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Has anyone tried Relate? children are noticing the cracks.....

(15 Posts)
beforeitstoolate Thu 30-Oct-14 23:22:20

things came to a head for me tonight when my dd (11) burst into tears to say that we are no longer a happy family as mummy and daddy are never nice to each other.

She's right, we are not and despite my dh's desire to stick his head in the sand and hope I'll stop talking and take the path of least resistance, I think I at least need to get some advice.

Whether you agree or not, I always thought that even though there is little more than housemates left (little affection but neither of us v demonstrative types), barely any sex, but arguments really mostly about life/work balance /housework I would not upturn my dc's lives for that alone. Despite my being sad every now and again at the lack of a true 'partner' neither of us are deeply unhappy. DH is certainly happy to plod through life like this, so long as we don't discuss it !!

But now... if they are going to notice anyway, then that changes things doesn't it? I need to understand a bit more how and hoping Relate could help. Any similar experience or exp of relate pls?

Thanks for reading.............

Somethingtodo Fri 31-Oct-14 00:48:21

Yes we have done Relate a few times - as has my sister - she likens it to taking your car in for a service/MOT every few years - a normal and necessary part of life. I found it useful - but found my husband irritating at the sessions as he was all chirpy and light hearted whilst I was deeply traumatised. I actually more recently went on my own as I found this more useful. It is not a quick fix, or aimed at patching everything up - more exploring where you are at. It is a good place to talk thru issues in a safe, supportive and unbiased place. Go for it and good luck.

niceupthedance Fri 31-Oct-14 05:50:24

Personally I'd see someone private, relate never really challenged us on anything and seemed happy just to take the money as long as we kept turning up.

BeeOrchid Fri 31-Oct-14 08:14:37

I found Relate positively harmful, but we had different problems to yours. I don't think our Relate woman had more than rudimentary training.
This was 15 years ago. Now in our area they just give recommendations for counsellors. They charge market rates, so I think you could just as well do your own research and find a good counsellor.

GoatsDoRoam Fri 31-Oct-14 09:22:44

Couples counselling will only work if he is just as willing as you are to engage in the process (and if there is no abuse in the relationship).

I hope he does agree to try joint counselling with you. But if he continues to be head-in-sand about it, do go for solo counselling. You sound desperately sad, and individual counselling will help you establish what your needs truly are, and think about how they could be met.

UpNorthAgain Fri 31-Oct-14 12:24:06

Another vote against Relate here. My now-XH and I tried it some years ago and I agree with the PP that the counsellor seem to have only very basic training. I've seen someone else in the aftermath of the divorce and the difference in attitude & professionalism was amazing. I would urge you to go for private couples counselling & to avoid Relate.

queenoftheknight Fri 31-Oct-14 12:26:02

I have tried Relate in both marriages. It was appalling.

As has been said above, it was positively dangerous as the "counsellor", clearly had no relevant training in the dynamics of abuse.

I too would suggest finding a properly qualified private therapist.

Somethingtodo Fri 31-Oct-14 13:30:40

How do you find private couples counselling and how do you evaluate if it is a quality service? Is private couples counselling split between approaches as per standard counselling ie cbt, psycotherapy etc -- if so what are the types?

Dowser Fri 31-Oct-14 21:34:03

I'm sorry that you had some bad experiences with counsellors. You could always ask to see another one if you feel you arent getting anywhere.

The training for relate is very rigorous. It takes place over two years and you ate expected to do lots of reading and even attend a counselling course of your own volition.

When I did it we had 2 intensive weekends at HQ over a 6 week period , then you could sit in with a more experienced Cllr before you were let loose.

We had regular supervision and fortnightly case discussion groups where cases you were stuck on could be brought to the group. ( names were withheld for confidentiality.)

There were another four of these weekends spread out over about 18 months.

It was really difficult to get into, you have a serious of interviews and took me about a year to go through the process. They want to know that you are really committed.

I think these days you have to also submit a thesis at the end of your formal training.

Joysmum Fri 31-Oct-14 22:26:14

I can't give you what you are asking about re relate, but I am the child of oarents who weren't desperately unhappy but weren't happy and stayed together for me until I left as soon as I could.

It coloured my views of relationships, and not in a good way. I do not believe in staying together for the sake of the children. Even if, like my patents, you simply aren't in love anymore and it's nothing more than that.

Twinklestein Sat 01-Nov-14 10:56:04

The training at Relate is not rigorous! It's downright shitty. It's two years compared with 7 years to be a qualified psychotherapist. Six weekends over 18 months is ridiculous.

The other problem is that their dv screening is not effective. They're supposed to refer on in the presence of abuse, but in practice they don't, if the couples don't flag abuse themselves they seem to fall through the net. Relationship counselling is never recommended in cases of abuse, and it can be deeply damaging for the victim, as evidenced by women here.

Somethingtodo Sat 01-Nov-14 11:03:26

Can anyone answer my Q (obvs would help the Op - so I am not sabotaging) from yesterday - ie alternatives to Relate:

How do you find private couples counselling and how do you evaluate if it is a quality service? Is private couples counselling split between approaches as per standard counselling ie cbt, psychotherapy etc -- if so what are the types?

queenoftheknight Sat 01-Nov-14 11:37:50

Try the BACP website or counselling directory. Any decent counsellor will be BACP registered.

There are some good, some bad, and it may be that the right one for one person is not the right one for another.

It is fine to change counsellor, they know that it is a two way thing.

gatewalker Sat 01-Nov-14 11:56:17

I think couple's counselling is a red herring, and doesn't address what's really going on. Individual therapy is a far more effective option, because it is what you both bring as individuals into the relationship that is key. And if one of you doesn't want to go, the other one can -- even if the outcome is that you realise, during therapy, that you cannot continue together.

Somethingtodo Sat 01-Nov-14 17:08:33

Gatewalker that is a good point - and is what I ended up doing with Relate in the end as counselling together was impossible.....maybe it is a bit of both that is required - ie you both see individual counselors - and see someone together once a month etc -- otherwise how will you make progress and converse -- unless it is all in the actions?

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