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Counselling with a psychiatrist DH

(18 Posts)
ModerateBecomingGoodLater Tue 01-Nov-16 19:32:18

I'm after some advice from people who've had counseling.

Our relationship is definitely in a sticky patch. We've been having the same arguments for 5 ish years, about fair division of chores, child care, feeling valued, lots of things.

I've been alternatively trying to cope and ignore the issue, and really not picking.

Nothing I've tried works. On Sunday at the end of my tether I asked if he'd consider counselling. I think he agreed.

Now I'm having second thoughts. DH is a psychiatrist and very very good at getting what he wants in social / professional settings. Everyone who meets him raves about how clever he is, how interesting he is etc.

Am I mad to consider this? Will they see through it and be able to help?

Fourormore Tue 01-Nov-16 19:34:37

Make sure you see someone with proper qualifications, preferably accredited by the UKCP or BACP. A good psychotherapist will be able to see his behaviours for what they are.

HeyMacWey Tue 01-Nov-16 19:34:53

I don't think you're mad to consider it. You want to make your relationship work.

Ask around for recommendations for a counsellor. They'll easily be able to see the dynamics and be wouldn't be able to control the sessions.

HeyMacWey Tue 01-Nov-16 19:35:33

And yes - definitely someone registered.

ModerateBecomingGoodLater Tue 01-Nov-16 19:47:45


If I'm honest, he will poo poo any qualifications so I'll probably end up choosing who we see.

I presume relate might not be the best avenue. I'll get googling for local services.

Fourormore Tue 01-Nov-16 19:50:48

I think relate are a bit of a mixed bag, some great, some not.
If a BSc won't cut it, there are therapists out there with Masters and PhDs.

HeyMacWey Tue 01-Nov-16 20:07:36

I agree - probably not relate.
Have a look on the bacp website - they have a search facility.
Perhaps give a few a call and see if you click with any over the phone as a starting point.

PegEgg Tue 01-Nov-16 20:15:16

Perhaps pay for a Counselling Psychologist. You can search on the British PSychological Society website.

Isetan Wed 02-Nov-16 10:17:28

Be prepared to be dragged through the emotional wringer while Mr 'I'm the smartest person in the room' tries to dominate you and/or the therapist. After five years of the same argument, do you really think he wants change let alone is capable of it?

I don't think the problem is that he doesn't understand, it's just that he doesn't care.

RiceCrispieTreats Wed 02-Nov-16 10:24:40

I'm thinking the same as Isetan.

Perhaps use what happens in the sessions to judge whether your H is even interested in changing?

Gobbolinothewitchscat Wed 02-Nov-16 10:28:21

Why not ask him to find 2 therapists and you find 2. Hopefully you can decide together.

Agreeing to counselling in the first instance is a good step so I don't think it's fair to piss all over your chips at the moment by saying he doesn't care etc. Behaviour patterns can be changed

doji Wed 02-Nov-16 11:04:24

Not being funny, but if you're at the point where you don't trust him to behave in the best interests of the relationship in a counselling session, then perhaps it is already too late. I couldn't stay in a relationship with a man that I suspected would try to manipulate a couples counsellor to get his preferred outcome, rather than engage in the process to try and make the relationship as good as possible for both of you.

Admirablenelson Wed 02-Nov-16 15:42:55

Dear OP, I haven't posted before but your question struck a chord with me. I think you need not worry at all that your husband would take over the session. If he did try, the counsellor would pick up on it. It could be a useful avenue to visit.

My wife, who is also a psychiatrist, arranged couple counselling for us, for much the same reasons you mention. I was concerned that I could get stitched up between two psychobabbleing practitioners but it was not at all like that. In fact it was very interesting and useful. It helped a lot to discuss problems in a neutral space with no distractions. There was laughter as well as some tears. It was expensive, though, and took a while to set up.

Ironically, your husband is probably better placed than you to ask around for therapist recommendations. And if he did he would be more invested in the process. Naturally you cannot meet anyone known to him or either of you.

We have stopped our sessions, mainly due to the cost, but my wife and I are far nicer to each other now.

Good luck, hope it works out for you.

spangleknickers Wed 02-Nov-16 15:55:25

You could be me! I have been desperately unhappy in my relationship for years and DP trained as a psychoanalyst. He regularly throws 'mad' diagnosis at me...calls me a 'narcissist' and has diagnosed me with OCD and Alcoholism. The last straw...finally..and I decided we should try and see a therapist together (perhaps hoping she might turn into a mediator). My OH found her through BACP and she has been marvellous. For all DP's training, she has reassured me that it is not 'just me' but that he is unreasonably jealous and controlling (via several expensive sessions and explained in the most impartial way - I got the 'eternal adolescent' label) and that in all probability we would be better off separating for now so that I can have some breathing space. I thought it would go totally the other way and they would both gang up on me in psychobabble. There were a few tricky moments when DP decided to terminate her services as she was 'biased' (being female), but he seemed to want to continue seeing her to save the relationship

ModerateBecomingGoodLater Wed 02-Nov-16 19:07:38

Thank you all so much. Lots of food for thought.

I think DH is more serious about keeping going with the relationship at the moment than me, but I don't think he sees the same issues.

I want to give it a good chance, but he may be dismissive of the skills of another professional. He may not deliberately sabotage the sessions but he will be good at seeing through any techniques they use.

Part of what's been the problem for the past few years is his refusal to engage with menial household tasks, and his insistence that I am controlling and demand standards for cleanliness etc that he will find impossible to meet.

I am hoping that a 3rd party will either be able to change the pattern of our behaviour, or consolidate my nagging feeling that he's just not interested in doing his share.

corythatwas Wed 02-Nov-16 19:09:59

"DH is a psychiatrist and very very good at getting what he wants in social / professional settings."

The only way counselling would work, surely, is if both of you actually want to learn new ways of communicating. If he is a manipulative shit who only wants to have his own way, counselling is doomed anyway, isn't it?

So basically, what doji said. Do you trust him? If not, are you sure this relationship has a future?

HeavenlyEyes Wed 02-Nov-16 20:18:26

joint counselling with someone who manipulates - erm no thanks. I would get counselling for yourself to work out why you put up with years of unhappiness.

CockacidalManiac Wed 02-Nov-16 20:56:55

Dismissive of the skills of another professional?! I've been involved (as a patient) with two consultant psychiatrists. Both could be charitably described as ineffective halfwits.
Yet my experience of psychotherapists and psychologists has been mainly positive.
He needs to pull his head out of his arse.

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