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Opinions of Friday, 10 February 2017

Columnist: Lydia Forson

Lydia Forson writes: When the Counselor needs counselling

Counselor George Lutterodt Counselor George Lutterodt

By Lydia Forson

I came to accept a long time ago that for many men in Ghana especially, the value of a woman is dependent on whether or not she’s married and has children.

All her achievements automatically mean nothing if she hasn’t met any of the above requirements.

You can take care of 100 orphans and it will mean nothing if you don’t have children of your own.

You can be married to an abusive husband, and your worth will still be more than a successful woman without one.

Oh but it doesn’t end there, after you’ve finally caved to the pressures of society you have to hope agree with who you want to marry, or it’s back to the pool of the “unworthy”.

And people like Counselor George Lutterodt only reinforces these stereotypes.

And because of his like, many young girls will feel unfulfilled, undesirable and worthless if they haven’t found a man to share their life with.

But let’s be clear, marriage can be a beautiful thing if it’s with the right person, and marriage isn’t forEVERYONE either, which should be ok.

We all have a journey in life, and when you try to force something that isn’t part of your journey, you’re only causing yourself unnecessary headache.

Also there are many things in life that are predictable, relationships are not one of them, what works for A may not necessarily work for B.

Because there are countless people out there who against all odds and predictive behaviour have stayed together in what many have deemed to be an unconventional relationship.

And that’s why no one has the right to force you into a decision about your life; friends, family and even counselors should only serve as directional signs. They can point you in a direction they believe is best for you, but the journey is eventually yours.

Which brings me to the case of Counselor George Lutterodt, a self styled Ghanaian version of Dr.Phil, an American psychologist and television host who is largely known to “tell it like it is”.

ONLY Dr.Phil is a qualified psychologist and because of this, belongs to an association that call easily call him to order if he crosses the line.

Now I don’t know much about Counselor George Lutterodt’s background or qualification, but I do know that if he were a trained professional he would understand the human psychology and the impact of his words and how demoralizing and damaging they can be.

What counselor would use words that can send people into depression, or cause others to possibly harm to themselves and even have to shame them to make a point ? Which is what how careless he is with his utterances.

And that’s why I strongly believe he’s not an authority on counseling but a self titled one, who has been given airtime to further misinform people.

Now before I wrote this article I consulted my father Very. Rev. Dr. M.K Forson ( yes I put the whole title there for emphasis) who is a qualified counselor and even trains many people and church leaders.

I needed to understand what goes into counseling, especially for reverends because from what I know it’s even taught as a course in pastoral training and so depending on where you got your “Reverend” title from, you should have a qualification in this.

But hey, it’s Ghana right? All you have to do is slap on a title and you’re automatically certified. Wasn’t a fake Nobel Prize Laureate given a platform on one of our station?

Now, I’ve met the Counsellor on several occasions, and even served on the same panel with him a few times.

And to be fair, even though I’ve found a lot of what he says outrageous, on the rare occasion I have also agreed with him.

It’s his outlandish delivery that is off putting; he attempts to be “brutally honest” but instead uses this as an excuse to be offensive which transcends tobullying.

A lot of times he just states opinions for shock value.

And he finally reached his peak a few days ago, when in a video posted on Social Media, he had a go at an actress engaged to popular actor Kofi Adjorlolo, several years her senior.

I wondered why she subjected herself to such humiliation, but it felt like an ambushed of some sort and people in the studio did very little to stop him.

He sugguested that she was too young for him and verbally assaulted her by going as far as saying ” she wanted to kill Kofi Adjorlolo” which finally brought tears to her eyes.

Oh but he didn’t end it there,he was just getting fired up, thanks to his cheerleaders.

He went on to make unsavoury comments about the marital status of Nana Aba Anamoah and Joselyn Dumas who I know for a FACT he only knows through the media; he sugguested that they were desperate for men and would probably never marry because they had passed the “bench mark.” of what he calls ” ma fa no saa”.( I’ve accepted my fate)

Some may argue he was only joking, but it’s just another flimsily excuse for him to be unnecessarily disrespectful.

The women he mentioned each have a story he doesn’t know about, one that may be a far cry from the assumptions he and the public have made.

And through his statement his ignorance was further exposed.

The truth is the Counselor is drunk on the “fame”koolaid and he’s falling for the cheerleaders who urge him on and encourage this foolishness for their ownamusement.

Because what he doesn’t know is that he’s a pawn in thier game for ratings; they know exactly what they’re doing when they give him a chair, a microphone and record the things he has to say.

They know what they’re doing when they put it up on social media for likes and comments.

It’s just a way to get the numbers up, have viewers tuned in and eventually capitalize on it to make profit.
He’s been conned into believing the hype that he has “wise” counsel, when he’s there ONLY as a gimmick.

And in some cases he’s used by these cheerleaders to push a vindictive agenda, judging by how they kept dropping names of personalities for him to give his opinion on.

Because a lot of these people are unhappy in their lives (don’t worry we know) and ONLY unhappy people are so focused on other people’s lives and upset over how they live; especially if it’s freely.

They can’t go home from work, show their partner off, travel on vacations,kiss your wife/husband in public because their whole life is one unhappy sham, that they have to drag everyone down with them.

So your anger should really be directed towards these kinds of people and even media houses that contributed to the nuisance he’s become today.

Those who were willing to give an unqualified person a platform even against public outcry and warnings from the Ghana Psychological Counsel. read here

See, it would be ok if he were just there serving an opinion like the rest of us,because again there are some days that I actually do agree with the points that he makes.

He could be the Steve Harvey of relationships and we wouldn’t care too much, after all anyone can give relationship advise; but by acknowledging him as a qualified “counselor” they’re indirectly putting a stamp on everything he says.

Because of this he’s grown a following of people who’re hooked on his every word, and some may probably attack me for this post.

And this is where it gets dangerous, because at some point, and it’s coming very soon; he’s going to influence someone to do the unthinkable.

And there will be damaging effects of that to him and those who gave him a platform.

Until then, it’s all fun and games as you sit back, share videos and laugh with their friends.

But when the day of reckoning comes, they will start to panic, dissociate themselves, feign disbelief and ” drop him like it’s hot”.

ONLY, it will be too late because even though he will be left wandering, your credibility as a station, radio etc will still remain questionable.

As for the counselor he’s just feeding his fame addiction; because trust me there’s nothing more thrilling than walking around and having people point at you in excitement.

And if you’re someone who’s gone through lifeunnoticed for so long you can easily become a junkieto this kind of attention.

And this is a very expensive addiction to sustain; and when you become desperate you’ll start to do anything for likes, comments and followers which feed your addiction.

That’s why you get people like Counselor George presenting sometimes salient points in the most distasteful manner just to get a rise out of people.

He’s gone from advising to now imposing his opinionas the gospel truth, and is even now more offensive, disrespectful and in some cases verbally abusive.

Like I said the fame addiction can make you lose your mind, and he’s slowly becoming like the many self proclaimed prophets on our screens who have to scream and shout to be heard.

By launching attacks on innocent personalities who haven’t asked for his advise in the first place, he’s only proving how far he’s willing to go to be heard.

So before you launch a series of attacks on him, understand his addiction and drug dealers in the name of media house who continue to feed it by encouraging his utterances.

If he has any sense of decency left he will render an unqualified apology to these woman he attacked for sport.

But in reality, when is the last time any man apologized for verbally assualting a woman.