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Can any Relate (or other) counsellors reassure me?

(6 Posts)
overthehillandroundthemountain Wed 10-Aug-16 13:00:22

Have had about 10 joint sessions, and a couple each by ourselves. At our recent session, we were told by the counsellor that there's nothing else she can do and were were 'chucked off' by the Relate counsellor.

I know I am overthinking it, but since then I have been smarting a bit, and I can't help but take it personally.

Was I too rude in the sessions? Too shouty? Too passive? Our last session was particularly shouty between the husband and me and I slipped in an F word. I feel so guilty about this, for some reason. I also said that I felt like hitting him, I was so angry.

I don't know what I am looking for...reassurance, perhaps? Did I shock her so much with my behaviour that I got us chucked off? I doubt it but..eek.

Part of me thinks 'whatever' and I'm sure this is some of that counsellor-client bonding. I've been seeking her reasurrance all the way through and have been reinforced by her attention, as she has validated things that have been tough in my life.

I am wondering if I need to work on my anger management, self-esteem, and whether I should continue to see her alone. But that would require asking husb, right? She takes on private clients so could see me outside Relate, although she did say that we can get in touch if we decide to have another go.

Has anyone else been in my shoes?

TheDevilMadeMeDoIt Wed 10-Aug-16 20:21:30

Some thoughts.

It isn't the purpose of therapy for the therapist to solve your problems, it is for them to work with you for you to find a solution for yourself.

In couples therapy, it's not about the therapist deciding that one half of the couple is right and the other wrong, but about discovering the barriers to communication in the relationship and creating an environment in which communication between them can thrive.

It isn't for the therapist to validate your experiences, but again to work with you to enable you to accept the validity of them for yourself.

It sounds as though she perhaps senses that what you want from her is not what she is there to give, and that you may have become too attached to her as someone whose attention makes you feel of worth, perhaps for the first time in some years.

However these are only guesses based on the little you've written. You've said nothing about your DH/P and how s/he responded to the therapy.

She must have said something - no therapist would simply stand up, fold their arms, announce you can't be helped and walk off.

Think back over the course of the therapy, and try to reflect on where things got sticky. Was there any point she seemed to be trying to get across to you that you were unwilling to accept? Therapy is about enabling you to change, on the basis that if you do what you've always done, things will be the way they've always been. Did you enjoy the sessions but not really make any meaningful changes?

If you think back honestly, you'll find that the clues are there. But don't take it personally as a rejection of you. It's simply that for whatever the reason this time it (an objective it) wasn't right.

SandyY2K Wed 10-Aug-16 20:43:56

Did you ask why the Counsellor said this?

Were either of you agressive in the session?

I know that Counsellors will halt sessions if one party discloses something in their IC session that makes the MC a nonsense or if they don't really want to repair the marriage.

As an example. If there has been an affair which one spouse believes is over, but it's not and the WS discloses this in an IC session, then there's no point in continuing.

I know a lady who had 10 ddays, as her husband just kept going back to the OW, but didn't want a divorce. Typical cake eater.

In the end the Counsellor told her that there was no point in continuing, as she didn't think her husband was committed to the marriage and she told her that she (the wife), needs to discuss what the Counsellor told her husband in the session.

So she didn't divulge what was said, but it became clear in the end.

SystemAticcally Wed 10-Aug-16 23:38:14

Counseling is not a football game where you hope to score most goals. If you go into it with this attitude you wont gain much out of it.

overthehillandroundthemountain Thu 11-Aug-16 00:19:54

Hugely helpful, thank you for replies. This has helped me think it through in more detail.

SystemAticcally Whilst my use of the term 'chucked off' might have football connotations, I am aware that it's not a game to score goals. On the contrary, I was approaching it with interest and open-mindedness. I don't think she would have been able to have saved the marriage, but I posted on here to think through whether this was really the case. If anything, it was my DH who approached counselling in the manner you describe. He saw her as an arbitrator to whom he brought all manner of moans and groans and examples of inequality.

TheDevilMadeMeDoIt Thank you. Your post helped me to think about it further. I think I haven't given it enough time to absorb what she said on Monday. We have been using the sessions to communicate, but the nature of that communication is one where we couldn't work further. I suppose she facilitated the validation of experiences, but it's not just about the 'what', but about 'how', and that wasn't happening.

She did say this, that we are both too separate now, with neither of us willing to back down. Yes, I guess your right, she senses that what I am getting from the sessions is something that she is not really there to give. By nature of my DH's abusive ways, I have become attached to the attention, yes. You articulated that for me, thank you. It is, indeed, as though I've had attention from someone who makes me feel heard and worthy for the first time in years. Yes! Thank you for this.

I suppose this, paired with DH's attitude which was to have her 'referee' us, meant she couldn't proceed with us. She did offer a change of counsellor, but we both agreed that it's not for lack of skills on her part. You're right, she didn't just stand up and declare it over. She said she could no longer take the counselling forward, that we can't work on this, and to come back to her if we feel that we can see a way forwards.

Thinking back, she had produced a sort of map for us - we will do x sessions together and then maybe x sessions 1:1 and then come back together for x. She also said that this must be expensive for us (which it is) but yes, I think it's that she wanted us to do a particular type of therapy but I have told her no. Maybe I am too stubborn and hard-headed, maybe my husband is, too, but I don't want to engage in it. I suppose I have my answer there - but I was surprised that she seemed to cut off a life-line like that. Maybe that is part of the answer, too, that she sensed I was using her as too much of a lifeline and that I should now stand alone...

Yes, I did enjoy the sessions but without making (m)any meaningful changes, that's right.

Maybe that's why I have this horrible feeling of taking it personally. I know, rationally, that this was very much not the case. She asked for a hug when we said our goodbyes, and said something like "Goodbye, sweetie, good luck with it" or I think she stuck up for my interests.

This is so hard! By definition of why we were there - I am attention- and love-starved - there is potential for me to misread her. But it's stupid, I paid for that attention, after all, and it was no more special than it would have been for her towards other clients!

(Sorry for sounding needy!). I guess I am feeling vulnerable.

SandyY2K I found your post very helpful, thank you. Yes, we were both quite verbally aggressive to one another. I suspect she had already thought it would be our last session beforehand, but that the increasing levels of hostility confirmed it.

She knew that I was not really wanting to repair the damage. Further confirmation.

Thank you. That helps a lot.

overthehillandroundthemountain Thu 11-Aug-16 00:21:15

*Yes, I guess your right

You're right...

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