You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Lundy Bancroft’ tag.

Ever find a spot where you could pinpoint where something went wrong and broke-shit on such a massive scale that the damage is still being undone? See Freud on incest…


We need to take a large step back in time for a
moment, to the early part of Freud’s era, when
modern psychology was born. In the 1890s, when
Freud was in the dawn of his career, he was struck
by how many of his female patients were revealing
childhood incest victimization to him. Freud
concluded that child sexual abuse was one of the
major causes of emotional disturbances in adult
women and wrote a brilliant and humane paper

called “The Aetiology of Hysteria.” However,
rather than receiving acclaim from his colleagues
for his ground-breaking insights, Freud met with
scorn. He was ridiculed for believing that men of
excellent reputation (most of his patients came
from upstanding homes) could be perpetrators of
Within a few years, Freud buckled under this
heavy pressure and recanted his conclusions. In
their place he proposed the “Oedipus complex,”
which became the foundation of modern
psychology. According to this theory any young
girl actually desires sexual contact with her father,
because she wants to compete with her mother to
be the most special person in his life. Freud used
this construct to conclude that the episodes of
incestuous abuse his clients had revealed to him
had never taken place; they were simply fantasies
of events the women had wished for when they
were children and that the women had come to
believe were real. This construct started a
hundred-year history in the mental health field of
blaming victims for the abuse perpetrated on them
and outright discrediting of women’s and
children’s reports of mistreatment by men.
Once abuse was denied in this way, the stage
was set for some psychologists to take the view
that any violent or sexually exploitative behaviors
that couldn’t be denied—because they were
simply too obvious—should be considered
mutually caused. Psychological literature is thus
full of descriptions of young children who
“seduce” adults into sexual encounters and of
women whose “provocative” behavior causes men
to become violent or sexually assaultive toward
I wish I could say that these theories have long
since lost their influence, but I can’t.”

-Lundy Bancroft.  Why Does He Do That? p. 684 (of 1020)

LundyBancroft“The more psychotherapy an abusive man has participated in, the more impossible I usually find it is to work with him.

  The highly “therapized” abuser tends to be slick, condescending, and manipulative. He uses the psychological concepts
he has learned to dissect his partner’s flaws and dismiss her perceptions of abuse. He takes responsibility for nothing that he does; he moves in a world where there are only unfortunate dynamics, miscommunications, symbolic acts. He expects to be rewarded for his emotional openness, handled gingerly because of his “vulnerability,” colluded with in skirting the damage he has done, and congratulated for his insight.
  Many years ago, a violent abuser in my program shared the following with us: “From working in therapy on my issues about anger toward my mother, I realized that when I punched my wife, it wasn’t really her I was hitting. It was my mother!” He sat back, ready for us to express our approval of his self-awareness. My colleague
peered through his glasses at the man, unimpressed by this revelation. “No,” he said, “you were hitting your wife.”

  I have yet to meet an abuser who has made any meaningful and lasting changes in his behavior toward female partners through therapy, regardless of how much “insight”—most of it false—that he may have gained. The fact is that if an abuser finds a particularly skilled therapist and if the therapy is especially successful, when he is finished he will be a happy, well-adjusted abuser—good news for him, perhaps, but not such good news for his partner. Psychotherapy can be very valuable for the issues it is devised to address, but partner abuse is not one of them; an abusive man needs to be in a specialized program.

  Therapy focuses on the man’s feelings and gives him empathy and support, no matter how unreasonable the attitudes that are giving rise to those feelings. An abusive man’s therapist usually will not speak to the abused woman, whereas the counselor of a high-quality abuser program always does.

  Therapy typically will not address any of the central causes of abusiveness, including entitlement, coercive control, disrespect, superiority, selfishness, or victim blaming.

  It is also impossible to persuade an abusive man to change by convincing him that he would benefit from it, because he perceives the benefits of controlling his partner as vastly outweighing the losses. This is part of why so many men initially take steps to change their abusive behavior but then return to their old ways. There is another reason why appealing to his self-interest doesn’t work: The abusive man’s belief that his own needs should come ahead of his partner’s is at the core of his problem.

  Therefore when anyone, including therapists, tells an abusive man that he should change because that’s what’s best for him, they are inadvertently feeding his selfish focus on himself: You can’t simultaneously contribute to a problem and solve it.

  Women speak to me with shocked voices of betrayal as they tell me how their couples therapist, or the abuser’s individual therapist, or a therapist for one of their
children, has become a vocal advocate for him and a harsh and superior critic of her. I have saved for years a letter that a psychologist wrote about one of my clients, a man who admitted to me that his wife was covered with blood and had broken bones when he was done beating her and that she could have died. The psychologist’s letter ridiculed the system for labeling this man a “batterer,” saying that he was too reasonable and insightful and should not be participating in my abuser program any further.

  The content of the letter indicated to me that the psychologist had neglected to ever ask the client to describe the brutal beating that he had been convicted of.

  As a routine part of my assessment of an abusive man, I contacted his private therapist to compare impressions. The therapist turned out to have strong opinions about the case:

THERAPIST:  I think it’s a big mistake for Martin to be attending your abuser program. He has very low self-esteem; he believes anything bad that anyone says about him. If you tell him he’s abusive, that will just tear him down further. His partner slams him with the word abusive all the time, for reasons of her own. His wife’s got huge control issues, and she has obsessive-compulsive disorder. She needs treatment. I think having Martin in your program just gets her what she wants.

BANCROFT: So you have been doing couples counseling with them?

THERAPIST: No, I see him individually.

BANCROFT: How many times have you met with her?

THERAPIST: She hasn’t been in at all.

BANCROFT: You must have had quite extensive phone contact with her, then.

THERAPIST: No, I haven’t spoken to her.

BANCROFT: You haven’t spoken to her? You have assigned his wife a clinical diagnosis based only on Martin’s descriptions of her?

THERAPIST: Yes, but you need to understand, we’re talking about an unusually insightful man. Martin has told me many details, and he is perceptive and sensitive.

BANCROFT: But he admits to serious psychological abuse of his wife, although he doesn’t call it that. An abusive man is not a reliable source of information about his partner. What the abuser was getting from individual therapy, unfortunately, was an official seal of approval for his denial, and for his view that his wife was mentally ill.”

“Why does he do that ? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling men”

by Lundy Bancroft

This Blog best viewed with Ad-Block and Firefox!

What is ad block? It is an application that, at your discretion blocks out advertising so you can browse the internet for content as opposed to ads. If you do not have it, get it here so you can enjoy my blog without the insidious advertising.

Like Privacy?

Change your Browser to Duck Duck Go.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,346 other followers

Progressive Bloggers


July 2020


Blogs I Follow

The DWR Community

A. Lien



A topnotch site

I Won't Take It

Life After an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

Exploring best practice and research in sexual violence. A loud voice in the fight against victim blaming. Written and Managed by Jessica Eaton, Doctoral Researcher in Forensic Psychology

Unpolished XX

No product, no face paint. I am enough.

Volunteer petunia

Observations and analysis on survival, love and struggle


the feminist exhibition space at the university of alberta

Raising Orlando

About gender, identity, parenting and containing multitudes

REAL for women

Reflecting Equality in Australian Legislation for women

The Feminist Kitanu

Spreading the dangerous disease of radical feminism

Double Plus Good

The Evolution Will Not BeTelevised

la scapigliata

writer, doctor, wearer of many hats

Teach The Change

Teaching Artist/ Progressive Educator

Female Personhood

Identifying as female since the dawn of time.

Radfem Resources | Radical Feminist Literature

A virtual library for those interested in radical feminist literature and resources.

Not The News in Briefs

A blog by Helen Saxby


A blog in support of Helen Steel

Blasting through Left-wing BS with truth bombs


Memoirs of a Butch Lesbian


Radical Feminism Discourse

a sledge and crowbar

deconstructing identity and culture

The Radical Pen

Fighting For Female Liberation from Patriarchy


Politics, things that make you think, and recreational breaks

Easilyriled's Blog

cranky. joyful. radical. funny. feminist.

Nordic Model Now!

Movement for the Abolition of Prostitution

The WordPress C(h)ronicle

These are the best links shared by people working with WordPress


Gender is the Problem, Not the Solution


Peak Trans and other feminist topics

There Are So Many Things Wrong With This

if you don't like the news, make some of your own

Gentle Curiosity

Musing over important things. More questions than answers.


short commentaries, pretty pictures and strong opinions

Revive the Second Wave

gender-critical sex-negative intersectional radical feminism

Trans Animal Farm

The Trans Trend is Orwellian

Princess Henry of Wales

Priestess Belisama

miss guts.

just a girl on a journey

writing by renee

Trigger warning: feminism, women's rights

%d bloggers like this: