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Therapists: Did they help you or ruin your life? - Page 3

post #41 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by mother_sunshine
I went through this with my Dad, he was always on me about my appearance.
I've read before that we marry people who are somehow similar to our parents, in order to "fix" things we were never able to fix with our parents. Sounds like that may have been what you did (in my not-a-therapist opinion!)

He does sound verbally abusive, and that, in my book, is a good enough reason to get a divorce (not that you need my permission!)

I'm so sorry for what you are going through.
post #42 of 64
Thread Starter 
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post #43 of 64
What I have done in therapy is work on myself and as I change my dh has to choose whether to change his behavior or not...I am responsible for my behavior and he is responsible for his. I can't tell you how freeing it was for me to learn that *I* was NOT responsible for his behavior, my mom's behavior, etc. I have learned to say "This is your issue, not mine. I am fine with ( fill in the blank.)

A few books I've found helpful.

Verbal Abuse Survivors Speak Out by Patricia Evans ( This one was the best because it validated what I was going through and it gave me hope.)

The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans

Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. (This one is excellant. It is written from a Christian perspective, but still a great book, full of really good info and worth reading, even if you aren't a Christian. )





PM me if you feel like it.


P.S. I may come back later and delete alot of this. I usually don't get this personal and feel pretty vulnerable on a public board.
post #44 of 64
P.S.S. I have a therapist I am comfortable with and trust. It has made a big difference. And sometimes what YOU need changes and it is fine to switch therapists if you feel you need to. Good luck.
post #45 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinybutterfly
It's like a dance...and when you change your steps, it will change the dance.
That is the perfect explanation!
post #46 of 64
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your openness. I hope that my dh will find it in his heart to see a need to change too, like your dh, rather than continuing to put it all on me. This is all very personal for me too. I am pretty much an inward person who keeps personal issues to myself (IRL anyway). I hesitated to bring it out, but I realize that there is nowhere else where there are so many women that I have so much in common with and who can help give me perspective.

I needed the perspective that dh's actions are his own responsibility, not mine. Up until this morning when dh used to start raging (if I brought up any issue at all), I would feel like I had to stay in it to try and solve it because I was responsible for his rage (I got him mad, now I have to fix it).
Now I can walk away (even though he continues to rage when I'm gone).
post #47 of 64
When I was 15 I had a therapist ask me what I did to cause a sexual abuse- I had an ex bf that sexualy abused me. I was so upset that he would think I did something to cause it. Perhaps I was 15 and took it wrong- I dont know??? I think there are good TP and bad ones. I think the problem when you go alone to a TP is that there is only one side. So the TP can only help with what is told to him/her. It is almost like a fuzzy fact. Not that it is a TP fault, but it is just the flaw in it. Like my nieces mother goes to a TP and this TP knows nothing about her past medical history, or her history with her kids and only knows what my nieces mother tells her- so she makes statements that could effect the courts visitation between my niece and her mother based on info that is not complete. You know what I mean...

But if you feel like you are getting something out of it and you will be a better person for having done it, I think you should keep doing it.
post #48 of 64
I will admit, I ahvfe not had any good counseling experiences. Not terrible- I am just a "bootstraps" kind of person and don't find any value in paying someone to listen to me.

That's me though.
post #49 of 64
Moving this to Personal Growth...
post #50 of 64
Well, there are good therapists and bad therapists. Just as there are good doctors and bad ones, good bricklayers and bad ones, good architects and bad ones.

You know, in Shamanistic cultures.. the best Shamans were often ones who had been wounded terribly themselves. Shamans often experienced psychotic breaks in vision quests. It was believed to make them more powerful healers.

So I don't know that struggling with one's own issues means one can't be a good therapist. I think some of the best therapists probably DO have wounds of their own.. and the best of them also know how to keep their own wounds seperate from those of their clients. I think making sweeping generalizations about the character of people in an entire profession is.. not helpful.

I have had a wonderful therapist.. and a terrible one.. and one who just wasn't effective, so I guess I have run the gamut. The wonderful one truly helped me.

Mother Sunshine, if you feel your therapist is overstepping her boundaries, or that she is steering you in the wrong direction, then of course you need to go to someone else.

But if she is simply leading you to examine painful truths.. and that is what is making you uncomfortable.. well that is the work of therapy.

Only YOU know which is the case here.

All you can do is trust your inner knowing.

Good luck to you.
post #51 of 64
Another therapist here (though actually a music therapist). I see it as my professional role to bear witness to my client's stories and to help facilitate their journey toward the changes and growth that they are looking for. I do not give advice or statistics or use research to back up my suggestions unless I feel the situation is urgent (usually involving someon'es safety) and/or I feel that is the language the client may most understand/be able to relate to.

Michelle, I second the suggestions that you and your Dh NOT see YOUR therapist for marriage counselling. You need to have clear boundaries in the therapeutic relationship and you should have a space where you can talk and explore, which your Dh is not a part of. It also sounds like HE needs to be seeking his own individual counselling, to acknowledge his own issues and responsibility. But I'm guessing that's unlikely to happen, and even if it were to, it sounds as if part of you has moved on beyond this relationship and doesn't have much hope for his changing. So, it sounds as if this is not so much about whether your therapist is a good one or not..rather that in your heart you are ready for a major change, but your very valid concerns about your daughter are what are holding you back.

It can be very scary to reach that place, a bit like hanging on a cliff edge; as well as trying to negotiate between what's best for you, your child, the whole family, etc. I don't believe there is one "rule" for what's best for a child, but they do deserve to grow up in an environment where the people taking care of them are respectful to one another. I also would be concerned for how your Dh's views of women are impacting your DD, especially when she hits adolescence, and how it is for her to see you clearly hurt and unhappy.

I wonder if your therapist can point you in the direction of any support groups for women/parents in similar situations or going through divorce where you migh be able to hear about other people's experiences?

Take care, you are on a tough journey
post #52 of 64
There are definitely good and bad therapists out there, and even among the good ones, not every one will be a good match for you.

I've been in both individual therapy and couples therapy, and I was lucky to find a great therapist for myself on the first try - I liked her voice on the phone and we just clicked right away.

I went through two other couples counselors before I found one who was any good. The first was a man who seemed to think every problem my dh and I had was due to me being a bored, frustrated SAHM with no life. And he continually interrupted me but let my husnband talk on and on. The second was a woman who WAS one of those pathological narcissists and she played all sorts of games with us and really came close to doing serious damage to me personally. The third was recommended by my therpaist - I figured I had bad luck at picking them - and she was great. Very helpful.

You'll know if it's working or not. But you should not feel that the therapist is imposing her own values and opinions.
post #53 of 64
nt
post #54 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by asherah
Well, there are good therapists and bad therapists. Just as there are good doctors and bad ones, good bricklayers and bad ones, good architects and bad ones.

You know, in Shamanistic cultures.. the best Shamans were often ones who had been wounded terribly themselves. Shamans often experienced psychotic breaks in vision quests. It was believed to make them more powerful healers.

So I don't know that struggling with one's own issues means one can't be a good therapist. I think some of the best therapists probably DO have wounds of their own.. and the best of them also know how to keep their own wounds seperate from those of their clients. I think making sweeping generalizations about the character of people in an entire profession is.. not helpful.

I have had a wonderful therapist.. and a terrible one.. and one who just wasn't effective, so I guess I have run the gamut. The wonderful one truly helped me.

Mother Sunshine, if you feel your therapist is overstepping her boundaries, or that she is steering you in the wrong direction, then of course you need to go to someone else.

But if she is simply leading you to examine painful truths.. and that is what is making you uncomfortable.. well that is the work of therapy.

Only YOU know which is the case here.

All you can do is trust your inner knowing.

Good luck to you.
post #55 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by asherah
I don't know that struggling with one's own issues means one can't be a good therapist. I think some of the best therapists probably DO have wounds of their own.. and the best of them also know how to keep their own wounds seperate from those of their clients.


...if she is simply leading you to examine painful truths.. and that is what is making you uncomfortable.. well that is the work of therapy.



How are things going Michelle?
post #56 of 64
Thread Starter 
Thanks for asking MamaAllNatural.

Things are better, for now anyway. I am not so angry/resentful now. I think venting it all out helped a lot. And I think what helped the most was the quote that "We are as happy as we make up our minds to be" and that I am in control of my own happiness. Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh is helping a lot too right now.

Sometimes I let dh's negativity (when he is in a negative mood) rub off on me too much. I know our problems are not gone, we have a long way to go, but looking at it with clearer eyes helps a lot. After all, we did marry for a reason, so trying to save it is worth it.

I am still contemplating whether to see my therapist as a marriage counselor. We live in a town that has fairly slim pickins, so I know I am not as likely to find someone that we both like as much. Dh has been seeing her for a few weeks now, separately so that she can soon meet with us "on equal grounds". I do think that we should start seeing her together immediately rather than separately though, because we are both gaining too much ammunition against one another separately. He likes her. I like her. I think it might work, so I am willing to give it a try. I will proceed with caution though, knowing that giving advice and "studies have shown" kind of statements are a no-no in therapy and how they have "hugely" swayed my views up until now. I will look at it as "we are a study of one" rather than her "studies" being the rule.

Luckily she is on vacation right now so I have a couple of weeks to think it over more. I still welcome experiences/advice/BDTD/support/opinions/etc. here though! You have all helped me so much with my perspective. Before, I saw my therapist's words as the "law", which is NOT me to blindly follow like that. So I am tossing that part of the therapy in the garbage and digesting the part that is making me face life/pain and work through it.
post #57 of 64
I've been in therapy too,it was very helpful to me, and I wholeheartedly agree with those who have said that a therapists job is not to give advice but to help you explore your feelings, experiences, perceptions and find your own ways of coping and making changes that you feel you need to make. I think it's also appropriate for a therapist to teach you some strategies for communicating, relaxing, managing stress if you want that. I don't think telling you that "studies have shown..." is entirely appropriate unless you asked about what studies have shown. It's one thing to ask "how do you think this affects your children?" and quite another to say "that studies have shown that children of divorced happy parents are better off than children of married parents who are not happy." Really, I think a good therapist is someone who asks the questions that get you thinking so that you can find your own way, not someone who gives the answers.
post #58 of 64
sometimes i think i should go see a therapist for my personal issues. hmm. anyway DH and i had some therapy together for a few sessions and it helped. will your DH go to something like that?

good luck-i think a therapist should support YOu and your choices not boss you around.

JEN
post #59 of 64
Moved to new forum Mental Health...
post #60 of 64
I've had good therapists and bad therapists and so-so therapists.

The worst one was the one who told me to go back to my abusive dh because "he didn't hit me." Dragging me out of the bedroom by my shoulders isn't violence?!?!?!?! The next therapist I went to called CPS on me when my toddler had a bruise from being a toddler and falling down- I just didn't feel safe with her anymore.

Now I'm working with my 3rd in 2 years and wondering if it's still as good a fit as I thought it was. I think I'm hitting some roadblocks in myself- facing things I wish I didn't have to face.

I agree with the zillions of others who said that a good therapist should help you make your own choices, not give you advice or tell you what to do.
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