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Freedom Programme - is it any good?

(14 Posts)
YouLostMeThere Tue 01-Dec-15 10:22:55

Has anyone done the Freedome Programme? Is there much more to it than what is in the book "Living with the Dominator", the book the programme is partly based on? I have read Lundy Bancroft's "Why does he do that" and it was shocking how much I identified with in it. But I have been advised a couple of times to look at the Freedom Programme as well. I am struggling to juggle childcare, house stuff and work, and don't know whether finding time to go to meetings might not just add to the load. I am also going to relate and having to go to another group for other family issues, so my week is getting a bit overhwelming. Any advice or experience would be appreciated. Thanks.

YouLostMeThere Tue 01-Dec-15 19:55:43

Sorry about the shameless bumping, and I realise that people who have done the freedom programme may not want to discuss, but I'd really value any opinions. Going through a really shitty time with H, and I don't know whether it would benefit me or seal our fate. I have realised I didnt know just how deep into twisted territory I had got, and it's frightening when you don't recognise yourself in your heart. I have been pointed towards the freedom programme but at some level I still feel it's a massive exaggeration. On the other hand I know many things are very very wrong.

Imbroglio Tue 01-Dec-15 22:19:56

I haven't done the Freedom Programme but it sounds as if you have a lot going on at once. Is Relate with your husband?

I wonder if you could do with some time just focusing on you.

You can do the Freedom Programme online, if getting to meetings is a problem.

MichelleNeedsMore Tue 01-Dec-15 22:29:39

I haven't done the Freedom program but I have been to relate with my DH. Would it be possible to get him to go with you? It got him to finally at leat admit he need to look at his behaviour. Hope this helps

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Tue 01-Dec-15 22:31:01

I started it, but found I knew a lot of the stuff already, a lot of it from here. It was difficult to get there, there was someone there who took up all time with their issues, and I found I wasn't getting enough from it to justify the hassle to do it iuswim. Having said that, many women on this board have got a lot from it. Maybe the course is just better some places than others?

Namechanger2015 Tue 01-Dec-15 22:38:25

I read Lundy and also attended the Freedom Programme after reading Living with the Dominator, the book by Pat Craven, which is the basis for the Freedom Programme.

I hated the very first session, I found it very slow and condescending, but I came back the following week and found it extremely useful.

Yes I did know lots of it already from reading but actually being in a room with other women who he experienced the same was a real eye opener for me, and discussing/understanding my Hs tactics was so much easier in a group setting rather than reading from a book. I finished the course in mid-July and still find myself thinking back to some of the points discussed.

The location and timing wasn't great but I looked upon it as a counselling session and booked the time out of my work diary to force me to attend.

I would definitely recommend it.

outofpaper Tue 01-Dec-15 23:20:53

I have been on the Freedom Programme, and I would absolutely recommend it. Yes, you can gain the information from books, but I personally found that being in a group and having the opportunity to ask questions and share experiences with others was invaluable.

Could you try an attend a couple of sessions to start with and see how you get on with it?

summerwinterton Tue 01-Dec-15 23:39:53

I did it online and found it invaluable. Many say attending in person, but I would recommend online if that is preferable to you.

summerwinterton Tue 01-Dec-15 23:43:09

and btw - joint counselling with an abuser is never ever recommended so please don't do that.

YouLostMeThere Wed 02-Dec-15 09:06:34

Thanks for all the messages, I really appreciate them. I think you might be right about the benefit of the group being more about being able to ask questions and share. But I also see the potential for problems with one person dominating the group - I am having that problem with the other family group I have to go to; one of the women just talks and talks and no-one else can get a word in, or feels like challenging her. I think it would be nice to share some of this with other people. It might help with the "going slightly crazy" feelings. I am seeing a lady from WA this morning so hopefully will be able to discuss it in more detail.

Half of my life is carrying on as normal, trying to interact with husband as normal and do Christmas prep, look after kids, finish off work etc, and the other half is wondering just how the fuck I got into a place like this in the first place. And according to H it is a lot my own fault. I should just be more caring, less "hard" on him, give him some credit for trying. But I just don't trust him to keep on trying. And I don't want him to "try", I want him to actually take responsibility and change. Faint hope eh? God it's hard to let go.

Namechanger2015 Wed 02-Dec-15 11:52:27

Please go to a couple of sessions and see how you feel. In my session nobody in particular dominated the discussions, and there are activities that you do in a team, which will help you regardless of whether you speak up during the meeting or not.

You don't have to commit to attending all 12 sessions, my one let people join midway etc, and people came and went to different sessions.

It played a very big part in my recovery, in fact I often think about repeating the course as I got so much out of it.

It helped ALOT with the going crazy and self-doubt I had been storing up over the years.

outofpaper Wed 02-Dec-15 15:17:54

I also had the same experience as namechanger.
I have attended two courses (well, one and a bit)and at neither course did anyone dominate and take over.
Our course leader was also quite good at making sure this didn't happen anyway, as there is such a lot of information to get through so we had to be mindful about keeping to the structure of the lessons within the time that we had.

It has also played a huge part in my recovery. From what I experienced I would say it was mainly about giving you the important information in order to understand the nature and the effects of an abuser, rather than specifically how to deal with it emotionally IYKWIM. (That part I am still trying to get my head around but I am getting there gradually).
And they do help you with directing you to how you can get the emotional and practical support that you need depending on your situation.

YouLostMeThere Wed 02-Dec-15 16:29:40

Thank you namechanger and outofpaper, I think I shall try and give the sessions a go. They sound like they've been very positive experiences for you. Each day is a struggle because the more minutes and hours I'm away from him, the more obvious how absolutely headfuck his behaviour is, but the moment he comes home, I'm back in be quiet and don't rock the boat mode and I lose sight of it.

Namechanger2015 Thu 03-Dec-15 09:41:33

Each day is a struggle because the more minutes and hours I'm away from him, the more obvious how absolutely headfuck his behaviour is, but the moment he comes home, I'm back in be quiet and don't rock the boat mode and I lose sight of it.

Yes, this is EXACTLY how I was and sometimes still am.

For me one of the biggest things was being able to understand his behaviour and put a name to his actions. Google things like 'stonewalling', 'gas lighting' 'narcissistic personality disorder'.

The more I read about emotional abuse the easier it becomes, because I realise this is abuse by numbers - they just tick down their list of weapons, and fire them one by one.

Good luck, its great that you are doing something about this and tackling it head on. It will give you strength.

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