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Top 3 questions to ask at first counseling session?

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AmberDust posted 2/18/2014 01:47 AM

I have contacted 2 new Individual Counselors.
Neither of these IC's has "infidelity issues" stated as an area of expertise on their website, but where I am that is not uncommon.

I am trying to figure out if either one of them is a match.
IC#1 does a free, first "getting to know each other" session of about an hour.
IC#2 charges money, so I was wondering if it's a good idea to email her before the first session, and asking her to answer a few questions.

Basically of course, I want to know if she'll say that affair partners can remain friends after DD. Or that I must have done wrong in my marriage for my partner to cheat. You know, get the hang of whether she has a feel for the specific BS issues.

So my question to you is: Which questions should I ask?

stillhere09 posted 2/18/2014 06:27 AM


Ask if she has read the book "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass. If she has, ask her what she thinks of it.

If she has not read it and agrees with it, I would keep looking.

You could also ask what experience she has in working with marriages with infidelity issues, but the thing here is that she can say she has little experience, but infidelity is a big no-no with her, persuade you that she would be a good counselor anyway, and then turn out to be not so good.

AmberDust posted 2/21/2014 04:02 AM

It's probably not a good sign when IC#2, whom I've emailed a couple of questions to ask about her experience working with a BS and the specific BS "issues", is not responding, right?

million tears posted 2/21/2014 12:31 PM

If she can't be bothered to answer your questions, she doesn't sound like she would be very vested to you as a client. I would definitely not go with her.

AmberDust posted 2/27/2014 06:26 AM

I went to see the other counselor, we were very upfront with each other. Or, at least I was, with her. For instance, I told her I don't believe in the A being my fault, and if at any time she'd try to convince me otherwise, I would be out the door.

Same goes for "You shouldn't have informed the other betrayed spouse". I don't think she completely agreed with me on informing. Was it my "right" to do it? Is it a good thing to "meddle" in someone else's relationship?

I told her I felt I had every right to inform the OBS, since MOW felt she had a right to destroy my marriage and family and besides, he has a right to know to whom he is married. While she doesn't believe in "an eye for an eye", she said she would focus on what effects informing has had on me.

She felt I was trying to maybe manipulate her, by stating my demands and convictions. She is not a relationship counselor, per sť.

What do you think of this new counselor?

cvs2kkids posted 2/27/2014 07:30 AM

She felt I was trying to maybe manipulate her, by stating my demands and convictions. She is not a relationship counselor, per sť.


Run run run.

I would be very wary. She's already being defensive and let's be honest, if her views are different then yours, it will come out in the sessions.

Brandon808 posted 2/27/2014 07:50 AM

It's probably not a good sign when IC#2, whom I've emailed a couple of questions to ask about her experience working with a BS and the specific BS "issues", is not responding, right?
In asking about her experience in a specific way this IC may be having trouble in crafting an answer that doesn't violate confidentiality, especially by documenting it in an email. Just my first impression when I read this.

Also, I have an inherent problem with anyone who thinks outing an A is "meddling" or "interfering" with a relationship. It concerns that so many people in our society continue to minimize cheating as if it were the equivalent of some private "choice". There are vast consequences to it and it affects other people. If someone were addicted to drugs and you learned about it would be meddling to inform their SO, their family? We're not talking about some campaign of personal destruction here. We're talking about disclosing the truth to another person who is, like it or not, directly affected by it. I do not see it as my personal obligation to buy into a cheater's warped compartmentalization mentality where their A is their "private business". It's not private. It's kept hidden because of lies and secrecy.

Tred posted 2/27/2014 08:07 AM

1. What is your name?
2. What is your quest?
3. What is your favorite color?

Seriously though, neither sounds like a match. Agree with Brandon's observation. I would be interested in what processing techniques the IC specializes in; do they know how to do EMDR, what is their approach to treating trauma, and have they treated individuals that have been affected by infidelity? I would suggest that you don't choose a counselor by e-mail. At least have a phone conversation to find out if you have any rapport at all with the IC. You want someone who is going to be empathetic with you, but at the same time not pity you. If your leg was broken, how would you choose someone to treat it?


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