You could sympathize with Mr. Wilson when his 45-year-old wife majestically swept into the study a step in front of him and tried—not entirely without success—to sit in the counselor’s chair.
“Good morning,” she boomed. “We can’t imagine why you wanted to talk with us!” Mr. Wilson shook his head helplessly as you returned her greeting.
The Wilsons, who were members of a local church across the state, had just moved into your town and joined your church three months ago. You had received a letter from their previous pastor indicating that he had been counseling them about their marriage. He suggested that you might pick up where he left off. His recommendation had led you to invite them to your study today.
Before ten minutes had passed (in which you explained your purpose and offered to continue the counseling), you had become painfully aware of at least one major problem: Mr. Wilson’s total failure to lead his wife. She consistently took the initiative, occasionally answered questions that were for him, and demonstrated that she was in charge of the marriage.
The Wilsons told the story of a steadily deteriorating marriage that had reached the point where Mr. Wilson was looking for excuses to stay away from home.
Case Study Questions
- Who will be your primary person for discussion in this first session? Why?
- Write out your plans for the next four or five counseling sessions.
- How will you maintain control of the counseling sessions?