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IC & MC with same therapist?

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Calli0pe posted 12/18/2013 13:30 PM

WH and I started MC, and he definatly needs IC as well; he was seeing escorts & may needs to be evaluated for SA. The MC said he can treat WH and also be our MC, if thats what we want. Part of me likes this idea because our MC already made it clear that nothing either of us say to him can be kept from the other (in other words he won't keep any of WH's secrets for him). On the other hand, if seems like a conflict of interests for the MC, and I'd prefer if WH saw someone who specializes in SA.
Anyone have experience with this? Is seeing the same person for IC and MC normal?

Blobette posted 12/18/2013 13:59 PM

I agree with you -- it's a conflict of interest and SA is a specialized issue that should be treated by someone with expertise. In the US I think there's a fairly strong professional norm that this is inadvisable, but that seems to be different in the UK. However, it's better to go with a great therapist if you've got one, so I doubt it's a hard and fast rule.

atsenaotie posted 12/18/2013 14:06 PM

Setting aside the SA issue, FWW and I use the same person for MC and IC for both of us. We have been very happy with the arrangement. A good MC/IC can be hard to find, let alone 3 of them. He certainly has as complete a picture of our "stuff" as is possible. I have never felt a sense of it creating a problematic conflict.

iwillNOT posted 12/18/2013 15:42 PM

We have 3 C's between us - his, mine, and the MC. Works well.

Bikingguy posted 12/18/2013 15:52 PM

Our MC (which we both like) would not see either of us as IC. So WW and I each have a different IC. Unfortunately both became pregnant at the same time and are both out. There are no other C's at that office that we can see and our R has suffered. We have been trying to double up on MC, but she is very busy (economy must be doing better).

So if you can find someone who will do both IC and MC I would give it a try. I will say both myself and I like our individual IC's - they just are both out right now.

PS. As a BS our sarcastic wit can change. I did however refrain from asking IC is she knew who the father was

sisoon posted 12/18/2013 16:35 PM

There's no hard and fast rule for this.

My W's IC saw us on D-Day. The C confronted the hell out of my W and gave me a lot of support, so we continued in MC with her, and my W continued IC. (W had lied to her about her A; otherwise, I would have insisted on a new IC and different MC.)

I wanted some IC and asked her, and we considered it, but in the end we both concluded that there was a potential conflict of interest between my W and I. (Boy, did that hurt!) Our C refused to take me on as a client; if she hadn't refused, I think I would have - she knew my W better than me, and I feared she'd pick her in any conflict.

In the early days, even if you both say you want R, one of you may not actually be willing to do the work. If that happens, then your interests collide, and it puts a common C in a very difficult position. You need a very competent C or different Cs if that happens.

A few months ago, I realized I was stuck on some of my own issues and wanted more IC. At that point, a conflict of interest between me and my W was (and remains) extremely unlikely, and I started IC with our MC.

Protect yourself. You need your IC to be only in your corner. If you really, really trust the C, or if Cs in your neck of the woods are few and far between, it's worth a try, but be careful. Protect yourself.

And remember - if you something is fishy with the counseling, it probably is. You direct your healing; no one else can. The C is a consultant - you're the decision-maker.

Fallen posted 12/18/2013 16:41 PM

I think it really depends on the therapist. My IC was our MC and it worked really well. She had been my IC for a while before we started counseling together. She held me accountable and didn't let me lie or bullshit through our joint sessions. She didn't reveal anything we talked about in my individual sessions, but boy did she call me out when I wasn't being honest with myself. I also felt supported when she addressed issues with my BH. We're 10 years out from dday and doing great.

IGaveItMyAll posted 12/18/2013 17:35 PM

We have the sam MC and IC. He is really good. I find it helpful because he knows the entire situation and the both of us really well. He was reluctant at first and doesn't usually do this. But my WW found it hard to open up to other therapists so we practically begged him to give it a try.

authenticnow posted 12/18/2013 17:53 PM


We have the same MC and IC. He is really good. I find it helpful because he knows the entire situation and the both of us really well.

^^^This^^^

We aren't in IC/MC anymore but we when we were we found that it worked really well. It depends on the counselor and what you're comfortable with.

Calli0pe posted 12/18/2013 20:31 PM

Thanks a lot guys! Your different perspectives are really helpful. I feel like if I decide to go to IC I'll see someone else, but for now if WH wants to see our MC for IC, I'm ok with it. I also found out our MC does specialize in sex therapy (though not specifically SA), so I'm not going to insist WH find someone else.

JustWow posted 12/18/2013 21:17 PM

After many years of IC for SA H, I will tell you the most important thing is that his IC is CSAT (certified SA therapist -- check the link sexhelp.com) for a directory by zipcode). I think it helps greatly that our MC is also a CSAT from the same practice. But the time H spent with non-CSAT ICs was a waste at best and set him/us back at times.

Lionne posted 12/18/2013 21:53 PM

What JustWow said. Non CSAT ICs are generally NOT qualified to deal with the very specific therapy required by SAs. This is a HARD addiction to beat, one cannot just give up sex like you do heroin, alcohol or even gambling. And there is no blood test to check if he is accessing porn.
However, if YOU want to use the same IC as a MC, that can work...

HardenMyHeart posted 12/18/2013 23:50 PM

My FWW was seeing an IC for depression just prior to d-day. When D-day arrived, we used the same therapist for both MC and IC. It worked well for us. I really felt we were all on the same page through those painful first few months following D-day.

[This message edited by HardenMyHeart at 11:50 PM, December 18th (Wednesday)]

Calli0pe posted 12/19/2013 12:21 PM

Thanks again for the advice, guys. Our history makes me doubtful he's SA, but obviously I'm not qualified to say. I found a CSAT that accepts our insurance so WH is meeting with him.

Sammy2013 posted 12/19/2013 12:45 PM

We use the same counselor for both of our IC and MC. I like it. We originally saw him for MC and then realized we both need IC. He offered if it wasn't a problem for us and I like it because when I go in for IC I'm not spending a portion of my time telling about what happened in MC, etc.

However, he made it very clear that what was said in IC was kept in IC, with the exception of bodily harm. I needed to feel that security that what I talked to him about one on one wasn't going to be brought into the couples arena until he (counselor) and I agreed on how to handle it. But that's my preference. I don't know if I would feel it's a safe environment for IC if I knew that it was all going to be spilled in MC. Therefore I would and might keep things to myself and not work them out.

It is nice because if I have something I want to discuss with WH, I will run it by counselor and he can help me decide how to discuss, because I tend to get very emotional and angry. We also talk about things that come up in IC in MC. Right now he's pivotal in our recovery (and we are doing amazingly well right now). Whenever it gets heated, emotional, too much to handle we just say "We need to bring this up with Steve on Friday" And then we stop. Have time to cool down, then discuss at MC. It's working wonders.

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