is this normal counseling? - 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 #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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is this normal counseling?

I am going to marriage counseling with husband. We have been going for awhile. It has helped this relationship;but I have a concern. Is it normal for a counselor to be distracted to where the counselor talks about unrelated topics with one person? My husband likes to get the counselor talking about sports restaurants and other topics for quite a bit of time which gets wasted every session. It seems to me unprofessional and a good counselor would redirect to marriage issues. Husband gets uncomfortable about topics so hes the one who starts the conversations. The counselor has over 20 years counseling. Just wondering what others experience.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 06:48 AM
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Re: is this normal counseling?

Maybe you should just tell them, if they want to talk sports, that's fine. But not on your dime.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 07:17 AM
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Re: is this normal counseling?

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Originally Posted by valueadded View Post
I am going to marriage counseling with husband. We have been going for awhile. It has helped this relationship;but I have a concern. Is it normal for a counselor to be distracted to where the counselor talks about unrelated topics with one person? My husband likes to get the counselor talking about sports restaurants and other topics for quite a bit of time which gets wasted every session. It seems to me unprofessional and a good counselor would redirect to marriage issues. Husband gets uncomfortable about topics so hes the one who starts the conversations. The counselor has over 20 years counseling. Just wondering what others experience.
My ex-H used to walk out of the room during any counseling.
It could be that the counselor is sensitive enough to talk sports with your H in order to give him the temporary escape he needs to feel safe having during such difficult conversations. Your H is likely to remember these conversations, as he is engaged in them, and therefore also more likely to remember other information the counselor gives him, once the channels of communication have been totally opened. Talking sports with someone who might be reluctant to counseling is akin to pouring a whole container of drano down a clogged pipe. I'd give it some time. If sports is what opens up your H, and you also want to have that kind of repertoire, you might want to develop an interest in them as well, enough to watch a few games. I know this is difficult to hear. But you can't establish good channels of communication without a topic someone can be truly interested in.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 01:56 PM
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Re: is this normal counseling?

GREAT point, HNU, that would never have occurred to me! Thanks!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 02:03 PM
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Re: is this normal counseling?

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GREAT point, HNU, that would never have occurred to me! Thanks!
LOL, I'm currently working on a psych/linguistics/clinical notes project. No problem!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 02:07 PM
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Re: is this normal counseling?

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GREAT point, HNU, that would never have occurred to me! Thanks!
But the OP says they've been going a while and its eating up quite a bit of time. At this point they should be getting down to business or at least the chit chat should be slowing down.

I've seen 6 therapists over the years and NONE of them did this.

What I'd probably do is ask the therapist directly what's going on IN PRIVATE to see what they said. I'd want to know the timeline of how long I'm going to pay for us to discuss sports and restaurants.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 09:15 AM
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Re: is this normal counseling?

I agree with Mavash. The counselor may be using this as a way to engage him, but then the counselor should be able to use that to redirect the conversation back to the issue. You have every right to ask the counselor how talking about sports will help or what the goal is, but yes, in private. After all, it's your dime.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Re: is this normal counseling?

I did ask the counselor in private its because my husband is an alcoholic that is in denial. He wants to run out of room when things get intense so counselor is trying to get his trust plus ease into each topic. I think after this long counselor is thinking its not going to work. Addiction is difficult in a marriage.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: is this normal counseling?

We had a session last week and counselor said that he couldn't help us. Just said good luck. Haven't made a lot of progress for awhile but a lot first year. Just wondering if anyone has experienced this or heard of it. Both myself and husband attended every session. Very disappointing to be cut loose when we need help.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-22-2014, 05:11 PM
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Re: is this normal counseling?

Did the counselor explain what it was about your relationship that they could not help anymore? It would be helpful to know why they can't help you so that in the future you will be able to get a counselor that is more educated and able to help your situation.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-24-2014, 05:30 PM
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Re: is this normal counseling?

In my opinion a year is to long. Either your not following the directions or you are and the marriage isnt getting better and you should try harder, him to ofcourse. It easy to do what they suggest at first but if you don't permanately implement changes you both will go back to your ways. Its very very hard to change people but it can be done. Hang in there. It might not hurt to check out another councilor.

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