Finding a couple’s counselor?

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DJCleo

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Finding a couple’s counselor?
« on: February 10, 2020, 01:31:19 PM »
How do you find a good couples therapist?

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NumbLotus

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Re: Finding a couple’s counselor?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2020, 01:53:30 PM »
I don't know. I will say our brief attempt was not successful.

My H's PD is focused on protecting his battered ego. He was not able to constructively hear my needs in counseling any more than outside of it. To him, sessions were an attack on him.

At the time, I did not know much about PD but the light had gone on in my brain. While I was not as careful as I would be today, Inwas in fact careful and gentle with stating my needs. I explicitly worked to ensure I didn't treat sessions as a vent session, no dragging up all the old hurts but just trying to focus on strategies moving forward. And when I was required to give an example (which triggers him) I tried to keep it light and brief rather than dwelling on how hurt I felt. It didn't matter. We'd get out to the car and he's start in on me, how I made him look bad blah blah blah.

So my thought is, can your SO handle counseling? Maybe so. In my case, it only added to H's wounds. Occasionally he even still brings up some horrible betrayal from our three sessions three years ago.

With PD, the big thing is for us to work on ourselves.
Just a castaway, an island lost at sea
Another lonely day, noone here but me
More loneliness than any man could bear

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SparkStillLit

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Re: Finding a couple’s counselor?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2020, 01:36:39 AM »
I had similar poor outcomes.
Most horribly in my case was how he'd agree to stuff in the office, and then weaponize it at home and use the words and things against me. A bit of gaslighting thrown in for good measure.
It's not a thing I'm ever willing to repeat. Do make sure it's the right thing for your situation.
I think just you going would be a huge help.

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eyesopen

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Re: Finding a couple’s counselor?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2020, 12:25:06 PM »
My stbxw had agreed to go to couples counseling with me.  I googled to find ones in our area and let her choose which one to see.

When we went, every session was her being a victim and blaming me for everything wrong with the relationship.  Somehow, the counselor bought into it, that I was the one with the most to work on.  With my low self esteem and hope for making the relationship work, I did everything I could to address all my issues.

Then later, not during a counseling session, stbxw confessed to me that she had been cheating on me.  Shouldn't this have come up at, oh I don't know, maybe the very first counseling session?  If she actually wanted to work on our relationship, as she said she did, her infidelity should have been the #1 topic at counseling.  But no, she refused to attend any more counseling sessions after I found out about the cheating, no doubt because she couldn't handle taking responsibility for her own significant part in damaging our marriage.

Ask yourself, who is taking the lead in the decision to do couples counseling?  Who is the one finding the counselor and making the appointments?  If your SO is rationalizing that it's better for you to take care of those things ("I have to work, see, so it's easier for you to call during the day to make the appointment"), then they have nothing invested in making this work.  IME, they don't care about you.  They don't care about counseling.  They're making you do all the work.  Meanwhile, they're maintaining the facade of cooperation, just so they can "check the box" at having tried counseling.

Prepare to be blamed.  Prepare for them to not take any responsibility.  Prepare to waste your money.  Unless your relationship is the unicorn that actually benefits from couples counseling, which is pretty much impossible with a PD.

Sorry for the negativity.  Just keeping it real.

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rubixcube

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Re: Finding a couple’s counselor?
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2020, 12:29:18 PM »
When we went, every session was her being a victim and blaming me for everything wrong with the relationship.  Somehow, the counselor bought into it, that I was the one with the most to work on.  With my low self esteem and hope for making the relationship work, I did everything I could to address all my issues.

Prepare to be blamed.  Prepare for them to not take any responsibility.  Prepare to waste your money.  Unless your relationship is the unicorn that actually benefits from couples counseling, which is pretty much impossible with a PD.

:yeahthat:

I had the same experience with couples. It was through OOTF members that I got some clarification on why my attempt at couples counseling with my uCovertNPDw went so horribly wrong. If the counselor doesn't have PD experience you're setting yourself up for more abuse. You'll expose your vulnerability in an honest attempt to make things work, but the PD will still just take, take, take, play the victim, and use the sessions as a mediated way to get more of what they want.

It was a very devastating experience for me. I encouraged us to go see a counselor in the first place, then I was the one who terminated it. Still to this day my ending couples counseling is weaponized against me. My w fixates on it now as if my "refusal" to go again is the whole cause of our problems.

To note though; I do tell her I'm happy to go to couples, after she does anger management work and I know I can feel safe. Naturally, my needs are totally ignored and disregarded.