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Counsellor comment - this isn't OK, is it?

(40 Posts)
FriendlyElf Thu 18-Dec-14 19:32:37

Have NCd for this, but I've had previous threads on here. I went to see a counsellor today, first session, although we'd met before to talk about practicalities. I've been depressed, and not coping well. Partly because DH and I have gone through a difficult time when we've been talking a lot about problems in our relationship and trying to sort them out. It's been very hard, but also positive I think and things are better than they have been for a long time. A recent issue is his friendship with a woman he knows. We've talked for hours about it and I felt that we'd reached a better place with it and there is a plan for what will happen to minimise potential problems.

I started to tell the counsellor about it today, just context. He interrupted me to say something before I got to the bit about feeling it was resolved, and then later said 'Sounds like he's warming something up with this woman.' This really upset me at the time and I said so. Am I right that this is really not an OK thing for him to have said at all, but especially given he has so little knowledge of the situation or of me? It's taken me a long time to get to the point of trying to see someone to talk about things and this has really knocked me.

davejudgement Thu 18-Dec-14 19:37:38

What's the plan in place?

FriendlyElf Thu 18-Dec-14 19:38:43

It doesn't really matter because I never got to that bit. It's more whether what the counsellor said is appropriate. I've never really been to a counsellor before so not sure what to expect.

Whitershadeofpale Thu 18-Dec-14 19:40:51

To me it does sound ok. I can understand it's not what you wanted to hear and if she interrupted I think it's off but generally I think a counsellor should point out things you might not be aware of or be in denial about.

Quitelikely Thu 18-Dec-14 19:41:15

Is be more worried about why it's took hours of talking with your dh over a woman, which upset you rather than what the counsellor said tbh.

You don't have to take everything that he says so seriously. It's ok to disagree with it.

davejudgement Thu 18-Dec-14 19:41:53

It is relevant because there is a potential OW and a plan in place.

I'm hearing same as counsellor

MyrnaLoy Thu 18-Dec-14 19:52:22

When you told the counsellor that what he had said had upset you, how did he respond?

I'm asking that because when my husband and I went to Relate our counsellor said something which I was really bothered by - which had a huge value judgement associated with it - and I raised this at the next session. The counsellor said that she too had reflected on what she had said and had realised its inappropriateness. Which was a really helpful response for me.

Was your counsellor helpful in his response?

CogitOIOIO Thu 18-Dec-14 19:56:43

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck a counsellor is entitled to call it a duck. If he's struck a nerve and challenged your rationalisation of events, maybe it's not a bad thing?

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Thu 18-Dec-14 19:58:36

Does the counsellor have a point ?

Are you the cake lady ?

Tinks42 Thu 18-Dec-14 20:12:16

The councillor is just saying what everyone else is.

Why on earth would your DH have to have a female friend at all when you're clearly upset about it?

I'd tell DH in no uncertain terms that she needs to go.

I'd then go back to the councillor and tell him and find out why on earth you felt it necessary to allow such a "friend" in the first place>

FriendlyElf Thu 18-Dec-14 20:14:17

The counsellor said he shouldn't have said it, and he had forgotten that he didn't know me or my situation at all. I had presented it as my suspicion that DH was having an affair, which we had talked briefly about as being an issue with my self esteem. When I found out they had been in contact more than I'd realised I assumed the worst, that's why DH and I have talked for hours about it. The plan is about limiting contact to an extent that I'm happy with and DH reassessing what his motivations were and being clear about boundaries (although nothing inappropriate has been said or done afaik). He is adamant that he will do whatever it takes for me to feel ok about it, and I believe him.

No, I'm not the cake lady.

MyrnaLoy Thu 18-Dec-14 20:17:42

Ok, so does the counsellor's acknowledgement of your feelings - and the fact that he misjudged the level of challenge that you could accept at this point in your relationship - mean that you will feel able to continue to see him? And to do the work with him that you feel you need to?

Or are you reflecting on what he said in a way that means you will find it hard to go back?

Tinks42 Thu 18-Dec-14 20:18:09

The plan is about limiting contact to an extent that I'm happy with

None should be the answer, talking about it for hours???? why on earth would you do this?

Why would you suspecting your DH of having an affair be anything about your self esteem?

If he's so adamant then he would stop ALL contact with this person.

FriendlyElf Thu 18-Dec-14 20:22:15

I don't want to go back. I find it hard to see how it's a challenge when that's what I started off by saying.

FriendlyElf Thu 18-Dec-14 20:22:34

He is stopping all contact.

MumsyFoxy Thu 18-Dec-14 20:23:25

The counsellor's comment was not inapproproate imo. For all you know he might have been prodding to see your reaction.

MyrnaLoy Thu 18-Dec-14 20:28:41

In that case, please don't let it put you off finding another counsellor and talking to them. Counsellors do work in very different ways, and its really important to find someone who you feel you can really trust, and build up a relationship with.

I've had 1 therapist, 1 psychologist and 2 counsellors. They were all very different, and the therapist challenged me in ways that I wouldn't have been able to take from anyone else. She helped me to explore things that I would never have faced without her pushing me, but that didn't happen suddenly, we built that relationship up over time.

I'm really sorry you've had an experience that hasn't worked for you, but it does sound as though you really need someone to help you work this through.

Tinks42 Thu 18-Dec-14 20:32:55

It also took me 3 councillors to find one I was comfortable with. Find another one.

FriendlyElf Thu 18-Dec-14 20:35:07

Thanks Myrna. It's helpful to understand it as a challenge, rather than a judgement, which is how I took it. I had no idea why he would have said it, and it's all so raw and recent it was very upsetting. It was very near the end of the session too so no time to talk it through. I feel worried about the counsellor's judgement and suitability for me if he's said something so hard so early on. I had done very little talking up to then anyway, it was mostly him talking about his approach.

davejudgement Thu 18-Dec-14 20:35:33

Did your DH suggest you needed counselling?

Tinks42 Thu 18-Dec-14 20:35:37

Is stopping or has stopped?

PonderousTortoise Thu 18-Dec-14 20:35:58

If you don't want to go back, I wouldn't go back.

As someone else said, counsellors/therapists work in very different ways and it's important to find someone you feel comfortable with who gives you the kind of help you need.

The counsellor I see would never say something like that. She doesn't comment on situations, just tries to reflect my feelings back to me to help me unravel things myself. I find this really works for me. I had a different person a while back who did comment on things, and I found it really unhelpful - like having friends offer their opinion, which is not what I needed - so it makes sense to me finding that comment unhelpful and unsettling.

FriendlyElf Thu 18-Dec-14 20:42:05

No, I wanted counselling. He has stopped, as of the day we started talking about it.

I think I will look for someone else. I called the Samaritans yesterday when I was feeling upset about it all and I found that kind of reflecting approach much more helpful than what happened today.

Tinks42 Thu 18-Dec-14 20:42:08

If this thread is about a councillor you dont like, then find another one.

if this is about your husband becoming over friendly with a woman then tell him to stop it right now.

Seems like your husband is playing you off against this woman, his ego must be huge and he must be a shit.

MyrnaLoy Thu 18-Dec-14 20:42:37

Did you had like other things about the way he works? If so, then an alternative would be to go back and use that session to talk about how you had felt about what he said, and see if his response to that is one that means you can carry on working with him? A good counsellor will be able to help you to negotiate your way through what you are feeling, and work out what is to do with what he said and what is to do with deeper feelings around your own situation.

But if you can't face that because it feels like just too much to cope with, then its definitely worth finding another counsellor. If you feel comfortable, it would also be a good thing to explain to your new counsellor why you stopped working with your current one.

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