Thanks for all of your advices. I'm still debating... I know I can change counselor anytime but since I'm going with Kaiser and they all working in the same department so I'm afraid it would be awark or that they talk to each other afterwar so it's better to make the best choice now and change only necessary.
My husband will NEVER go to MC so I just don't include him. I suggested and he said "why should I pay money for stup.. people to teach me how to live my life?" So it will be individual counselor...
I'm thinking a female would be more sympathetic to me and I would feel more comfortable to pour my gut to her. But in the other hand, a male counselor would understand what's in the mind of my husband more and may be more helpful. I may not feel so comfortable to say everything I want to him though... Still a hard decision... more help please. Thanks so much.
OK, you need to know a few things about Kaiser & mental health counseling.
First, Kaiser does not offer Marriage Counseling. Not in house, or referred (but there is a work-around that I'll get to in a bit). The only thing they offer internally is Individual Counseling, and the only way you can get that is with an appropriate diagnosis by the initial person who interviews you, either in person or on the phone. You've apparently already gone through that initial phase.
Second, no problem with the idea that everybody knows everybody. I suspect you're going to get some added degree of empathy because your issue is that your husband is a doctor. Everybody who works around doctors is going to be familiar with a subset of them that acts just as you describe your husband. Also, the Kaiser system is designed to encourage empathy. Almost excessive empathy, such that sometimes they won't tell you the harsh stuff. Why? Because they're driven by customer satisfaction surveys, far more so than most organizations, especially private practitioners. In the world of mental health, patients are very reluctant to post on places like Yelp because they feel embarrassed about being connected with the need.
Third, in-house individual counseling by Kaiser is likely scheduled so infrequently it may not get the job done. In the busier parts of the network, seeing a counselor or psychologist will be on an every 4-6 week basis. Many of us "go bad" during the interim, having too much time to think the wrong things, and may do better on a weekly schedule. Kaiser doesn't offer that.
Fourth, there is a sort of workaround, for both the lack of marriage counseling and scheduling. Your Kaiser counselor can refer you to being seen by someone in the Magellan network. If you'd like to see who's available in your area, you can use the website Magellan Assist
. You can also go to Psychology Today's find-a-therapist website
and select "Magellan" for insurance on the right-hand side of the page. When looking for someone in the Magellan network, even though Kaiser is sending you there for individual counseling, virtually all of the therapists do couples counseling as well, and most will have no issue seeing the two of you together for marriage counseling. That's the situation my wife and I are in. Only issue might be a therapist who charges differently for individual vs couples counseling.
Fifth, the Magellan network doesn't offer the best & the brightest. It lowballs payments so most therapists won't take it. For example, my wife is in serious need of EMDR according to her Kaiser psychologist. Good luck finding a therapist with EMDR training in the Magellan network near us. And of course the better therapists won't take Magellan because they don't need to; they're booked up with higher-paying insurance carriers or private pay. I am currently trying to find a way to get Kaiser to pay a portion of the private fee for a non-Magellan provider. It's probably not possible, but if a good EMDR therapist runs $250/session and Magellan might be paying $125, shouldn't it be possible I could come up with the difference? Of course, it's likely not. But I'm going to be checking into this.
Sixth, the male or female IC thing. Well, since it's actually not marriage counseling and since your husband won't be attending in a formal marriage counseling session (he may be invited by your individual counselor for a session or two though), I think it's more important who YOU would feel better with. And it might be that you'd be better off with a male, to get a guy's perspective on things. And it might be that things you bring back to talk with your husband about may have more credibility coming from a guy. That's completely wrong thinking, but you've got a completely wrong relationship, right?
So... you're expectations may be a bit out of whack for Kaiser. But, if it turns out otherwise, that you're getting something I'm told doesn't exist, please let me know!!!! Because I think I understand the system but maybe I don't know all the tricks.
Best of luck to you. You've got an especially tough road ahead because the more you discuss your situation here, the more people are going to make you feel like you've been a door mat, and that's a rough place to be. You seem to have been taken advantage of and deliberately had your self-esteem diminished, and there's no quick fix for that. Improvement will come little by little, while awareness of your situation is going to increase quickly and dramatically. Somehow you had a coping mechanism in place that dealt with things, but that's gone now. Which is one of the reasons why I think it's going to be really important to see someone more often than once every 4-6 weeks.