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Relationship Counselling

(9 Posts)
oldsilver Mon 19-Sep-11 10:58:07

Hello, can't be arsed to name change. DP and I have been having a few major problems for years now. For the first time he has accepted the idea of counselling.

Can anyone tell me the ins and outs, what to look out for, best practice or just generally give me the heads up on what to expect.


ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Mon 19-Sep-11 11:21:57

A relationship counsellor works on the basis that each party's feelings are valid. S/he will therefore provide a safe forum for those feelings to be teased out, aired, and acknowledged.

Any choices you make based on what you learn in therapy will be entirely up to you.

A question: has there been any verbal, emotional, financial or physical abuse? Controlling behaviour? if so, couples counselling is the wrong choice; opt for solo counselling.

oldsilver Mon 19-Sep-11 11:30:55

That was one of the possible questions - do you go in individually or together. I'd say definitely no to physical and financial. The others ... it's a very fine line, which I am not too sure has actually been crossed, as such, as yet.

If anyone say, was to show examples of controlling behaviour, would this stop a session and the reason given to the controller.

Just a bit wary as have been previously told that if they were to say anything he disagreed with then he would seek another one out as they were not the one for him.

RabbitPie Mon 19-Sep-11 12:33:35

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

oldsilver Mon 19-Sep-11 12:57:25

Shall we just say it's been hard over the last nearly 11 years - you can get through eventually but he does tend to be on the offensive (verbally) if he feels attacked in anyway. So would use the "seek out another" as an escape mechanism - get out of jail free card.

I think he is thinking of using this as an exercise to prove how "wrong" I am - I don't know? I suppose I am just on the back foot about putting in too much effort if it's all going to come to nought or I end up feeling worse about my shortcomings. And I do admit I have said things in frustration that I didn't mean.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Mon 19-Sep-11 14:01:17

He is verbally abusive if he "feels attacked"?


Sign yourself up for solo counselling. Ditch the idea of couples counselling. Read some of the links at the start of the "emotionally abused" thread and see if you can recognise yourself and your partner there.

Good luck.

oldsilver Mon 19-Sep-11 14:32:48

Thank you.

paranoidandroidwreckmyownlife Mon 19-Sep-11 14:53:52

Old silver, are you me?grin
DH and I have started relate, we've had 2 joint sessions and are about to have a single session each. I'm also booked for CBT for self esteem issues, but they've asked me to wait till we've finished relate as that seems to be the crux of current problems and the more pressing issue.
If you still have problems with your DH then no amount of personal sessions are going to help him see he's being unfair and/or help you change things.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Mon 19-Sep-11 15:03:24

Paranoid The reason solo counseling is the way to go if there is abuse in the relationship is that couple's counselling is useless, and can be dangerous in those cases.

I've been there: spending months in useless couples counselling, desperately trying to work out from them how I could change myself to suit my abusive ex so he would stop being abusive to me. The counselor knew I was being abused, but kept mum about it since the terms of relationship counselling are that both parties' feelings are valid. So my ex's feelings that he was being "attacked" when I tried to talk about my feelings were given validity. Relationship counselling permitted the abuse to go on, and to get worse since it made my ex feel validated about his abusive rages.

Once I finally worked things out on my own and knew I had to get the hell out, the couples counsellor was supportive. Only then did it transpire that he knew all along that I had to get out. He was just waiting for me to figure it out for myself.

Solo counseling, OTOH, will help the OP work out why she is accepting verbal abuse (and maybe other forms of control?) in her relationship.

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