Your Therapists: WHO'S IN CONTROL - You or Them?

Be sure your therapist is helping you. Stacy D. Phillips, Certified Family Law Specialist, has categorize each type of mental health professionals, so you can determine whether or not yours is working for you. Check out this list.

By Stacy D. Phillips, Certified Family Law Specialist
Updated: August 19, 2014
Divorce Therapy

Your Therapists

We’ve already taken a look at attorneys, ex’s and children in the prior excerpts from this chapter—those who can try to control a person when going through a divorce, culled from Stacy D. Phillips’ book, Divorce: It’s All About Control—How To Win the Emotional, Psychological and Legal Wars. Now, in this second part of the six-part series on the different “types” in a divorcee’s close circle, we focus on the therapist and how he or she fits into the overall control scheme of things. More in depth reading on each of the six different “control types” can be found in Stacy D. Phillips’ book, Divorce: It’s All About Control—How To Win the Emotional, Psychological and Legal Wars. Phillips shares the following brief descriptions:

Since we are looking at types, I have also listed a few therapist styles to better help you decide where yours fits in, and more importantly, to have you identify who is in control in your counseling: you or your therapist! Here goes.

The "god"

Often times, this category of shrink tries to instill his or her dogma into a patient’s psyche. They can range from gurus to astrologers, cult leaders to talk show hosts. Beware. If anyone claiming to be a bonafide therapist is intent on getting you to handle your divorce his or her way—actually telling you what you must do—slide off their sofa immediately and gracefully excuse yourself.

The "Zealot"

This type of therapist can be almost over-zealous about his or her belief systems. No matter your psychological makeup, they seem to rally round a one-size-fits-all approach: theirs! These extremists often cause more harm than good. Do not jump into therapy with both feet with a Zealot, until or unless you are sure this individual lets you hold the reins.

The "Manipulator"

This type may not outwardly express opinions on how you should run your life, but they will hint at what they want you to do as you handle your divorce affairs. They may instigate more controversy in your already contentious situation with your ex or others in your extended circle (the kids, in-laws, business associates, etc.) by openly instructing you on how to confront those who are aggravating factors in your divorce. Your therapist should be helping you find ways to create peace and balance, not more grief and discord!

The "Guide"

This guide neither judges nor nudges, but rather assists you in productive ways to keep you on the right path. The Guide can be subtle and understated in pointing you in the right direction, or quietly and diplomatically persuasive in getting you to see the light. The Guide’s main mission is to help enlighten you.

The "Facilitator"

This variety is possibly the best, for he or she has a constructive way of moving you forward on your own terms. These types are determined to get their charges to think through choices, rather than make them based on feelings. The Facilitator always approaches a patient with long-term goals in mind. Facilitators often join with the others in the patient circle (the attorney, social worker, mediator, etc.) to aid them in setting a course that will bring peace and harmony, both in the short term and the long term.

Now that you have had a glimpse of the attorney categories in a broad sense (and sometimes they overlap), see if you can identify into which category (or categories) your attorney falls. Know there is no right or wrong type in general, only a right or wrong type for you.

Stacy D. Phillips' book may be purchased through, Barnes & and in all major bookstores throughout the country. Visit her website: for more information.

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April 18, 2007
Categories:  Coping with Divorce

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