Our first MC was horrible. We had read Not Just Friends and had more information about how to reconcile from A than she did. She focused on the marriage problems rather than the A and made me feel like my emotional responses to the A were inappropriate. After stopping that and doing some research, it seems that many therapists are unaware and unarmed with the information needed to address the issue of infidelity in couples counseling. We have our first appointment for a new one this Friday and I am anxious about it for that reason. Our communication issues are so bad that discussing the A among ourselves isn't good for us, so I really need these sessions to express my hurt and anger. If we end up in the same situation it won't be good for us.
I will say, though, that discussing personal issues of his reasons for the A in couples counseling alone seems a set up for failure. WS will need IC to uncover, explore and process those issues in order to bring them to MC. IMHO processing those personal issues with you in MC (in the absence of IC) might not be the best situation for either of you. WS ability to be vulnerable enough to do that in front of you is suspect, and you probably shouldn't be a part of that process or a witness to it. From what I've read and experienced, those issues tend to start with placing blame on the BS for relationship problems and gradually move toward focusing on baggage the WS brought to the relationship and eventually how the interaction between the two of you contributed to problems in the M. It's only when WS gets to the point of recognizing how he contributed to the problems in the M that good couples counseling centered around fixing the problems in the M can occur. Until then, it seems that couples counseling should focus on the BS hurt and anger and ways to regain trust so that the vulnerability needed to repair the M can occur with emotional safety.
I feel the need to point out, however, that Shirley Glass (Not Just Friends author) warns against IC occurring simultaneously with MC. It is her assertion that IC therapists are focused on the individual and can lead to unraveling progress made in MC. So far I disagree with that, both from what I've seen in my own life so far (not having had successful MC yet) and from what I've read on here. However, I mention as a word of caution because of my limited experience to bolster my opinion. 8 year relationship
DDay #1 September 6, 2013 EA for 5 weeks August 2013 With TT
DDay #2 January 2, 2014 EA for 6 weeks July and August 2011 with TT
BP: 38--me, faithful
Currently moving toward R.