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Marriage counseling question

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Lark posted 6/25/2014 15:21 PM

Husband and I started MC today.. while the psychologist was nice, pro-marriage, a good listener, and seemed to be well experienced as a counselor... I'm am dubious about his experience in terms of marriage counseling..

I had a few concerns:
- he has dealt with relationships, but marriages with families and affairs is not his area of expertise
- he had not heard of either How to Help Your Spouse Heal or NOT Just friends. He didn't have any works to reference to read except Gottman's research.
- he uses imago as his approach to couple counseling, which I thought sounded good for like individual counseling or even some of marriage counseling... but it didn't really sound like an approach that is meant as the main/only approach for affairs. Maybe I misunderstood.
- he told me that he doesn't feel it is useful for the hurt spouse to cycle through asking questions about the affair and my attention should instead turn to focusing on my feelings and developing communication. This seemed to go against what I have read and so far have felt to be true that working through the details is a way of understanding it, working through it, coping, and allowing to move on and be able to focus on emotions, processing it, communication, and larger marital issues

We get free counseling through my insurance, but most of the counselors are aimed at identity, work/stress, depression, alcoholism, sexuality. There are only two that deal with marriages, and neither seems to be actually experienced in affairs/family counseling but moreso just that they did some extra training so that they could take on the marriage cases.

My husband and I have agreed to stick with him and then reassess if his approach is helping, but I'm feeling a bit dubious. Am I overreacting considering this was day 1?

[This message edited by Lark at 3:27 PM, June 25th (Wednesday)]

Lark posted 6/25/2014 15:35 PM

well I guess overreacting isn't the right word. Moreso, should I not worry/think about this until I can see where it's actually going?

Badhurt posted 6/25/2014 15:37 PM

Imago counseling is where there is not laying everything out on the table and arguing it out with therapist as referee and for guidance. We have been I. That before and it is where you say something to spouse, they mirror it to insure they understood , and it goes back and forth like that. It was helpful in some areas but I found it was hard to really discuss anything because you kept getting interrupted for other person to mirror. I know I have over simplified it, but at times this type MC has bed very frustrating to me. My wife likes it because she does not really have to expound in great detail on anything. I call it lovey dovey therapy because I never felt the gloves came off.

If your guy has never heard of those books, I do not think he is much of an expert in infidelity. You might want to switch. MC is a subjective science, not quantitative, and ten therapists will give you ten different opinions. You need to have confidence in who you are talking to . I am sure you can find out more than I told you about Imago therapy technique on Google or Yahoo

Lark posted 6/25/2014 20:42 PM

How long do people tend to give a MC before deciding if something is/isn't working? (and then looking for a different therapist)

Yeah he'd never even heard of either book. My first thought is he had a different one to recommend.... nope.

[This message edited by Lark at 8:42 PM, June 25th (Wednesday)]

Lovedyoumore posted 6/25/2014 21:44 PM

Go. Run, do not walk. A uninformed MC without infidelity healing experience will mess this up for you. So many therapist who came out of the very liberal schools in the 80's through early 2000's were taught the "I'm ok, you're ok" look forward therapy. While good for some individuals, this does not work for infidelity MC. There is very little validation for the BS and it tends to encourage rug sweeping for both parties. If this MC has not heard of Glass and her research, I would be highly suspect of their own research. You do not want a lazy therapist. Contact your nearest university and see if they have a marriage and family department. We found a great therapist there who was an published infidelity expert with a side of FOO experience.

Badhurt posted 6/25/2014 21:53 PM

Contact a family lawyer and I will be they know a therapist that deals with infidelity.
Do not buy into any therapy that just focuses on forgetting about it and rug sweeping.
You determine what you need out of the therapy and make that clear

LearningToFly posted 6/26/2014 01:45 AM

We were in marriage consoling for several years before WH's affair. Our counselor was a great guy and very wise. I felt like he got me and tried to translate to my husband. (I think my husband has a hard time with emotions that are not "happy.")

Our counselor used imago therapy too. We were taught to communicate using "the model." It was frustrating and didn't work. My WS constantly stopped me because i wasn't "following the model." It was way too difficult with someone who is afraid of intimacy. I'm sure it isn't evil but I HATE it. We wasted years and WH ended up having an EA while we were in counseling.

We have a different MC now who focuses on "Attachment Therapy." I think that is what we needed all along. It might be too late for us though. There is a lot of pain and brokeness in our relationship and we have spent hundreds on MC.

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