Post your experiences with professional counseling - Page 2 - Talk About Marriage
Experiences in Counseling Have you been through professional marriage or relationship counseling? Are you considering it? This section is for topics related to seeing a therapist.

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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-21-2011, 10:40 PM
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Re: Post your experiences with professional counseling

It was the best thing we ever did for our relationship. We went originally because of some issues we were having with our teenage children, but it ended up helping our relationship greatly. The best part was taking the Myers/Briggs test. Turns out that we are opposite in 3 out of 4 areas. I am INFP and she is ISTJ (google it if you want to know more). It helped us to realize that the majority of disagreements in marriage are differences of opinion not issues of right and wrong.


The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality—the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to "stand up for your rights." Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out. 1 Corinthians 7:2 (The Message)
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 03:30 AM
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Re: Post your experiences with professional counseling

I have already posted a bit about my experiences on another thread. I have been to three marriage counsellors all women in my time. Only one was any good.
Their training may be ok for most people but for instance with me a different kind of solution was called for.
They believe their main job is to reconcile the couple and get them talking. They are not prepared to offer judgement saying you have to work things out for yourself. If sex is a problem they seem to thing that that is the last problem to sort out and all others come first. As though once all others are the penny drop and the sex will also fall into place. Not all men and woman will listen to reason. Some have the most stupid complaints which they never seem to forget. As though every person has to an angel.
Their saying is there is no right and wrong in marriage.
In my case all this didnt work. The only good counsellor was the one who saw through my wife. She was very rough and fierce and told my wife in no uncertain terms (not in front of me) what she thought. She came out crying afterwards. As I wrote elsewhere my lifelone regret is that I couldnt stay with that counsellor.
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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 02:26 PM
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Re: Post your experiences with professional counseling

I had a horrible experience in counceling! My wife had an ongoing PA with my best friend (or so I thought). I caught them on a cruise together. We went to therapy and I was told I had to take some blame and ownership. We also came up with the great idea that my wife must have been manipulated by this man (blame shifting), and then I was told if we want to stay married I needed to put this behind me and make a decision to move forward because every time I brought it up it was like sticking the knife in deeper and twisting it, killing her self esteem. (rug sweeping). Now 11 years later it has all resurfaced due to other issues and it is like it just happened yesterday! Even though we have shared a lot of good times, I never dealt with the pain or anger....I have had too many triggers (including my own name) and we are heading towards seperation. I am going to therapy on my own, but right now I don't understand how i could have ever let this all go? The betrayal was deep!
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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 03:05 PM
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Re: Post your experiences with professional counseling

my therapy was going nowhere, ic that is, I mean sure. I learned alot about me and how not to be so controlling. Other than my communication skills being for sh*t, not much they can do. Docs had me on all kinds of drugs, was taking 4 different ones daily. My therapist was a *********. He quit the job, never called, sent a letter, nothing. I understand that therapist dont get to personal with patients, but when you expose your deepest insecurities to someone? I just felt like case number 438, he just give my file a glance over 15 min before the session and thats that. I quit taking all of the meds and havent been back in 5 years, f**k that crap. Not trying to tell others here to do the same, just saying for myself, therapy is crap.

The All-Father wove the skein of your life a long time ago. Go and hide in a hole if you wish, but you won't live one instant longer. Your fate is fixed. Fear profits a man nothing.
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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-10-2012, 11:02 AM
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Re: Post your experiences with professional counseling

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ZOMBIE THREAD!!!!!!
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^^^^What did you mean by Zombie thread???
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post #21 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 08:38 AM
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Re: Post your experiences with professional counseling

Just like any profession...there are good ones/bad ones and quacks! I am a counselor and I have attended counseling-yes even had a few quacks!

My recommendation is to get a recommentation (from a friend/family member) and try it out for about 3 sessions. If you don't feel movement or feel something is off-you can cut it off or present it to the counselor. A counselors role isn't to tell you how to live your life or judge. They shouldn't be sharing their stories/lives unless its beneficial for the client.

Once you find a good therapist, it can open up your perspective and create a new way of living. However, you have to be open to the process.
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post #22 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 02:38 AM
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Re: Post your experiences with professional counseling

'A counselors role isn't to tell you how to live your life or judge'
That I think is what is wrong with counsellors today. Some men and women have to be told!
Hearing it from a counsellor can make all the difference. It may not be ideal but it can work rather than divorce.
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post #23 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 04:20 AM
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Re: Post your experiences with professional counseling

STBXW already had an IC when we met several years ago. This lady also served as our MC. She was pretty decent except for one thing~ if you ever said anything bad about my wealthy STBXW to her, she would turn on you like clabbered milk!

This counselor definitely knew who was richly buttering her bread. Sensing that I wasn't being fairly or totally heard out by her, I just quit going!

"To love another person is to see the face of God!" - Jean Valjean from Les Miserables

My Story! http://talkaboutmarriage.com/going-t...andonment.html
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post #24 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 08:36 AM
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Re: Post your experiences with professional counseling

My wife has fired every counselor, sued one and boxed another.

Is there such thing as insanity among penguins? - Werner Herzog
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post #25 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-28-2013, 12:00 AM
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Re: Post your experiences with professional counseling

We tried marriage counseling, I would agree with other posts regarding trying more than one counselor or therapist. Ours was not the one for us. Who knows, we may try again, but we did not progress at all after our sessions and would leave so mad at each other that it was making things worse. I should add that we are currently separated but have made progress. I do recommend individual counseling if you are considering it. I think all counseling has potential, just wish we wouldn't have stuck it out so long with a poor match for us.

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post #26 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-27-2014, 01:48 PM
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Re: Post your experiences with professional counseling

First marriage: we went to MC for two sessions, then I went to him by myself. At my IC session he told me I should get out. It was the push I needed.

Second marriage: we went to two different MC's that didn't work for us. I was seeing an IC for a few years. My stbxh suggested we go to her for MC and she agreed. We had a few sessions, which I think were really good, but in the end, it didn't save our marriage. Just got us clear that we were not compatible. Which is a successful outcome I think.
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post #27 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-27-2014, 08:43 PM
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Re: Post your experiences with professional counseling

My xw and I went to a marriage counselor (female) We had IC and couples appointments. Counselor wanted to see my x more often than me. She NEVER offered any helpful advice, books to read, things to try....NOTHING. All she ever did was listen, perhaps ask a question or two. When my X suddenly hauled butt the Counselor said, "Well, I didn't see that coming".
It was a waste of money....and when our insurance finally covered most of the sessions which I had already paid for, the x got the check and never shared it with me. I got double screwed on that deal.
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post #28 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-24-2014, 08:44 AM
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Re: Post your experiences with professional counseling

We went to an MC who turned out to be a "life coach". Husband and I knew what was wrong and what we needed to do, she told us that neither of us had to do anything we did not want to do. Then she proceeded to ask each of us questions, soon the focus shifted on my stresses. All she ever did was make me talk. In the end, she suggested I seek therapy for some of the childhood issues I had (emotional abuse many girls in Asian families go through).

After 10 sessions, we got no tools, no books, no exercises, no follow-ups. And the bickering escalated into full blown arguments, withdrawals and now a demand for a divorce by my husband after nearly two decades of marriage. He now thinks that MC will never work, that I would never change.

If I could report her incompetence now (6 years after using her services) to some regulatory board, I would.

I am going through Power of Two Marriage and reading Mort Ferkel which makes SO much more sense! I know behaviors can be changed if you know how. No mind games, no power plays, just basic knowledge of what your actions can do and how to stop and think before you inflict a hurt that you can't take back easily.
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post #29 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-20-2015, 10:39 PM
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Re: Post your experiences with professional counseling

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Originally Posted by Womanofsteel View Post
We tried marriage counseling, I would agree with other posts regarding trying more than one counselor or therapist. Ours was not the one for us. Who knows, we may try again, but we did not progress at all after our sessions and would leave so mad at each other that it was making things worse. I should add that we are currently separated but have made progress. I do recommend individual counseling if you are considering it. I think all counseling has potential, just wish we wouldn't have stuck it out so long with a poor match for us.
This has been my experience also. My wife and I have done several of the most popular "brands" of couples therapy and finding the right match is what ended up saving our marriage I'm convinced.

I also run a large practice that specializes in couples therapy and I literally talk to close to a hundred couples per month seeking professional help. Most people don't ask questions about the kind of help we offer. It's like we're a 9-1-1 service and there's an implicit trust that if we're picking up the phone to answer the call we must be equipped to respond effectively.

By %, most therapists offer couples counseling but also by % couples counseling is taught at very few counseling grad programs. That means the market is saturated with undertrained couples therapists. You MUST ask questions about experience and know what "training" means. Did they read a book about couples therapy? Attend a weekend workshop in 1998? Marriage therapy is the mount everest in our profession...it's not just normal counseling x2. It's a completely different beast.

I wouldn't ask my general practice physician to do heart surgery and you have to also know the right questions to distinguish general practice counselors from couples specialists because for lots of reasons it's not obvious until the wheels are coming off the wagon after the fifth session.
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post #30 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 08:28 PM
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Re: Post your experiences with professional counseling

I started to see a counselor as soon as my wife pulled away from me emotionally and I sensed I was losing her. I would cry in an isolated room in our house, for example. I knew she was pulling away. That's when I first contacted a counselor. She told me the following: "Let my wife be the person she wants to be." In other words, don't argue with her, don't whine and give her the freedom she wants. And so, I followed that advice. My wife continued to pull away from me. I no longer complained. I let her be the person she wanted to be and do the things she wanted to do. When she asked one Christmas for permission to start yoga classes, I said "sure, why not. And you really don't need my permission. If it makes you happy, please do it."

In reality, the yoga sessions allowed her to start having some hot and steamy hidden experiences with the man she was interested in. Her anger at me for giving her permission to do the things she wanted just continued to grow, as did the hostile treatment. She went to counseling with me once, where she announced to the counselor that there was "no one else," and she was "totally committed" to making the marriage work. But both responses were uttered in anger. I could tell. So did the therapist. I stopped seeing the therapist in February of last year. Three months later, my wife owned up to the affair I had long suspected and sliced my heart into tiny ribbons that night. She left the next day, never to return. I moved out of the house we shared three months later.

When my wife left, I texted the counselor to let her know that my wife's statement about "marriage commitment" was a sham, and the affair I had long suspected was true. I started to see her again. I still see her every other week. She helps. She helps a great deal. She doesn't have any magic answers. But she does help. She's helped me see my wife, or ex, for the person she truly is. I couldn't see it at first. Now I can. It was so simple, really. It doesn't mean we will ever reconcile. I've given up hope for that. But it does give me a clearer idea of why my ex did the things that she did. I stopped wondering why. I began to understand. We always want to look at who is at blame for the end of a relationship or marriage. Sometimes, there is no blame. There is no one thing. There is no "several things." It is simply this is the way it was, and this is what happened. No blame -- just answers.

Some people take a lifetime to experience the life-changing events of loss of a spouse, loss of family, loss of homes and job loss. I'm one of those unlucky turds who decided to cram all four experiences into a six month period. Talk about getting hit with a pile of bricks! More like a baby grand piano! Dropped on my head from the height of the International Space Station!

But, bottom line, counseling has worked for me. I'm better today because of the help I received. I still continue to see her too. I think I will keep this activity up for quite some time. There's nothing wrong with seeking help. There is something wrong with needing help, and not seeking it out.
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