Feel like counsellor judged me for ebf

(15 Posts)
Thundercarriage Wed 09-Jan-13 09:30:45

I've been having counselling for the past couple of months for postnatal anxiety. In my second to last session I happened to mention that I was still bfing my 4 yo. Counsellor brought it up in our last session, saying I'd "admitted" it ("last time, you admitted you're still bfing your 4 yo") and then questioned me over it - perhaps she was just exploring the issues but I felt very defensive and uncomfortable.

I don't feel as though I can go back - I didn't feel she was right for me anyway and I am feeling better smile - but wondering whether I should just say I won't be attending any more or should I tell her why?

Homebird8 Wed 09-Jan-13 09:36:47

That does sound very judgy Thundercarriage. It might not be the choice of every parent (and child) but it is your choice and that is obviously right for you.

Can you ask for another counsellor if you feel you aren't comfortable with this one? If you're feeling better then counselling is working for you and it might make sense to continue.

I might be being a bit dim but does your post mean that you have a new baby and you have post natal anxiety or is it just the one 4 year old?

EauRouge Wed 09-Jan-13 09:44:51

Hmm, counsellors are not meant to judge at all! If you want to find another counsellor then I would understand why. "Admitted" is a very poor choice of words. Maybe if you don't want to see her again you could write her a letter explaining that you felt judged- up to you though.

It could be that she was just curious but you shouldn't feel like you have to be defensive about what is a perfectly valid and healthy parenting choice.

tiktok Wed 09-Jan-13 10:09:46

Poor choice of words but tell her so she knows you picked up on the judgy tone. She needs to know that it interfered with the relationship.

HeyHoHereWeGo Wed 09-Jan-13 10:15:56

What type of counsellor was it?

I ask as doctors - so psychiatrists and some psychologists use ADMIT to mean answered in the affirmative and DENIED to mean answered no

So "Denied being homosexual" does not mean "Ooh I am sure they are homosexual but I cant get them to admit it" it just means "I asked them if they are and they said they are not"

And "Admitted to still bf her 4 year old" would mean "She is bf her 4 year old"
and not "Wow I got her to admit to this terrible secret"

mawbroon Wed 09-Jan-13 10:20:46

I understand.

I had psychosis just over a year ago brought on by the stress of dealing with ds1 and his undiagnosed tongue tie and all the health problems he was suffering because of it.

The psychiatrist said "we are concerned that you are still breastfeeding a 6yo". I actually told him to fuck off LOL (great thing about being psychotic is that you can say what you like grin) and I said I knew plenty of people who would be able to tell him that it was biologically normal, if not the cultural norm. He never mentioned it again, but afterwards when I was recovering and feeling very vulnerable, I felt really judged and that his comment was most unhelpful. I brought it up with the CPN and she did apologise at least.

If you feel you can tell your counsellor without getting upset about it, then go for it. She won't know she's upset you if you don't tell her!

Glad to hear you are feeling better.

Startail Wed 09-Jan-13 10:21:04

If Heyho is correct it's still an awful Judgy sounding phrase.

I would have been furious and so would DD2.

Nothing wrong with feeding DDs way older than 4

HeyHoHereWeGo Wed 09-Jan-13 10:27:53

It does sound judgy and it might not even be relevant here.
But I mention it as I know someone who took offence to "Denies being homosexual" just as in my example. But actually doctors will write down "Denies nausea and vomiting, admits to intermittent pain, denies pain currently" and there is no judgement implied, just a statement of facts.
Look it might not be relevant here at all, I am just suggesting it.

mrscog Wed 09-Jan-13 11:42:12

Even if you go back, I think you need to let her know how the words made you felt so that she can reflect on her practise. You could also let her know that it is biologically normal in case she was being judgy (which I doubt to be honest - poor choice of words more likely).

Maternityleaveisawesome Wed 09-Jan-13 12:12:13

I am a dr, heyho is right about admits and denies. I wouldn't use these phrases in talking to patients though, because of the potential confusion, just in note writing and speaking to colleagues.

I expect the counsellor used this phrase on the medical sense, which is a bit silly. I think you should let her know how she made you feel so she won't make this mistake with others. You could write or e mail if this would be easier than speaking to her.

Thundercarriage Wed 09-Jan-13 22:40:34

Thanks for all the replies and sorry for the delay replying, have been out all day blush

Not sure re what type of counsellor, she's a free one via the NHS, think she has a masters ... Has an interest in CBT?

Re admitting/confirming - I'm not sure I answered a question about it so much as mentioned it in passing, don't know whether that makes a difference. Tbf I am very keen to stop, so it's not entirely right for me wink so perhaps she was just responding to that ... but it felt very combative and as though I had to defend/justify myself for not forcibly weaning.

Laurie, yes, 4 yo and new baby.

Welovecouscous Wed 09-Jan-13 23:11:10

You may want to pm Truthsweet - I think iirc she had experience of a counsellor who saw bf as a barrier to 'me time'.

I think the evidence shows bf mums are less likely to have Pnd - suggests it is hardly caused by bf.

Maybe you should get that book about extended bf - mothering your nursing toddler. I just read it and it was very affirming and has stuff on feeding 4 year olds plus.

Un MN hugs as I think this was a daft thing for her to say.

So glad you came back and answered my question. I was trying to imagine the conversation and I thought that the counsellor must have thought that was a big piece of the puzzle for her not to know for 2 months.

With pnd the extra demands of other children is obviously a factor so if you have another child with additional needs or additional time used (like with breast feeding) then it's part of the puzzle and I'm guessing that's why she explored it with you - not because of judging it, just because of not knowing about it smile

TruthSweet Thu 10-Jan-13 18:28:34

Thundercarriage - As Welovecouscous says I have been on the receiving end of some very interesting views on bfing (natural term & just plain bfing little babies) from MH professionals. If you'd like to chat by pm I'm here smile

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