Counselors Ethics Question? - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Counselors Ethics Question?

Something just hit me out of the blue yesterday: I would appreciate input about similar experiences from most anyone, and from anyone in the MC community, in particular.

During my early marriage to STBXW, she had me go to numerous sessions of MC, both with her and alone. The counselor that we were seeing was also her IC from quite a few years back and they always seemed to have a pretty good personal relationship, at least from my perspective. STBXW and I both tendered payment to this counselor whenever we went in, either as a pair, or individually.

Let's jump ahead. If you have taken the time to read my primary thread, STBXW announced in March, 2011, that I was to leave our well-to-do home and lifestyle in coincidence with my youngest son getting out of high school. Thinking it was a legitmate attempt at creating space for a latter reconciliation, I agreed. I also had quit going to counselling with her at the time of her request.

Flash forward, separation is still upon us some 18 months later with me living with sons in a neighboring city in another county some 25 miles from her. In November, 2011, STBXW files for D.
Then in February, 2012, she calls me making me think that R might be on the table~ ii wasn't.

My attorney recommends doing a check of STBXW's joint cell-phone records where we discover not only one affair, but two; all going on while I was both living in the home with her and separated.

Question: If STBXW, in any way, told our MC about any of this unilateral infidelity on her part, at any time of our sessions with them, then since this MC was working with both of us greatly under the guise of of keeping our marriage solvent(or so I had thought), shouldn't this marriage counselor, in some respect, have offered up any such confession to me, knowing that the resulting information would be more than detrimental to the livlihood of our marriage?

It's apparent that this counselor was an IC to my STBXW first, even before I ever entered the picture as her husband; then suddenly for 5 years, had fastly represented themselves as a willing MC to us both in both scheduled and unscheduled sessions.

To that end, and as a part of the MC process, wouldn't this counselor have had an ethical duty to report any confession of a sordid nature by the wayward spouse, to the betrayed spouse?

If so, wouldn't this be indicative of a gross violation of professional counseling ethics?

But if not, then at what point in time would a licensed counselor be able to arbitrarily go from being an IC to an MC, and vice-versa, without the proper notification of either party?



"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

Last edited by arbitrator; 11-29-2012 at 09:27 AM.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 09:56 AM
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Re: Counselors Ethics Question?

I'm no expert but I don't think ethically she can tell you what your wife said in counseling not unless she agreed to it. Doesn't matter whether it's called IC or MC she can't tell you what your wife said in private.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 01:33 PM
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Re: Counselors Ethics Question?

I'm not an expert either, but here is my two cents.

If the counselor couldn't share due to privacy reasons, I would think she would (should) remove herself form the MC and suggest you all see someone else if your wife doesn't want to come clean with her affairs. With the counselor knowing this (assuming your wife told her), I can't see how she could ethically counsel the two of you as a couple.

I know when my wife and I first started seeing our MC, he told us up front how he does things, and asked if we had any issues with him sharing anything that was brought in individual sessions with him. We both agreed that it was fine and we had no issues with that. I only think he shares if something was brought up that could help us out in the joint sessions or the others individual sessions.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Counselors Ethics Question?

My biggest premonition is that STBXW may have(and well may not have) brought up the subject with this lady counselor.

In any event, I plan on making full disclosure of the evidence of STBXW's rampant number of phone calls/texts to/from the other men, to her family, as well as to this MC, once the gavel on the divorce finally falls.

Which should also give me some added satisfaction of showing that not only she was a cheater, but a liar about it as well! Not only to her family and friends, but to the MC as well~ greatly provided that the MC would even remotely give a damn!

"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 #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 07:17 PM
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Re: Counselors Ethics Question?

Quote:
Originally Posted by arbitrator View Post
Something just hit me out of the blue yesterday: I would appreciate input about similar experiences from most anyone, and from anyone in the MC community, in particular.

During my early marriage to STBXW, she had me go to numerous sessions of MC, both with her and alone. The counselor that we were seeing was also her IC from quite a few years back and they always seemed to have a pretty good personal relationship, at least from my perspective. STBXW and I both tendered payment to this counselor whenever we went in, either as a pair, or individually.

Let's jump ahead. If you have taken the time to read my primary thread, STBXW announced in March, 2011, that I was to leave our well-to-do home and lifestyle in coincidence with my youngest son getting out of high school. Thinking it was a legitmate attempt at creating space for a latter reconciliation, I agreed. I also had quit going to counselling with her at the time of her request.

Flash forward, separation is still upon us some 18 months later with me living with sons in a neighboring city in another county some 25 miles from her. In November, 2011, STBXW files for D.
Then in February, 2012, she calls me making me think that R might be on the table~ ii wasn't.

My attorney recommends doing a check of STBXW's joint cell-phone records where we discover not only one affair, but two; all going on while I was both living in the home with her and separated.

Question: If STBXW, in any way, told our MC about any of this unilateral infidelity on her part, at any time of our sessions with them, then since this MC was working with both of us greatly under the guise of of keeping our marriage solvent(or so I had thought), shouldn't this marriage counselor, in some respect, have offered up any such confession to me, knowing that the resulting information would be more than detrimental to the livlihood of our marriage?

It's apparent that this counselor was an IC to my STBXW first, even before I ever entered the picture as her husband; then suddenly for 5 years, had fastly represented themselves as a willing MC to us both in both scheduled and unscheduled sessions.

To that end, and as a part of the MC process, wouldn't this counselor have had an ethical duty to report any confession of a sordid nature by the wayward spouse, to the betrayed spouse?

If so, wouldn't this be indicative of a gross violation of professional counseling ethics?

But if not, then at what point in time would a licensed counselor be able to arbitrarily go from being an IC to an MC, and vice-versa, without the proper notification of either party?
I'm a counselor, and no, the IC is not allowed to divulge this information without your wife's consent on paper. The only time the IC can divulge any personal info is when the person is at risk at harming themselves.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 07:24 PM
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Re: Counselors Ethics Question?

Your W may not have shared any of this w/ the MC.

"It's only kinky the first time"

"My wife said she wants to shoot my azz"..."You are a worthy target" replied my friend.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 07:04 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Counselors Ethics Question?

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I'm a counselor, and no, the IC is not allowed to divulge this information without your wife's consent on paper. The only time the IC can divulge any personal info is when the person is at risk at harming themselves.
So basically what you are saying is that, given that my STBXW did, in some individual session with this MC (when I was not present with her), actually confessed to either of her trysts; more especially while they were going on while we were still actually cohabitating under the same roof, then the MC has no obligation to tell me either in her presence if we are together in session, or alone if I am the sole participant~ greatly keeping in mind that the MC's represented objective was to try to save the marriage.

How then could the MC even look me in the eye, knowing of the STBXW's confessed infidelity and knowing that my presence there was to help save the relationship. What would be the inherent benefit in all of this mess, particularly for me?

In essence, does this MC have any type of duty or obligation toward me as one of the patients/clients involved in seeking out their help and assistance in resolving the stated objective of marital harmony?

In this situation, what would be the MC's specific duties to me as a betrayed spouse in this situation, keeping in mind that I paid this person with my own money and was there for what I believed to be joint mutual counseling to help save the marriage?.

Just playing devil's advocate here, but exactly how then, would the MC's harboring of such information as that, be representative of trying to save or better a marriage when their stated objective is supposed to be in working for the interests of the married couple?

Is it even remotely possible that I was only brought in to these sessions as perhaps some form of an "exit strategy" from the marriage by the STBXW?

And is it possible that this "MC" could have wantonly misrepresented herself as our MC, while continuing to clandestinely serve strictly as my STBXW's "IC?"

Truth be known, I honestly do not feel that my STBXW actually disclosed anything about her sordid dual affairs to the MC. But what if?

In essence, I'm just trying to cover all of the bases here!

"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

Last edited by arbitrator; 12-01-2012 at 08:21 AM.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
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So basically what you are saying is that, given that my STBXW did, in some individual session with this MC (when I was not present with her), actually confessed to either of her trysts; more especially while they were going on while we were still actually cohabitating under the same roof, then the MC has no obligation to tell me either in her presence if we are together in session, or alone if I am the sole participant~ greatly keeping in mind that the MC's represented objective was to try to save the marriage.

How then could the MC even look me in the eye, knowing of the STBXW's confessed infidelity and knowing that my presence there was to help save the relationship. What would be the inherent benefit in all of this mess, particularly for me?

In essence, does this MC have any type of duty or obligation toward me as one of the patients/clients involved in seeking out their help and assistance in resolving the stated objective of marital harmony?

In this situation, what would be the MC's specific duties to me as a betrayed spouse in this situation, keeping in mind that I paid this person with my own money and was there for what I believed to be joint mutual counseling to help save the marriage?.

Just playing devil's advocate here, but exactly how then, would the MC's harboring of such information as that, be representative of trying to save or better a marriage when their stated objective is supposed to be in working for the interests of the married couple?

Is it even remotely possible that I was only brought in to these sessions as perhaps some form of an "exit strategy" from the marriage by the STBXW?

And is it possible that this "MC" could have wantonly misrepresented herself as our MC, while continuing to clandestinely serve strictly as my STBXW's "IC?"

Truth be known, I honestly do not feel that my STBXW actually disclosed anything about her sordid dual affairs to the MC. But what if?

In essence, I'm just trying to cover all of the bases here!
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 10:12 AM
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I think you'll just have to assume yr W didn't tell the whole story to the MC.

If W did fully disclose, I've got to think the MC would've at least referred YOU to another IC.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Counselors Ethics Question?

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I think you'll just have to assume yr W didn't tell the whole story to the MC.

If W did fully disclose, I've got to think the MC would've at least referred YOU to another IC.
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And your answer makes total sense!

Now my question is when the D is finalized and I go ahead with my plan and make full disclosure with STBXW's cell-phone records to her family, mutual friends, and also to the MC; what would you then expect the reaction of the MC to be?


"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 #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 10:43 AM
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And your answer makes total sense!

Now my question is when the D is finalized and I go ahead with my plan and make full disclosure with STBXW's cell-phone records to her family, mutual friends, and also to the MC; what would you then expect the reaction of the MC to be?
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 10:49 AM
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Re: Counselors Ethics Question?

Not being argumentative, but why would you want to reveal all this info AFTER the D?
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Counselors Ethics Question?

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Not being argumentative, but why would you want to reveal all this info AFTER the D?
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Primarily because of the many lies that she has told her family about our breakup, making me out to be the bad guy; all while she was busy being engaged in two separate out-of-town affairs with OM from her past even while we were living together under the same roof.

Releasing this info pre-divorce would possibly alter our divorce strategy. Going post-divorce is a better option.

You'd really be best served if you read my main thread(very lengthy) to even begin to get the gist of it!

"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 #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 02:20 PM
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Re: Counselors Ethics Question?

arbitrator: I read your initial post and fast forwarded to the end of the thread.

I don't know what was revealed in the thread, but apparently, your W has been carrying on concurrent A's both during and before your separation.

That being said, I can see your reason for using the derogatory info on her if needed to strengthen your bargaining position in the D proceedings, but can see it showing no purpose afterward.

IMO, her family probably already knows she's a fruitcake and wonder why you married her or they think she's the best thing since sliced bread - either way, the info you have will likely not interest them in the least.

I don't think throwing it all on your kids to make you feel better is justified.

Now...if your kids ask about it - then give them all the info they want.

"It's only kinky the first time"

"My wife said she wants to shoot my azz"..."You are a worthy target" replied my friend.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 02:40 PM
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Re: Counselors Ethics Question?

I thought my doctor told me it took an Order of Court for him to be able to speak to anyone.

Oh, I almost forgot. There is a form she can sign to allow you to speak with the counselor about her. I doubt that happened, but you can check. Might be tough to check now. Anything you do will be presented to her and/or her attorney.
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