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Couple counselling

(16 Posts)
Atenco Wed 08-Jul-15 05:09:17

I just wanted to post to reinforce the advice always given her about how inappropriate couple counselling is when there is any form of abuse.

A friend of mine agreed to go to couple counselling with her violent ex to see if they could get back together again or at least work out something good for bringing up their child. He has a very lovely side to him and is a loving father to their daughter.

However after starting the counselling all his worst side started to come out again and a couple of weeks ago he was violent once again. The counsellors have minimized this behaviour asking my friend what she did to provoke the attack, for example, and criticising her for objecting to him spying on her phone and social media. So now they are both much worse off than before they started counselling

thatsnotmynamereally Wed 08-Jul-15 05:59:35

Atenco that is awful. Is your friend in any danger? Could she call Women's Aid for advice without him knowing, she will need some validation of her own experience.

I suppose if she asks to stop this counselling now she'll be seen as the one who is 'not trying' , giving the abuser even more justification. Could the counselling centre be put in touch with any abuse-aware organisations or literature?

I came away from a relate session many years ago so frustrated because their advice to me (I went alone) when I told them how badly my H was treating me was to try and see things from his point of view as he must have had a bad childhood hmm. It really set me back, and it was only when I started reading MN a few years ago could I even identify that the way he was acting was down to him, not me. That the fault for abuse lies solely with the abuser doesn't occur to some counsellors, they are often trained to think that both parties play a role in marriage problems.

Offred Wed 08-Jul-15 06:02:20

<urgh> couples counselling...

goddessofsmallthings Wed 08-Jul-15 06:09:28

If these violent and abusive twunts didn't have a 'lovely' side to them, they'd be unable to reproduce and the world would be a better place.

I sincerely hope your friend is no longer attending couples counselling with her violent ex and I suggest that she directs these mickey mouse 'counsellors[ to this board where they'll be hung drawn and quartered shown the error of their ways.

Having presumably been subjected to more violence from her ex, your friend is undoubtedly much worse off while he has benefitted from being told that his appalling behaviour is perfectly acceptable because she drives him to it.

Jeez angry It's 2015 ffs but there are idiots out there counselling women as if it's 1915.

If your friend is any doubt as to the fact that she's been told a load of crap by smug twats who can't tell their arses from their elbows, please tell her to come here.

Do you know which agency provided this 'service' to your friend? Was it Relate?

WhySoAngry Wed 08-Jul-15 06:53:43

What Offred said

Atenco Wed 08-Jul-15 14:44:14

Having presumably been subjected to more violence from her ex, your friend is undoubtedly much worse off while he has benefitted from being told that his appalling behaviour is perfectly acceptable because she drives him to it

Well actually he is the one who is most likely to lose out. He did want to change, but we all know how hard it is to change and all it needs is for someone to say you don't have to, to cease trying. Fortunately he is not on the birth cert so if needs be he could lose his relationship with the child.

Thatslife72 Wed 08-Jul-15 16:35:46

I remember going to couple councilling with my abusive ex, they didn't pick it up, just told me to not make him angry but that was the problem anything would make him angry. Sitting the wrong way would make him angry or not being welcoming enough! I wouldn't do it again. He needs councilling on his own to sort his own issues, but then if he's anything like mine was he will blame everyone else and just lie!

MiscellaneousAssortment Wed 08-Jul-15 16:53:07

Yeah, sounds very familiar to me.

I was told I was playing manipulative power games when I 'withheld sex'. I tried to explain about the pain, and bleeding, & the force. Didn't matter, men don't like to be manipulated and I had to stop saying no.

Took me a few years and alot of mumsnet before I was able to call it what it was. Rape.

No councelling for abusive relationships. Full stop.

Why can't counsellors work out when there is clear abuse (I mean, really fuckjng obvious, let alone more insidious types), and stop siding with the abuser?

Why does it keep happening? It's sick.

GoldfishCrackers Wed 08-Jul-15 19:56:16

This is outrageous. But I'm not surprised; I had a similar experience. Who was the counselling with? A complaint to their governing body would be in order.

goddessofsmallthings Wed 08-Jul-15 21:33:06

Fortunately he is not on the birth cert so if needs be he could lose his relationship with the child

That's not necessarily case as, should he feel so inclined, he can apply to the courts for a DNA test and a contact order should it be proved that the dc is his.

However, as this will cost him a fair sum and will doubtless lead to him being required to pay child maintenance 'on the books', it's probable that he won't bother to maintain a relationship with his dc should your friend decide to go completely nc with him.

Atenco Wed 08-Jul-15 21:37:50

She's looking into that, Goldfish.

It is all so unethical, because after this experience she started researching on the internet and she could not find one site where couple counselling is said to work when there is abuse.

GoldfishCrackers Wed 08-Jul-15 22:49:10

Good. It's dangerous.
A decent counsellor would have guidelines prohibiting them accepting a couple in an abusive relationship. Of course recognising the relationship is abusive it is another matter...

MiscellaneousAssortment Thu 09-Jul-15 00:00:16

I agree, it's good you can't find a site recommending it, as its a terrible thing to do which confirms the abusive status of the relationship and gives the abuser endorsement that his behaviour is allowed.

Atenco Thu 09-Jul-15 04:24:34

Anyway that is about all I wanted to say, just to reinforce the advice that is always given on mumsnet

buttonmoonboots Thu 09-Jul-15 09:44:56

I have a real issue with couples counselling. It's not recommended for abusive relationships, but so many people don't know they are in one. I have heard so many awful things about Relate. Their training seems very short and does not involve much supervised practice. (40-50 hours, which is really not very much.)

Atenco Thu 09-Jul-15 13:52:37

That is a good point, buttons. I'm afraid that is my problem with counsellors in general, there are so many bad ones. But I do know a young couple who weren't in an abusive relationship who really benefitted from it

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