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Rubbish counsellors

(15 Posts)
jasminerice Fri 10-Feb-12 17:30:31

I am now onto my 6th counsellor. They haven't all been rubbish but most have. Two were very good but I had to stop seeing them because one developed a serious illness and the other moved too far away.

My last one made up many excuses for my mother being neglectful, cruel and hateful towards me and told me it was my fault because I must have been a difficult child to bond with. She also told me I was trying to control DH when I asked him to show some loyalty and solidarity towards me after his mother had been very nasty to me.

Another one kept forgetting what I'd talked about last time and I had to keep repeating myself every week.

Another one totally focussed on my dad's abuse and completely failed to mention my mother's part in neglecting to protect me.

I know nobody is perfect but I seem to have found myself the bottom of the barrel counsellors time and time again. And the money I've wasted on these people.

The current one seems ok so far, but I'm not holding my breath.

oldqueenie Fri 10-Feb-12 17:34:08

what sort of counsellors are they? ie do they describe themselves as person entred / psychodynamic / cognitive behavioural therapists.... or what? how did they train? how experienced are they? are they properly accredited to a professional body ie BACP? you should ask them all this BEFORE embarking on any therapy.... anyone can call themselves a counsellor. if you want someone good you need to ask ?s. 6 different counsellors sounds awful.

NotMostPeople Fri 10-Feb-12 17:35:31

One of them was probably my mother - who is toxic btw.

jasminerice Fri 10-Feb-12 17:50:49

Yes, they were all accredited and experienced etc. The one who made excuses for my mother was a supervising counsellor! Trouble is it's only after a while you start noticing little things they say which don't seem right. Also I realise that most times, apart from currently, I have found a counsellor when I've been feeling in crisis and very vulnerable, and not in a good position to make a proper assessment as to whether they are any good.

I'm in a much better place now and feel strong enough to ask current counsellor some searching questions before I go any further with her.

In the past when I've been feeling ok I've thought I didn't need a counsellor, then ended up in a bad way, found someone when feeling very vulnerable and ended up with a bad counsellor.

But even so, I think it's very wrong for a counsellor to blame the child for a mother's lack of bonding. I feel like reporting her, but doubt if anyone would take any notice.

janelikesjam Fri 10-Feb-12 18:50:50

to OP, well good for you for realising and changing. I have met a few in my time, and though a couple v. good, there were lots of dubious ones. The problem is as you say when you are feeling vulnerable not always easy to differentiate or act upon your feelings of being disempowered. Honesty is central to the relationship and you are at liberty to criticise your therapist at all times. If he or she is good, they will welcome it. But of course that takes a kind of strength most people do not have when entering therapy, unfortunately.

ohdobuckup Fri 10-Feb-12 19:46:18

I used to be a counsellor and mental health nurse, taking a break from it for now.
You had every right to question and report the comments made as the whole relationship you had with that counsellor was undermined by this, and I can't see how you could benefit from any further interaction with her.

My experience is that some counsellors are fantastically smug and superior, and assume magical knowledge and insights which they then drop into the session, and have many defences to hand if the client denies or negates the interpretation or assumption about motives or actions.There are also lazy,dim and burnt-out ones, so it can take a few sessions to work out if they are for you.

As clients are usually in a vulnerable place they often cant or don't challenge at the time, but still have to process the emotions raised by the counsellors' actions.

There are so many theories and schools of therapy in counselling , often held to with almost religious fervour by the practitioners, that you may not have found what approach resonates with you. What was it about the two counsellors you found ok that worked for you?

As a counsellor and trainer I used to state that my aim was to make myself redundant, and that the client was to be empowered to know when that was.
My practice was guided by Solution Focused Brief Therapy, with additional approaches and referrals to other disciplines if agreed and identified. I developed a model called 'Positive Pessimism', in which we explored the idea that life is crap but we have to deal with it wink.

Not sure if any of the above is of any use to you, but try to hold onto the idea that you are the client and the counsellors are pitching for your trade...some of them do get off on the power trip of you being pathetically grateful to be seen by them. Good luck.

janelikesjam Fri 10-Feb-12 19:58:42

excellent post dobuckup. i wish/think clients should challenge their therapists more.

ZuzuBailey Fri 10-Feb-12 20:00:03

This is sad to hear but not surprising. I have seen four counsellors in recent years.

The first asked me to imagine I was a house, a rose bush, a tree...all I wanted at that stage were coping strategies - I'm sure it was very interesting for her, but totally perplexing for me as she didn't explain why she was asking me those questions.

The second had massive issues of her own which in my vulnerable state I didn't recognise. And her husband shouted and swore at me when I rang the doorbell when she was seeing another client.

Third was a Relate counsellor who was worse than useless. At least she had my ex and I laughing (after we left the place).

The fourth gave me 'homework' to do and then didn't ask for it. She had to be reminded of everything I told her and I felt each session was just a repeat of the last.

And they were all very expensive. It is despicable to exploit desperate, vulnerable people in this way.

jasminerice Fri 10-Feb-12 20:23:10

Gosh, so sorry to hear some of you have had similar rubbish counsellors. It is despicable to exploit vulnerable people in this way.

jane, you are spot on. I was simply not in a position to challenge my rubbish therapists because I was weak and vulnerable at the time. Even leaving them was hard even though I knew it was for the best. The thought of looking for a new counsellor when feeling so exhausted already was too much sometimes.

buckup, you sound so much better than most of the one's I've seen. The two that were good were so mainly because, if not solely because they had been through childhood abuse themselves and so had a deep understanding of the issues raised. The one's who had no personal experience but plenty of training and qualifications were often the worst (supervising counsellor springs to mind).

It is a very hit and miss affair and finding a good counsellor seems largely based on luck.

As you said buckup, I was too weak and scared to challenge my last counsellor but I am now having to process the emotions raised by her stupid and horrible and wrong comments angry.

janelikesjam Fri 10-Feb-12 20:30:34

rude, smug, accusing, ohdear, it all sounds too familiar and too close for comfort. some people i think do actually give up looking; they cannot find a respectful counsellor (shocking really).

i put up a fight sometimes but i wish i could go back in time and challenge the ones i let off lightly angry

jasminerice Fri 10-Feb-12 20:41:58

jane yes, wish I could go back in time too. Luckily some I spotted from the off as rubbish and never went back. Others seemed good at first but only as we delved deeper did some of their entrenched attitudes come out (a common attitude seems to be mothers can do no wrong so it must be the child's fault if there's a problem in the relationship).

ohdobuckup Fri 10-Feb-12 21:08:53

hey jasmine, thanks for that, sure I made plenty of mistakes as well though.
Had /have plenty of issues of my own, some dealt with , some parked, some unresolvable, but hey ho, so it goes.

Had counselling myself for training and necessity, very mixed bag of experiences..but very useful for my practice and self-awareness. Became aware of wanting to please the counsellor, sometimes wanting to make it easier for them,sometimes wondered why they were there ..(or even IF they were there!).

I remember feeling furious with one who expressed anger about something my parents did to me...I thought "Oi! I can be angry with my parents, but who do you think you are to criticise them..leave off bitch, that's my ma and pa you're dissing!" Or words to that effect lol...I learnt a lot from that!

Um..just tread carefully, you are stronger than you think and braver than you know, and you have the right to be listened to with respect.

jane yes, I have those thoughts too about some of the therapists and counsellors I worked with and experienced.

I have lovely full-on revenge fantasies where I give a very powerful and amusing lecture to an adoring laughing crowd of hundreds , with the wretched counsellors sitting on stage sobbingly admitting that I was right all along !

...What was that? Dr. Freud will see me now? Oh, ok then ...grin

jasminerice Fri 10-Feb-12 21:17:04

buckup, I recognise some of that, wanting to please the counsellor, wanting to make it easier for them, very interesting. I think I also want to make them feel they are good at their job so agree with things they say when actually I disagree.

I told my current counsellor that it was ok for her to be angry at my parents, she did talk about the scenario you have described though.

I am definately stronger than I was when I started out on this road and much more assertive these days. So we shall see how no.6 turns out.

PHILOSOPHER123 Sun 29-Jan-17 14:35:57

Rubbish because they are merely qualified, they have no talent, and those with natural ability (only) should be training them at the top end. Clients are reduced to that within the confines of the counsellors personal perception. They talk too much, and they even give instruction. Patients naturally rebel because they should only have been enabled to find their own way. When a second party takes on the role of finding the way for you the affect only lasts for as long as you are in their company. The very worst counsellors are opinionated, and they think they know best.

PHILOSOPHER123 Sun 29-Jan-17 14:41:01

If you want to view some truly rubbish counselling visit relationship forums uk problem pages. I`ve just be excluded from there over out performance (celebritydiscodave) Most of my posts have been removed. Counsellors loathe out performance because they all believe/know that they are brilliant at their job.

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