Individual counseling and/or couples counseling can be an extremely important and beneficial aspect of recovery and healing from infidelity.
We only attended a couple of sessions but feel that if we would have continued, our recovery would have progressed much more quickly and smoothly. Linda did however, go to some individual sessions.
Many people feel though that perhaps therapy isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
William Doherty, Ph.D., professor and director of the marriage and family therapy program at the University of Minnesota says…
A dirty little secret in the therapy field is that couples therapy may be the hardest form of therapy, and most therapists aren’t good at it… Surveys indicate that about 80 percent of therapists in private practice do couples therapy.
In our most recent reader survey, 69.2% of those who responded spoke with a counselor at some point in their recovery. Of that group, 32.4% felt that counseling was mostly frustrating and not helpful, while 33.8% thought it was helpful, but not as much as they would have liked. Just 33.8% thought counseling was very helpful.
A common issue that is very apparent from some of the emails, comments and discussions we’ve had with disgruntled people is that they’ve experienced what they feel to be as poor, incompetent or ineffective counseling.
One reader recently lamented about his wife’s experience with a counselor…
She bamboozled the therapist into thinking that this was just a friendship that went a little too far. The therapist gave her the green light to keep seeing the AP as long as they kept it on a platonic level.
Some of the common complaints that we’ve seen are…
- The therapist taking sides
- Lack of experience in treating couples who have suffered from infidelity
- The therapist was condescending
- Client disagreed with the method of therapy
What’s also apparent is that one partner’s complaint about the therapist is often the other partner’s praise.
I do feel that therapists and counselors get a bit of a bad rap. For every couple with bad experiences with therapy, I’m sure there are equally as many (or more) that have success stories to share. I think a lot depends on the timing in which a couple begins counseling.
From what I’ve read, many marriages are so far gone by the time the couple starts seeing a therapist, that there is little chance for the therapy to have a lasting positive effect.
There is also the problem where one or both of the partners don’t really put forth much effort in working the plan that the therapists has suggested. I imagine at times the therapist feels that they’re fighting a losing battle.
So with all of this said, here are some discussion points for this week…
What has your experience been with couples counseling?
Do you feel it was a good experience or bad? Why?
Any tips for those that may be considering marriage counseling?
If you have not gone to couples counseling, why not?
Please feel free to share your story, and respond to each other in the comments section!
Linda & Doug