The Archers – The Helen Archer And Rob Titchener Saga Part 1

The Archers – The Helen Archer And Rob Titchener Saga Part 1

by Dr Emma Gray - 18th April, 2016

The-archers-thumbnail updatedThe Archers – The Helen Archer and Rob Titchener Saga Part 1

For the uninitiated, Helen Archer, is the daughter of Pat and Tony Archer and the character in the Archers with ‘mental health’ problems. She is currently in police custody after stabbing her boyfriend Rob Titchener. Helen has, in the past, suffered from an eating disorder. More recently the programme has followed the development of her relationship with Rob Titchener. To everyone outside of their relationship and to Helen initially, Rob presented himself as charming, strong and capable and probably most importantly, incredibly understanding and sympathetic of Helen’s past problems. However, over the course of the last few months we have seen another side to Rob Titchener’s character.

As his relationship with Helen has developed he has shown himself to be controlling, critical and abusive. He began by putting her in situations in which he knew she would fail and then criticised her for it. As their relationship developed and his position in her affections became more secure he moved on to criticising her appearance (despite being aware and apparently being sympathetic of her eating disorder), controlling what she wears and restricting her money. He then quietly took over the running of the family’s farm shop which Helen had previously managed successfully and made her stay at home. More recently he has become physically and sexually violent grabbing her and bruising her wrists, raping her and then getting her drunk in order to get her pregnant.
There are many questions that are being asked about why this has happened and why no one has done anything to stop it. In this series of blogs, I will look at some of these questions

Why is Helen Archer with a man like Rob Titchener?

Helen Archer’s eating disorder indicates that she has extremely low self-esteem and her choice of Rob as a partner supports this. People who believe that they lack value will expect to be treated poorly and will perceive this tendency in potential partners, even before it is demonstrated and be attracted to them. It will feel more ‘right’ for them to be with a partner that mistreats them than someone who treats them well. Helen Archer is with Rob Titchener because she believes deep down that she is worthless and deserves to be treated badly. It is likely that she wouldn’t have been attracted to a man who would treat her well and would have instead found him boring and possibly a bit creepy.



Dr Emma Gray

Dr Emma Gray

I am often the first person with whom my patients share significant and intimate thoughts and memories; I never take that privileged position for granted nor the opportunity to help someone to feel better about themselves and discover a more fulfilling life. One of my colleague once described me as natural psychologist; I guess she was alluding to the fact that I feel at ease being a therapist, I can empathise with people’s distress and discomfort but don’t feel overwhelmed by it, I can understand their problem and know how to help, it has always just felt like what I should be doing.


Read more about my approach to counselling here...


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  • Jill Haldenby-Cooper 14/06/2016 Reply

    Helen and Rob are married–he arrange this while they were away on holiday–another example of his control

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