prize winner, Albert Michelson. Michelson famously claimed at the opening of the Ryerson Physics laboratory in 1894 that future developments in physics would be made in the sixth decimal place. Now, am I allowed to cite Michelson (and perhaps Lord Kelvin transitively) and ignore the 1905 papers by young, untested Albert Einstein?

    Of course not. We test ideas with data. Moreover, it ought to be noted that if you want to appeal to qualifications, Bancroft is not trained in psychology, and yet he is trying to create a psychological profile of domestic abuse. So even by your standard, appeal to authority rests on rather dubious footings in this case.

    Like

  17. You are incorrect, BB. New data will always confirm, modify, or overturn existing theories but it is not illogical to appeal to a genuine expert for the current state of knowledge. Again, if you read philosophy, you will find that you are misreading the concept of appealing to an authority as a logical fallacy.

    Like

  18. I am not at all sure why Lundy Bancroft not being a psychologist or psychiatrist has anything to do with his ability to lay it out in black and white how abusers operate. Many ‘c’hurched people would rather throw victims or abusers under a bus than have them see a counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist. I can hear the gasps coming from folks having spoken about taking my son to a psychologist in a church some 30+ years ago. Being the good sheep following blindly by their expertise I did not continue therapy for him. But that is a totally different story that I regret to this day.

    We were talking about what Naghmeh needs now. She needs to be believed and she needs celebrity preachers to stay out of the lime light at her expense. She needs her own counselor and doesn’t need to be pushed into marriage counseling. I know of no one that has a good grasp of destructive, abusive marriages that would say marriage counseling is a good idea at this point. Perhaps not ever.

    Like

  19. Bike Bubba, you said to Daisy:
    “Regarding your comment about Mr. Bancroft, I would concede the point that many abusers suffer similar personality traits and perhaps even psychological diagnoses, but I’d suggest his explanations may be too simplistic. Some will say abusers are NPD; a former step-brother-in-law (my sister-in-law’s ex) was abusive and bipolar. It was millions of dollars worth of care to try to limit the damage he was doing to his wife and a bunch of others.”

    and in a later comment, you said to Daisy:
    ” I’ve read portions [of Bancroft’s work], but what you’re arguing is more or less the appeal to authority fallacy–the flip side to what some of what Bancroft’s detractors would argue, that he’s not trained in psychology or psychiatry.
    “So let’s leave that behind, and simply ask whether Bancroft’s hypothesis holds up. I can personally name names in my very limited experience suggesting that his approach is overly simplistic, much like the Duluth Model’s argument that patriarchy is the dominant problem.”

    Bike Bubba, I suggest you don’t opine so much about the dynamics and the recommended response/treatment for domestic abuse. What you have read and the anecdotes from a few cases you know about are not sufficient to give you a sound understanding of the field.

    Bancroft, and the other experts in the field, all say that research shows that men who abuse their female partners have no higher rates of mental disorder or mental health diagnoses than the general male population.

    There is much pop-psych discussion on social media about domestic abusers being narcissists, or having NPD, or psycopaths/sociopaths. This is simply pop-psychology. I do not endorse it, though I understand why many victim/survivors use it and find it helpful because when they first come across that kind of language, they feel it validates their pain and suffering.

    If I use the word ‘narcissist’ I always say ‘malignant narcissist’ because that is much more accurate psychologically. I use that term because Dr George Simon Jr, a clinical psychologist, uses it in his book “Character Disorder.” Dr Simon is a Christian and has worked with difficult populations for many decades (e.g. prisoners).

    I validate and the pain and suffering of all victim/survivors, because they have been dealt great injustice. But I don’t think it’s helpful to describe domestic abusers as narcissists. I prefer to simply call them abusers. The word ‘abuser’ keeps the spotlight on the fact that they CHOOSE to abuse.

    Even if an abuser has correctly been diagnosed as having a mental illness under DSMV (and I believe many are INCORRECTLY given diagnoses, because many clinicians are still unable to recognise domestic abuse when they see it!) — the abuser who has a mental illness has TWO problems. He has an abuse problem. And he has a mental illness problem.

    Lundy Bancroft and the other experts in the DV field all say that mental illness does not CAUSE domestic abuse, but if mental illness is present, it can exacerbate the abusive behaviour. The same applies to alcohol or drug use: it does not cause abuse, but the abuser misuses alcohol or drugs, that often exacerbates or intensifies the abuse (the abuse is more dangerous).

    Bancroft is not trained in psychology or psychiatry. He is trained and very experiences in working with men who abuser their female partners.

    Training in psychology and psychiatry DOES NOT give training in domestic abuse. Nor does the average training in counseling or psychotherapy. Please understand that. It is vital to remember. Many mental health clinicians, as a result are not identifying domestic abuse when it is present in their clients, nor are they identifying and recognising the problems of victims of domestic abuse. That is a big reason why many (not all) victims report having had horrible experiences with mental health clinicians.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Also, Bike Bubba, regarding the principle of confronting the sinner one on one.

    The victim of domestic abuse has done this, time after time. To no avail.
    If and when she discloses her plight to the pastor, some pastors thing in their pride and ignorance that they should confront the abuser with his sin. This is often very DANGEROUS for the victim: the abuser typically does a snow job on the pastor, then retaliates big time on his victim for having broken the silence about the abuse.

    I recommend that a pastor only confront a domestic abuse IF the victim has clearly given her informed permission for him to do so. Usually it is only safe for the victim if she is well and truly away from the abuser, not living with him, and in a safe place where the abuser cannot get at her. Rarely is that the case.

    Currently, the DV professionals say that the most appropriate treatment for domestic abusers is a combination of being held accountable by the justice system (currently the justice system falls far short of doing this adequately) and attending a Mens Behaviour Change program (aka Domestic Abuse Intervention Program: DAIP).

    DAIPs run groups for male abusers. Many abusers do not change deep down even if they complete such groups. But a few perhaps do ( more research is needed). Some change a bit, but is that enough to make them safe partners? Often they change a bit and then revert. The dig in their heels and backslide when they realise that they have to give up all their privileges.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. “Those who are new creatures in Christ, don’t abuse”.

    This is not true Lydia.

    Abuse is sin.

    Don’t turn abuse into a sin that “true believers don’t or can’t do”.

    You might not think you sin or struggle with sin but others sure do.

    My trust is in a God who saves sinners.

    From the penalty for sin.

    There is not one verse in the Scriptures which says that true believers do not sin, nor struggle in it.

    Quite the opposite actually.

    Your statement is Lordship Salvation and quite honestly it scares me as it indicates a different gospel.”

    Actually, I am a Pelagian. :o). So I guess these “evil” Christians murder, rape, pillage and plunder, too? I try to avoid those types. :o)

    Your problem might be sin leveling or moral equivalence. It is the same thing SGM believed which it is why it was no big deal to molest there. We are all sinners. . The false dichotomy of sinless perfection or sinning all the time. (Some because they believe in imputed guilt).

    I struggle with sin. But that is NOT the same as acting upon it.

    I think mentally able adults are responsible for their behavior. I believe we are born in corrupted bodies inclined toward the flesh but have free will. I believe the Holy Spirit can guide and convict if we continually pray for wisdom.

    I, however, do not buy into “the devil made me do it” arguments that we are all just sinners who happen to rape children. Your belief makes the resurrection moot. And Jesus hung on the cross so we can sin all we want dis we have fire insurance.

    Character and integrity still count. They aren’t “worldly” virtues. But thanks for letting me know heinous sin is normal in your “Christian” world.

    Read ALL 1st John. Most today stop at chapter 1 to make your point. :o)

    Like

  22. “Social media ie facebook is totally public and will not help either one deal with their issues!”

    Hold it right there! Saeed has a gigantic issue he needs to deal with: he is an abuser, a liar, and a man who does not keep his word. Yes, social media is NOT the place for him to deal with his issues, the only exception to that would be if he used social media to make a FULL FRANK and genuinely HUMBLE apology to all the people he has lied to, abused and manipulated. With no self-serving excuses in the tail.

    The fact is: Saeed of his own free will used social media to attempt to continue manipulating his supporters. That was one more sin on his part, on the heels of all his other heinous sins. Especially heinous since he had recently publicly stated that he would NOT be saying any more things on social media about the situation between him and Naghmeh.

    Naghmeh does not need to deal with anything like the magnitude of ‘issues’ that Saeed has to deal with. She has already made a simple confession and asked forgiveness for not having publicly exposed Saeed’s abusiveness before. (…but she did expose appropriately it to the police and courts and her own pastor back in 2007). So she has nothing to confess to the public, and I would guess she has very few so-called “issues” that she needs to deal with apart from the fact that so many ‘c’hristians have hammered her since she came out and said that Saeed abused her. She could easily be feeling hurt from all that hammering.

    If feeling hurt because others have sinned against you is an ‘issue’ — then okay. But it’s not a sin issue, it’s a TRAUMA issue. And it often takes time to recover from trauma.

    Nagheh is not the sinner in this situation, and you are wrong to lump Naghmeh together with Saeed as if they both have ‘sin issues’.

    It is the CHURCH — all those limp lukewarm ‘c’hristians who have hammered Naghmeh and bought into Saeed’s snow job, the one which Franklin Graham bought into — it is those people who have ISSUES. And they need to wake up and repent!

    Like

  23. Lydia,

    If it were not possible for believers to “walk in the flesh” and display the fruit of doing so, believers would not be exhorted to “walk in the Spirit”.

    You might not struggle with “heinous sin” Lydia.

    I know plenty of believers who struggle with alcoholism, anger, sexuality and porn.

    The flesh is alive and active. Has nothing to do with the devil.

    Do you have any struggle with sin at all? Or just the “minor stuff”?

    A bit of gossip, slander, exaggeration etc. none of the big stuff eh?!

    I struggle daily.

    Gossip, slander, envy, HATRED (there’s a good one), judgment, lust.

    Maybe my faith isn’t enough and I need to work harder in case the Cross wasn’t enough.

    Maybe I’m not trying hard enough.

    Your faith sounds like it moves logs Lydia.

    Lucky you’re not like me, a sinner.

    Add sarcasm to my list of vices.

    (Don’t think I’ll ever give that one up) 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Nothing personal Lydia.

    I mean no offence in pointing out that I am a struggling believer whose hope is not in herself.

    I’m truly happy for you and your spiritual leaps and bounds.

    You should be really pleased with your wonderful works 😝👍

    Like

  25. *Nothing personal Lydia.”

    Right. You basically accuse me of propagating a different Gospel you called Lordship salvation. BTW, that is an old one that made the rounds on forums/blogs 10 years ago.

    I get it. You learned about a “Heresy” from some guru and find places to apply it.

    I do not think that born again believers ACT on struggles that horribly harm others. That would be “walking in the dark” and make not only the cross but the resurrection moot.

    What I struggle with is between me and my Savior UNTIL I ACT UPON IT and harm others. Then it is not just a “struggle”.

    If you think active abusers, child molesters, etc are Christians, that is your right to do so. If you wanted to even debate the point, that is another matter. Instead you played the heretic card. Not well done.

    BTW, the latest Heresy charge making the Evangelical rounds is Pelagianism. Thought you might want to keep up.

    Like

  26. This topic got me thinking about something a “Pastoral counselor” once told me. Note that I interpret a pastoral counselor as something different than a biblical counselor. Long Story…. but I consider this guy a wise voice in my life.

    He often speaks of a 3-legged stool. His healing, her healing, and their (couple) healing.

    Basically it means when rushed into couple counseling too soon before working on your own individual issues first, the couples counseling is doomed to failure.

    Like

  27. Pingback: Resource Bibliography on the Saeed and Naghmeh Abedini Situation | Spiritual Sounding Board

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