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Advice for finding an IC

cainsite posted 1/17/2020 16:01 PM

Looking for some advise on how to find a Quality therapist. Have heard people say they have a great IC and Many that have had terrible.

Have done marriage counseling before, it was a waste of time and money, felt the counselor was way in over their head and unable to call either of us out on our bullshit.

Looking to do IC as a BS.
I'm in a large metro (DFW) I should be able to find a qualified therapist.
What should I look for?

sisoon posted 1/17/2020 16:39 PM

My suggestion is to start with something you want to change about yourself. Then you can ask if the prospective IC is able and willing to help you make that change.

You can even say, if it's true, 'I want to do some IC, but I'm not sure what I want to change.'

Some random thoughts....

Do you want homework or not?

Do you want someone who closely follows a theoretical protocol or someone who is more free form?

Do you want a male or a female C?

I'd ask about how the prospective IC works with clients and what she expects from clients.

I'd also ask about using SI. Our great MC was unfamiliar with it, took a look, and saw value in it. I'd be concerned about a C who saw him/herself as the fount of all relevant knowledge.

I'd ask about the C's view of infidelity - is it an M problem, or is it a WS problem?

Does the C favor one outcome for infidelity?

I'd ask about the C's theoretical framework and preferred schools of thought.

I'd want the C to talk so I could get an idea of whether or not I could work with that person.

[This message edited by sisoon at 4:40 PM, January 17th (Friday)]

The1stWife posted 1/18/2020 06:23 AM

You want done be that fits your style. The guy I used was perfect. Gave it to me straight.

The guy my H saw was not helping us. He was into the “love languages”. It when ny H wound come home and start that crap. After 30 years together my H should know me and he should know I do not respond to that crap.

If the counselor starts to assign any blame for the affair to the betrayed spouse I would tell you that the therapist doesn’t understand infidelity. The BS has nothing to do with the choice to cheat. That choice is 100% on the cheater.

Cooley2here posted 1/18/2020 09:25 AM

Look at a practice with several counselors and therapists. Each one probably has a specialty. An ethical practice will allow a patient to move from one therapist to another for their own needs. This is usually within the practice.

Good luck

totallydumb posted 1/18/2020 10:43 AM

I met with several therapists and sort of interviewed them.

Sisoon gives some great ideas in his post.

I would add to ask the therapist if they had experienced any infidelity in their own personal life, and whether they were the BS/WS or AP.

I actually met with two therapists that were WS in previous relationships. Not a bad thing if they had done the work to recover, but it will give you an indication of their point of view.

NoSelf posted 1/18/2020 14:11 PM


Sorry you’ have reason to be here. We all know how much this all sucks. You are doing great so far though.

You asked about how to find an IC. I have a moderator approved link to Psychology Today’s therapist locator. You can look for someone who takes your insurance, is close enough to you, has the same religious beliefs, etc., but one nice thing is there’s usually a bio and a picture. That can be really helpful for seeing if the therapist seems like someone you would be comfortable talking with.

Approved Link

gmc94 posted 1/18/2020 14:52 PM

I've run the gamut of a bunch of therapists.
The personality stuff is certainly important - I now ask myself: could I cry in front of this person? and I mean snot rolling, throat wailing kind of crying. Cuz if I don't feel I could do that, then I can't be sure I will allow myself to "go deep" into what needs to be addressed.

My WH and I used an IC that had been referred to us, who said she had years & years of infidelity experience. BUT it turned out (and this was a huge but) she had zero trauma experience. The way I recently put it to my WH is she was excellent at unpacking a cosmetic bag, but could not unpack a suitcase if her life depended on it.

Odd as it may sound, I currently have for me, the 'perfect' set up. I have a CSAT that uses the relational betrayal model AND I have another IC with zero infidelity experience, but lots and lots of trauma experience. My CSAT has a harsh demeanor and I don't feel very comfortable being completely vulnerable with her. BUT she is very direct (which I really appreciate) and she has educated me in all things infidelity (from that trauma model). Then, I have my trauma IC who is so flipping excellent I feel like I'm blessed each & every time I see her. She is also blunt, but also has a lot of compassion. Her ability to get me to "go deep" into my own trauma, FOO, etc has been amazeballs. I've gotten more out of my 6+ months with her than I got out of nearly 2 years with my prior IC (the one who supposedly knew about infidelity, but immediately went to the Codependence model [bad sign] and I don't think did one thing for my WH either).

I think any IC who does not have some solid background in trauma has zero business doing clinical work. Just my opinion, but we know SOOO much more about trauma and the ways in which past traumas ("big" and not so big) impact our mental health for the rest of our lives. I read "The Body Keeps the Score" by Bassel Van Der Kolk and it was a game changer for me. Even if you don't have PTSD, an IC with that background should approach the current symptoms (depression, anxiety, rage, etc) with the understanding that one's unhealed past hurts can significantly impact their ability to cope with the current ones.

And I would be super specific about what their experience is with anything - eg what % of their clients are BS? What are WS? What training do that have in infidelity? Trauma? Relational Trauma? Do they believe that a BS needs to look into their own CoD? Do they believe that a WS has an A bc of problems in the M? Do they believe problems in the M can make the WS 'vulnerable" to an A? What infidelity or healing books do they recommend? Have they themselves read them? (in my case, should have been a huge red flag when my IC gave us chapters from After the Affair and said she'd not read it... or how to help your spouse heal (and tho I think After the Affair is an awful, BS-blaming book, that she'd not even heard of it should have prompted me to walk right out the door).

steadychevy posted 1/18/2020 15:58 PM

Good info provided. A good list from sisoon.

I'm on my 3rd and last IC. I found the first through Focus on the Family. Maybe my WW got a list from Focus on the family near where we live because of how I was right after DDay. I can't remember if it was her or me. I went to him 8 or 10 times, maybe. It really helped but I never clicked with him.

The next 2 I found through Psychology today. I listed what things I was looking for in a counsellor and developed a short list from that. I only phoned one because of the answers she provided. That was 2 years ago. I'm probably done with regular treatment (every 6 to eight weeks apart now).

I wanted one who was trained in EMDR, treated for PTSD, trauma and betrayal and was a Christian. One Psychology Today they list their specialty areas and treatment methods and the patients they mostly work with.

Good luck with your search. If You don't click keep looking.

BearlyBreathing posted 1/19/2020 14:24 PM

I agree with the advice given. I found that my needs have changed as I have moved through the aftermath. Right after DDAY I needed a compassionate person who could keep me off the ledge and assure me I’d be okay. After a few months when I had my feet somewhat under me again, I sought one who worked in the format I am most comfortable (online or by phone —- I travel a lot for work, I hate holding in my thoughts until an appointment, and racing through traffic always stressed me out for my precious hour). I wanted a man, a little older, who had been through divorce and had trauma training. He’s been great. He would not have been the right for me right after DDAY, and my first one could not help me now.

good luck!

cainsite posted 1/20/2020 10:59 AM

Thanks for the great advice.
I have been looking through psychologytoday.
Still have not found one I thought checked all the boxes.

There is one that specializes in Narcissistic Personality Disorders.
I don't think my wife suffers from NPD, but a lot of the behavior checks the boxes.

Anyone have any thoughts on that?

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