Mental health counselling impacting marriages

A woman presented to the clinic with her husband. She had severe depression because of the intensive domestic violence she suffered at the hands of her husband.  Domestic violence is a serious society problem in Afghanistan where it is often quite acceptable for a man to physically harm his wife.  

The wife explained, “In the beginning of our marriage we were very friendly and everything was well. Our problems started when my husband lost his job. He became violent and I think he is suffering from mental problems. I tried talking about this with my mother and sister, but now he has started to complain and hits me if I visit my mother’s house.”

The husband was invited to participate in the counselling sessions and received education about the impact of his violence on his wife and the causes of her depression. He began to understand the importance of talking kindly to his wife and letting her talk to her family.

In the course of the counselling, it also became clear that the husband had mental health difficulties himself. He received treatment from one of the doctors, and after 7 counselling sessions together, the couple have returned to a workable relationship and feel ready to continue their life without further counselling.