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Concerns about DW and therapist - am I paranoid?

(123 Posts)
StonedRoses Tue 15-Sep-20 09:09:04

I’ve posted before about my concerns about the Male therapist has been seeing for the last three years. Let’s call him John. He’s a little unorthodox and the process has lead to my DW going nc with her entire family. I’ve really no idea about whether the memories they have unearthed are correct or not. But that’s a side issue to today

One of my concerns has been the frequency of contact. Often 2-3 times a week. Text and email between and often arranged at short notice. There have been emergency they sit sessions, sometimes meeting at a local park or in the car

This week she told me on Friday at 5pm she had a phone call with John at 6. Then she left the house to make the call from the car, for privacy of course. However she then drove off and come back a couple of hours later.
Again yesterday her scheduled session is Thursday. Mid afternoon she text me to say she has another session straight after work

A friend of mine who can be a bit cynical has said to me ‘are you sure there’s nothing else going on’. And it’s got me thinking. I’m sure there isn’t and I hate feeling paranoid. But even so it does feel like current contact is OTT and rather eating into family time.

OP’s posts: |
PinkMonkeyBird Tue 15-Sep-20 09:14:32

She must have serious issues if she's seeing a therapist 3 x per week for 3 years. What made her see a therapist? It does sound extremely unhealthy and unethical.

MrsElijahMikaelson1 Tue 15-Sep-20 09:15:23

You’re right to be suspicious. I’ve had therapy and it was
a)only once a week
b)lasted around 18months
c)no contact with therapist between sessions.
d) took place in her therapy rooms
I’d report the therapist to his governing body for being incredibly unprofessional. No therapist would meet in the car/park etc etc. If he was that worried about your wife’s mental health that she needs therapy that many times a week plus phone calls in between times then I would suggest she would actually need to be an in-patient. This is obviously not the case... you’re right to be concerned. At the very least your wife is vulnerable, being treated by a very unprofessional therapist and getting all her support elsewhere which she should be getting some of with you, at worst, they are having an affair.

AtrociousCircumstance Tue 15-Sep-20 09:15:38

That sounds extremely unorthodox.

Is he BACP accredited? You can check he is qualified.

Sparklfairy Tue 15-Sep-20 09:16:45

It does sound extremely unhealthy and unethical.

I think it's more likely (if she's up to no good) that there is no therapist, or she doesn't see him as often as she says but uses it as cover to see someone else on the sly.

Sunnydaysstillhere Tue 15-Sep-20 09:17:02

In a car with a therapist? Dd's sessions were via face time due to Covid....

PinkMonkeyBird Tue 15-Sep-20 09:18:14

MrsElijahMikaelson1

You’re right to be suspicious. I’ve had therapy and it was
a)only once a week
b)lasted around 18months
c)no contact with therapist between sessions.
d) took place in her therapy rooms
I’d report the therapist to his governing body for being incredibly unprofessional. No therapist would meet in the car/park etc etc. If he was that worried about your wife’s mental health that she needs therapy that many times a week plus phone calls in between times then I would suggest she would actually need to be an in-patient. This is obviously not the case... you’re right to be concerned. At the very least your wife is vulnerable, being treated by a very unprofessional therapist and getting all her support elsewhere which she should be getting some of with you, at worst, they are having an affair.

Totally this.

edwinbear Tue 15-Sep-20 09:18:19

I doubt it's her therapist she's seeing, it sounds like he is a convenient cover story, sorry OP.

Justcallmebebes Tue 15-Sep-20 09:22:39

This is totally unethical and unprofessional. No legit therapist would operate this way. You do not build an attachment/relationship with a client, ever. I'm afraid I think there is more to this

SandyY2K Tue 15-Sep-20 09:30:16

You're right to be concerned. There seems to be serious boundary issues with the therapist, with the contact between sessions and the short notice contact.

Therapists are not meant to make you become dependent on them and this seems to be happening here.

I would make enquiries to see if he's a BACP member, however, it is not illegal to practice as a counsellor if you're not a member either.

The BACP has an ethical framework for counsellors to work within and abide by.

Do you know what his counselling approach is...such as is he a, Person Centred practitioner?

Try and Google him and see what comes up.

Also ask your wife how she found him... was it through a friend...online. Don't ask in a suspicious way...maybe say someone was having issues and you were thinking a therapist could help and were wondering how she found hers.

StonedRoses Tue 15-Sep-20 09:36:52

It’s a very complex backstory. She went to therapy after some unhappy life events and this lead to the uncovering of memories and all sorts of complex issues that I do not understand.
He is a registered therapist and I’ve contacted the appropriate body but they will only take a formal complaint from a client directly. And they say that whilst what he is doing is unusual and not recommended it’s not ‘forbidden’. There’s lots of other concerns like him wanting to hug her to help but again this isn’t against the code

I’ve never before considered she could be seeing someone else. I’m sure she wouldn’t be doing anything dodgy with ‘John’. He’s about 20yrs older and looks like Jeremy Corbyn. I just wonder if I’m going mad thinking about it all??

OP’s posts: |
Yankathebear Tue 15-Sep-20 09:39:53

I doubt it’s the therapist she’s seeing.

ColleagueFromMars Tue 15-Sep-20 09:46:13

Just because "John" looks like Jeremy Corbyn doesn't mean she won't be having an affair with him. I feel sick reading what you've written - the therapist is supposed to have crystal clear boundaries for good reason. People who are getting therapy can be incredibly vulnerable - in fact vulnerability is an almost inevitable part of getting therapy. The nature of discussing such very personal things builds emotional intimacy and it is the professional's job to keep it professional. No he shouldn't be seeing her in the car or in the park or in secret - in a covid world he should have switched to telephone or video calls.

Whydidimarryhim Tue 15-Sep-20 09:47:48

Do you have access to bank statements to check the payments she is making.
Can you follow her at all?
Can you check phone for messages. Unorthodox too!!!
Does she want to end the marriage/relationship. Have you had a disagreement prior to her contacting him in an emergency.
Is he just using her vulnerabilities to extract more monies from her.
Can she afford the therapy as it’s at least £40 per hour.
I can understand your concerns.
I’ve had lots of therapy and never been hugged.
I suppose she was honest with you when she told her he wanted to hug her. Is she looking at more affection from you?
Is she still talking and being intimate in the same way.
Adults can become dependent on therapist and he may not be healthy himself.
Sounds very tricky for you.

edwinbear Tue 15-Sep-20 09:48:17

What's more likely OP? She's seeing a professional, registered therapist at irregular hours, at very short notice, in unprofessional settings, or that she's using him as a cover to see someone else?

Be very careful of what you accuse 'John' of, because the ramifications for his career are immense if you've got this wrong.

LadyLuna16 Tue 15-Sep-20 09:48:24

If she is seeing her therapist at these times and this often then this is very concerning. Boundaries are so important in therapy - this is not therapeutic.

Can you check if they are registered with BACP of UKCP? If they are then they are breaking the ethical code.

I am so sorry - and your wife is also being manipulated here by a relationship where there is a power imbalance.

Frownette Tue 15-Sep-20 09:49:42

Doesn't sound right.

Can you not talk to her about this?

Elieza Tue 15-Sep-20 09:52:02

Sounds well dodgy. I believe she’s going once a week. Where she goes the rest of the time though..?

Therapists are expensive. Could she afford to see one three times a week. If it was £50 a go (I’ve no idea) that’s £150 a week, an average of £600 per month. Does she have that kind of money? Have you seen any of her bank statements with card payment entries on them for the therapist? Do they tie up with when she says she goes?

StonedRoses Tue 15-Sep-20 09:52:35

edwinbear

What's more likely OP? She's seeing a professional, registered therapist at irregular hours, at very short notice, in unprofessional settings, or that she's using him as a cover to see someone else?

Be very careful of what you accuse 'John' of, because the ramifications for his career are immense if you've got this wrong.

Exactly. That’s why I’ve proceeded very cautiously. To be fair non of the possible are very palatable. Even though I have concerns about his style and the contact (if it’s true) that’s my issue not his. One thing I’ve realised is that I adults make their own decisions. I can no more stop my wife seeing him than I can stop the earth spinning if she wishes to see him

OP’s posts: |
Sparklfairy Tue 15-Sep-20 09:52:45

I really don't think it's the therapist she's seeing, at least not everytime she says.

My therapist had strict rules about contact outside of our weekly sessions. I was allowed to send her one email if I was desperate, and she would send one response. I assume it was to act as a safety net and encourage self reliance, as well as making sure clients didn't take the piss with constant contact between sessions.

I don't know if mine was a common set up. I do know 1) the likelihood of a therapist risking his career just to get his rocks off is practically zero (but not impossible), and 2) it must be costing her a fortune in sessions and if the contact outside of sessions is as frequent as you say he would be very stupid not to charge her for that also.

She says she's meeting John but she's going somewhere else.

TorkTorkBam Tue 15-Sep-20 09:53:44

I would also be surprised if she is actually seeing John.

If it were true, three long sessions a week must be eye wateringly expensive.

Also, if she needs this much therapy or adultery in her life for three years I would be revaluating whether your relationship is worth keeping.

StonedRoses Tue 15-Sep-20 09:54:25

She pays for him out of her account (we both have our own and a joint we pay into). There were concerns about the cost -£60 an hour isn’t cheap. I think now she pays with a set weekly fee that covers any extras or emergency sessions

OP’s posts: |
Sparklfairy Tue 15-Sep-20 09:56:16

StonedRoses

She pays for him out of her account (we both have our own and a joint we pay into). There were concerns about the cost -£60 an hour isn’t cheap. I think now she pays with a set weekly fee that covers any extras or emergency sessions

I call bollocks on that.

Therapy isn't an all you can eat buffet ffs.

She's lying to you so you don't question the cost of these "sessions".

SpaceOP Tue 15-Sep-20 09:56:17

Mmm, this does sound very unprofessional and concerning.

However, I'm also concerned that you don't seem to believe that she genuinely has problems. You aren't sure if you "believe" her about her family? You don't "understand" her complex issues. In which case, I think it's possible she's spiralling because she's dealing with a whole lot of stuff and her DH is not actually on her side?

Having said all that, the therapist should be attempting to put boundaries in place and it's concerning that he's not. I know that for many therapists this can be hard when they're being bombarded by text messages and emails from desperate patients, and they get sucked in.

Have you tried actually talking to her? Asking what's going on and actually listening? Because right now I'd say she's either having an affair or she's going through something major and feels she needs to keep it from you.

TorkTorkBam Tue 15-Sep-20 09:56:52

On the fees: that is bollocks.

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