Social Work/Helping Profession/Mental Health

“50 Shades” Trilogy from a Helping Professional Perspective

by Victoria Brewster, MSW

“50 Shades of Grey” and the other 2 novels in the series-people are getting caught up in the S & M aspect of it and ignoring the story behind the novel! The part I focused on…….

Little boy born to a prostitute, never knew his father, beaten regularly by his mother’s pimp and at the age of 4 wakes up one morning-mother lying on the floor not moving, no food in the house…. pimp arrives and sees she is dead, leaves the boy, calls the cop and flees.

Little boy, age 4 adopted by wealthy family in Seattle. Horrible nightmares, grows up getting into trouble. One day while doing yard work at one of his mother’s friends house (he is age 15 at this time) mother’s friend initiates a sexual relationship that goes on for 8 years (think Mrs. Robinson in ‘The Graduate’ and escalate it a bit, ok a lot!). S & M relationship born.

Grown-up man ends relationship at age 21 and initiates ‘relationships’ with women who have dark brown hair and are willing to be his submissive (birth mother had dark brown hair) and sign a contract detailing exactly how the Dominant and Submissive relationship will work-this occurs for 7 years and 15 different women until he meets the young woman who becomes his wife. She changed the behavior that had been set in place for 13 years.

She helps him work through his past, his nightmares and gets him to focus on a ‘real’ relationship. His being the Dominant and having women with dark hair be his submissives was a way to get his anger and emotions out re: a love/hate relationship with his birth mother.

Focus on the story within the story and perhaps the question was not inappropriate-all in the wording.

As a woman to be asked if I read, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and what do I think of the story within the story? Is it possible for a child who has lived through horrific events in his young life to get better-puts a different slant on things does it not?

Perhaps the expression, ‘Do not judge a book by its cover’ fits here.

This is what I wrote in the comment section for this blog topic:

Good article-but without reading the 3 books in the series-the full story is not known.

I had a discussion with my sister-in-law today about the 3 book series and the first words out of her mouth were, ‘It’s a love story.” I am glad to know I am not the only one who noticed this, but I took it a step further because I am a helping professional.



5 thoughts on ““50 Shades” Trilogy from a Helping Professional Perspective”

  1. Hi! My name is Jackie and I work for I recently saw that you blogged about 50 Shades of Grey. It happens to be that our next trend is all about 50 Shades of Grey – the trilogy. It’s my job to find some of the best blogs out there talking about this book so we can involve them in our next trend of 50 Shades of Grey. We are only selecting and featuring the top 50 blogs and and products and we selected you. Since you seem to know much about the series, we would love for you to pick any product that you think relates to the book and 1 or 2 sentences explaining why. Your blog will be featured on with your blog name, link and picture to help you bring additional viewers to your blog. The photo will be near the product of your choosing as well as the link to your blog. This is only through November 22 at 14:00.

    Hope to hear from you soon. My e-mail address is
    Have a wonderful day,

  2. Thank you for thinking of me Jackie! I personally feel the 50 Shades Trilogy has not gotten the attention it deserves or the focus it deserves. It is a love story with a helping professional slant to it! People need to see past the S & M aspect of it.
    I would be glad to participate!

    1. I have heard about everywhere…including workmates.But is it worth reading? I am a Social Worker..therapist i the Drug addiction and Rehab field, working in emergency (Hospital in Rio de Janeiro-Brazil).Loved the article.

      1. To me the trilogy combined light reading with a challenging edge to it. If you want to look at this as a learning opportunity into what comes across as a fluff book, but has a deeper meaning than it is worth reading.

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