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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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My wife has a friend that is trying to help her using the 12 step progam from AA. She nev

Resolved Question:

My wife has a friend that is trying to help her using the 12 step progam from AA. She never drinks and I was wondering if this is a correct way of helping someone. He also has a great interest in her other than just helping her. Its ruining our marriage.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 5 years ago.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

This is almost surely a 'cover' he is using to eventually act out his romantic intentions toward your wife. The idea that 12 step programs can help all manner of problems is ridiculous. It doesn't help anxiety disorders, depression, etc., but can be useful for impulse control and addiction problems. And instead of having a friend help the person 'do AA' stuff, it is simply best for the person to GO TO AA, or join an adult therapy group. Your wife KNOWS what is going on here, and that there is mutual attraction and interest.

I would tell your wife that you want this guy out of your marriage and if she refuses, then this is really quite a signal that there more serious problems facing your relationship than you perhaps realized. You should then INSIST on marital therapy, with a completely neutral party. Also, you can contact your state board of occupational and professional licensing and inform them that this guy is practicing individual counseling, based on AA model----so this means he is doing mental health counseling or practicing psychology without a license. Tell your wife you intend to report him to the state ON MONDAY. If he is investigated and found guilty of breaking state licensing laws, this could lead to fines and a criminal record. So I would threaten to do this if she doesn't withdraw from this therapy relationship and go into therapy with YOU, with a completely neutral therapist, or see a clinical psychologist on her own who had a Ph.D..D. Such as person knows far more about therapy than he does. This guy has probably gone through an addictions program himself and is now a self-ordained expert. But one thing a truly competent therapist would NEVER do would be to encourage a client to continue seeing them if the contacts were causing conflicts in the marriage, or if the partner wasn't ALSO invited to therapy session. THEY WOULD REFER THE PATIENT TO ANOTHER THERAPIST.

I think you have more serious problems in your marriage , and that this issue is a symptom.

What do you think.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you. This is what I have thought for a long time. There is no money exchanged just friendship as I was told. He gives her books to read of his choice including the big blue AA book. She has gone to AA meetings with him a couple times. I never understood how this could help someone who isn't an alcoholic and yes he has gone through an addiction program.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 5 years ago.
Doesn't matter if money exchanges hands or not. If he is seeing your wife one-on-one with the professed notion of 'helping her' and is supposedly using 12 step methods, he is conducting mental health counseling without a license. IF HE IS NOT seeing her for counseling, then he should have no problem involving both you and your wife in ALL social meetings together, right? I am 100% sure this would not appeal to him in the least.

Good luck with this. Feel free to show these posts to your wife if you wish and to this guy. Were he doing this in my state and I knew about it, I'd have the licensing authorities all over him immediately. This is all game the two of them are playing to cover what is essentially a mutually-gratifying, social-emotional relationship. Again, if HE WAS NOT GETTING A TON OUT OF THIS RELATIONSHIP for personal, emotional reasons, he would not be doing this but would be referring her to a real professional, someone who has spent 10 years in university seeing hundreds of patients, under professional supervision, in a clinical or counseling psychology Ph.D. program. If he wanted only be 'friends', he would respect your marital relationship and involve you in all contacts, never wishing to undermine your marriage in any way.

Let me know if I can be of further help. Please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen. Thanks.
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