Q:  “I remain mystified why Helen has STILL not told her lawyer she confided in Rob’s first wife Jess on his abuse” – 

A: The first thing to keep in mind is that for maximum dramatic impact some aspects of this plot line will not necessarily reflect what would happen in real life. However, one explanation for Helen not giving her lawyer information that could potentially help her case is that she is not thinking in a clear and rationale way, a way that would allow her to pick through what she knows and decide what is important for others to know and what is not important. Helen will be feeling incredibly threatened and as a result very anxious and high levels of anxiety impairs our ability to think clearly. It leaves us feeling confused, overwhelmed and often quite disconnected from what is happening to us.

For Helen this high anxiety is in the context of a poor view of herself (those who are abused and suffer(ed) from eating disorders rarely have strong and positive self-esteem) which will influence the way that her minds filters information, she will tend to dismiss anything that doesn’t fit with the idea that she in some way is responsible for what has happened. Helen has also just had a baby and is in prison away from her usual support network such as family and friends, which is so important for a new mother.

This will have been very unsettling for her (to say the very least) and this, along with the physical and emotional challenges of having a new born baby will impact on her ability to think about her situation with any clarity.

If you have any questions that are related to any of our other articles about “The Archers” or any other story lines from a Psychological point of view then I will do my best to answer them.

Please leave questions in the “Comments” box below.

Many Thanks

Dr Gray

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