Wednesday May 11, 2022
Following a statement made by Johnny Depp-Amber Heard’s former marriage counsellor that the couple was engaged in “mutual abusive relationship”, a few marriage therapists disagreed and stated that mutually abusive relationships “do not exist”.
Last month, in one of the public hearings for the defamation trial, Dr Laurel Anderson, a clinical psychologist and former therapist of both Heard as well as Depp, informed judges that during one of her counselling sessions, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor confided, “Amber gave as good as she got", which Anderson took that to mean that Heard “would fight as hard as he did”.
Interestingly, Anderson said to the court that she saw this as “mutual abuse” in Heard and Depp’s case.
According to an article published in Insider, a group of therapists disapproved this idea of “mutual abuse”, which they believed that “this sort of dynamic doesn’t exist as it ignores inherent power dynamic in abusive relationships”.
Lori Beth Bisbey, a psychologist and intimacy coach for 30 years, explained, “An abusive relationship requires one person to take control of the other. A relationship can be toxic on both sides, neither person is supportive of the other, they both sham each other. But abusive relationships are unidirectional.”
If two people are engaged in abusive relationship and exhibit toxic patterns, that doesn’t mean there is “mutual abuse”, said the president and CEO of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Ruth Glenn.
Glenn viewed that if someone reacts – physically or violently – to abuse, they are trying to “defend and not being an abuser in return”.
“Self-defense happens in the actual moment of being on the receiving end of violence or operating under the belief that violence is imminent,” told a clinical social worker and host Darcy Sterling to the publication.