6

Assessment: First Contacts

They were referred by her therapist, who said that the husband was very powerful and needed a “strong man” that he could look up to—that prior attempts at couples therapy had failed either because he wasn’t confronted enough or because he had been dismissive of women therapists. The wife was described as a capable professional who was moderately depressed and trying to learn greater assertiveness.

As I thought about this information I found myself wondering how much of the wife’s therapist’s brief synopsis I would come to agree with. Would the husband be as powerful as the therapist suggested? How much of her conclusions reflected issues of her own—issues I recalled as her former training director? As a resident, ...

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