Dear Dr. Romance:

I have a family member with two failed marriages, after she asked for my advice I suggested a spousal abuse counselor for therapy. She didn't receive counseling and went on to a second failed marriage. This time even worse than the first. She doesn't understand the reasoning for counseling. She is under the advice of a friend who said you just pick up the pieces and move on. With the second marriage not only beatings but terrible financial problems and two children to boot. We talked again about seeing a counselor this time she found a friend who's mother counseled children on proper manners in school. I was kinder hoping you could shed some light on what the need for counseling is all about and why it's necessary. thank you

Dear Reader:

I'd be happy to shed light. Counselors do several things. They help clients heal emotional wounds left over from the past, and help them reconfigure patterns that may result from those same past experiences, which lead them to repeat the same errors. In addition, counselors are life coaches, who help people think through their decisions and help them make better choices in their daily lives. Counselors also help guide people through grief and loss, and overcome guilt and hurt feelings.

 "Guidelines for finding and using therapy wisely"; "Ten Things People Don't Understand About Counseling" "Family Violence Q & A"  and "How to keep yourself out of a violent relationship" will all help your friend understand the need for counseling, and "Friends in Need: Interventions for Domestic Violence" will help you understand how best to help her.

It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction will help your friend understand the early roots of her relationship problems.

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 For low-cost counseling, email me at

Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.

Dr. Tessina, is CRO (Chief Romance Officer) for, a website designed to strengthen relationships and guide couples through the various stages of their relationship with personalized tips, courses, and online couples counseling. Online, she’s known as “Dr. Romance” Dr. Tessina appears frequently on radio, and such TV shows as “Oprah”, “Larry King Live” and ABC News.