Counselling - trigger warning(5 Posts)
I previously had counselling which has now finished and one of the topics that came up was an elderly relative that behaved inappropriately. My counsellor advises to speak to this person and share with them that they hurt me and give it back to them to deal with.
Months on I'm no longer In counselling and I've not done this. I couldn't think of anything worse then bringing this up although it still troubles me a lot. I now feel I have this looming over me that I should be the one to do something.
Anyone had a counsellor recommend this? At the time I saw this person regularly on family occasions and it's not happened since I was a late teen/young adult.
It’s hard without knowing details but what would you be hoping to achieve from doing so? How would you want them to react and how you feel if they didn’t? Will it result in you feeling better?
You can make that call, no one else and don’t feel bad if you don’t want to - ignoring advice from well meaning others (including counsellors) is ok to do sometimes
I think it could potentially make things worse, for example if the relative denied your version of events, became aggressive, or told you it was your own fault, or said you were over sensitive or whatever.
Confronting an abuser requires enormous courage, and you would need to be supported, and prepared to cope with every possible outcome.
How about writing down everything you would like to say to the relative, in a letter? You don’t need to send it - the mere process of writing it all down may be cathartic for you - but the option to post it is there if you want to.
Is there anyone apart from your therapist in whom you’re been able to confide? I think you need someone to offload to, if you go ahead with this.
Good luck with whatever you choose to do, OP (which might be nothing - you don’t have to take any action, as a PP pointed out).
Erm… I don't think you should do that unless you really want to.
You have your own knowledge of the event - why reawaken theirs?
You don't owe your counsellor any kind of obedience. Like the rest of us, counsellors can be wrong sometimes. S/he is not in your head.
I have, in the past, told my parents what I think of their emotional abuse and neglect. They have never acknowledged it. I felt better for saying it but I only did so because I wanted to let them know I hadn't forgotten, and their cosy image of themselves was a fantasy they'd concocted.
On the other side of the coin, I damaged my child, not deliberately but still damaged, as I raised her. She's told me about it in detail. I've apologised because I'm genuinely sorry. If she ever needs to tell me again, or if I get things wrong as we go along, she'll let me know.
I've had a lot of counsellors. Some were rubbish, some great. They each have their own agenda. It helps if you can identify that and bear it in mind. Your counsellor might want to address an abuser, if she had one. That doesn't mean that you have to.
Thank you for the advice. I've been really ruminating on it, thinking it's something i have to do to draw a close. I imagine they'd say it never happened, which is my biggest fear and nobody would believe me
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