“Do you feel safe at home, Mrs. Smith?” I mentally probed her.
She replied “sure” while avoiding eye contact by looking around my office. I sensed fear building up in her mind.
“Why do you ask if she feels safe?” Her husband said, in a raised voice.
I probed her husband and found anger mixed with some fear.
“It’s something I ask during these sessions,” I said, as I looked at her. I didn’t see signs of abuse on her face and arms. Perhaps she was hiding some bruises elsewhere on her body.
“How about you, Mr. Smith?” I said. “Do you feel safe at home?”
He looked at her.
“Be honest, I’m only trying to help.”
“Fine,” he said, “I feel safer at home than I do here.”
I sensed his anger rising along with her increasing fear. They were definitely hiding an abusive relationship.
“So why don’t you feel safe in my office?” I said.
He stood up. “Let’s go honey before I punch this peeping Tom in the nose.”
“Excuse me?” I decided to address it head-on. “Mr. Smith, if your wife feels she’s not safe, you should face up to your anger, for her sake.”
They both looked puzzled.
“What are talking about? I’ve never hit her once in my life.”
“I never said ‘hit’, but you do seem to be an angry person, and she does seem to be scared.”
“That’s because of you.” He said.
“You’re not the only person who can probe minds, and we don’t like you probing ours. You’re pissing me off and scaring my wife.”
She nodded in agreement.