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#231559 - 06/17/08 10:14 PM finally got my husband back in therapy, now what?
NY Daisy Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 183
Dear all, today I finally after 5 months got my H back in therapy. He only agreed to go after we got into a big fight, and afterwards I told him fine,everything is my fault. After that he made the appt and told me he would support me in my time of need. He said I must be honest and tell him about all the personality disorders he has diagnosed me with.(No my H is not a therapist.) I have been seeing a T on my own,since he has regressed.(I have been dealing with this for 13 years.)She cannot find anything wrong with me except the confusion I feel trying to understand my H's every changing moods,and when he says things hurtful,and can't remember ever saying them.
My problem is we went today, and he told the guy that he was abused, he worked on it, and it's in the past. He then insinuated that I won't let it go. The T said that we should not be bringing up stuff that doesn't effect the marriage now. 5 months ago he wanted to end our marriage, verbally put me down,mentally tried to mess with my sexuality, and was attracted to his new male friend,and questioning his sexuality. I tried to tell the T and my H said he has intrusive thoughts occasionally, but they are nothing. Any advice on how to make Therapy work, when one of us won't be honest?
Thanks in advance, NY DAISY


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#231568 - 06/17/08 11:26 PM Re: finally got my husband back in therapy, now wh [Re: NY Daisy]
An Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/24/04
Posts: 151
Loc: usa
Daisy,
It doesn't sound like the therapist is one experienced in these areas- it makes a HUGE difference. Usually, it's best to seek out someone with your state's special certification in sexuality issues. States will have their own special certifications- e.g. in Fl you could just be lic. mental health or you could be a clinical social worker (and still called a therapist) or you could have those BASIC credentials and not have gone for the special certifications in either Sexuality, (it's a rarity to find someone w/certification and would definitely indicate more knowledge of CSA & it's effect in relationships). Marriage and Family Certification is another speciality BUT WOULDN'T HAVE MEANT ANY SPECIAL TRAINING PER SE IN CSA Type issues.

If they're not therapists w/ a copy of Mike Lew's and Mic Hunter's books in their lobbies or on their shelves, I know I'd not be in the right place.
Besides having been a partner of a survivor, I'm becoming a licensed mental health therapist myself - am done with years of grad work and have internship starting in a few months. I can tell you even in some of the great programs, this isn't an area that is covered in the training, strange as that seems to me ! but there are special additional certifications which require addtional training.
I'd really encourage you to find the right kind of T if it's at all a possibility. when we were first looking for one, I started by calling the rape crisis type centers/rsources and explained that the issue was primarily CSA and that's how I got a few good leads for a "right match" T- they knew just what the needs would be and the same names came up from different sources. they were even helpful when i asked for specific reccomendations of Ts who dealt specifically w/ male csa issues.

and if i had it to do over again, i'd have started going to one of those specialists in the years before he was ready. We can't "get them" to a T. in reality (we may push them through the door one way or the other but if they're not there for themselves, it's not their therapy. it'd be true for all of us.

all we Can do is get the same appropriate help for ourselves.
i too had a T i liked and worked well w/ through the years prior to meeting my survivor friend, but my T great as she was, didn't have experience/training specific to this area either, and I can see very much now how it would have been best to have gone to someone who did have that- just for my self at that time, even though he wasn't ready.

I wish you all the best. Hopefully you've already read Mike lew's book. If not it's worth reading a million times over-My best hopes go out for you both- An


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#231607 - 06/18/08 07:30 AM Re: finally got my husband back in therapy, now wh [Re: An]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Is this a marriage counselor? I assume so since you both went and that seems to be what the T is focusing on, even after only one meeting. Perhaps, for the moment, it would be wise to concentrate on the marriage difficulties and let the other stuff find it's place in those difficulties for discussion(which is probably a huge part of it, I'll grant that). Several of the folks here have actually had 3 separate Ts at the same time - one for the survivor, one of the partner and another for the marriage. While all of the issues are intertwined, they are separate as well and different settings allow for different explorations.

ROCK ON........Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#231613 - 06/18/08 08:44 AM Re: finally got my husband back in therapy, now wh [Re: Trish4850]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5780
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Most therapists tend to be comfortable with what they are familiar with. So, someone who has a lot of experience with Bi-Polar tends to work better in that area. Therapists tend to avoid or get rid of client problems that they are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with. I'm more likely to dig less and terminate someone whose problems are out of my areas of expertise.

You might want to read:

http://www.malesurvivor.org/consumers-guide.html

and interview other therapists. If you can't find someone who has indicated an interest/experience with male victimization (see under survivors, "find a therapist" in your area), you might want to check with http://www.rainn.org for sex abuse experienced therapists in your area.


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#231619 - 06/18/08 09:10 AM Re: finally got my husband back in therapy, now wh [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
NY Daisy Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 183
Dear all, Thank you all for responding. AN- thanks for pointing out that "I finally got him to go" wrong choice of words. I have been asking him to go for months. Yes he is a marriage counselor. My H picked him out. When I googled the T, I noticed that he listed many things he dealt with, SA was not one of them. I sensed that this T is not comfortable talking about this subject,my H blew it off and then the T turned to me and said I had no business bringing up something that doesn't effect the marriage anymore. Tried to explain that it did,but kept getting cut off by H. I know H will not be interested in trying to find someone who specializes in SA,so I don't know what else to do with that. My T helps me alot. She has helped me see that I do not have to tolerate my H's bad behavior towards me, that I can own my feelings of hurt that I feel when he puts me down, and that he must be held accountable for that. I always felt like I was betraying him for being hurt when he lashes out at me. I thought I couldn't be supportive of him if I took it personally. My H does not like this at all.
Question- is it me or yesterday when we went to therapy, I told the T that I see a T on my own And he asked me if I would share with him and my H what I talk about, I was taken aback by this,and muttered something about having my opinions and feelings validated. Is this standard?
Thanks again for all the advice, NY DAISY


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#231629 - 06/18/08 09:55 AM Re: finally got my husband back in therapy, now wh [Re: NY Daisy]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5780
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Absolutely not! What you and your T talk about is between you and that person. If your T were to ask H's T what they talk about outside of the joint sessions, would he do it?

Sometimes it is appropriate for Ts seeing each person to be able to communicate with each other (but not in front of or disclosing to the client). My wife is a T as well and sometimes, when she is seeing the partner and I'm seeing the other person, we ask permission to be able to share with each other the issues or content of a session.

In that case, I would tell my wife what is going on in session with A and she tells me what's going on with B. We never tell the clients what the partner has said to the other but can use the info to help steer the conversation to areas that might not otherwise come up (example, drinking by one that the other hasn't talked about).

Unfortunately, it sounds like your H is not ready to deal with the abuse issues. One way to test this would be to ask him in session that if he has successfully dealt with the abuse, he should be comfortable to talk about it in front of you and the T. He will probably minimize it but if you have details, he should be able to discuss it without discomfort if he truly has resolved it.

For example, if I were traumatized by something that happened to me when I was young, I should be able to talk about it without any difficulty. However, if it still affects me, I might be filled with shame or upset over the topic. That what we have resolved should be easy to talk about.

I suspect that the T is not experienced with male victimization issues and is not encouraging your H to bring up something that he doesn't know enough about. This may be a very comfortable situation for both to deal with what the T is used to dealing with and not the abuse underlying a lot of the problems.


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#231641 - 06/18/08 11:26 AM Re: finally got my husband back in therapy, now wh [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
Junefriday Offline


Registered: 06/05/08
Posts: 113
Loc: Canada
NY Daisy, I had a similar experience. My H and I were having problems with our marriage and agreed to try counseling. The therapist stated initially that his approach was to focus on what the marriage will look like when it is good, and work with us to get to that point. He stated that he does not dwell on the past. At the time I knew nothing of my H's CSA. In the 2nd session, after my H brought up what most would consider to be minor issues, he said that he had concluded that he did not see the marriage working because of these issues. The therapist simply said that if that is how he felt, counseling was over. That was it. I was thoroughly disappointed because I had expected the therapist to probe further into why these seemingly minor issues were so large in my H's mind. It was an opportunity to determine if any of them were triggers. But, we didn't get there.

A few months later while trying to figure out how we got rock bottom in our very short marriage, I found out about the CSA. My H agrees that perhaps you never "get over it" but thought that he had dealt with it. A GOOD therapist would be instrumental in helping him link the effects of the CSA to his view of our marriage and relationships in general. Of course this is all dependent on my H being open to making that connection.

I am trying to source out some therapists who specialist in counseling on CSA. From there I will provide the information to my H and give him an open door to explore it...and I will keep my fingers crossed that he does.

I too have been going to therapy on my own. I started it to better deal with the notion that my marriage is falling apart. But after learning about the CSA, the focus has turned to learning how to support my H but also how to stand up for myself and not take the abuse personally. It has been very helpful to me and I would not hesitate to tell my H what goes on in those sessions. But, if I didn't want to tell him, that would and should be my prerogative.

Good luck to you and stay strong. Try your best to take care of him, but don't lose sight of taking care of yourself!

_________________________
"Love comes to those who still hope even though they've been disappointed, to those who still believe even though they've been betrayed, to those who still love even though they've been hurt before.

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#231648 - 06/18/08 12:52 PM Re: finally got my husband back in therapy, now wh [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
NY Daisy Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 183
Dear Ken, Thank you for answering. I was very upset about him asking me to share,it is my private thoughts. My husband does not see someone on his own. I think you are right that he does not have experience in abuse issues. I remembeer when my H said he was abused and dealt with it, the therapist made a comment how people make a big deal about it, and keep it going well after it's been dealt with. I think my H picked him BECAUSE he is not a specialist in this subject. Also you are correct in saying that if one was has truly dealt with it, he would be more comfortable talking about it. My H is not. I still could not tell you anything more than the fact that it happened, and that he questions his sexuality,intrusive thoughts happen often, but I am clueless as to what they involve. after when he feels better, he tells me i made it up to try to blame it on him. I am left confused. I do not tell him he is questioning his sexuality, why would I? Like I said in my first email he only agreed to go because I said that I take ful responsibility for all of our problems. Two days later he had the appt for us. Thank you for your advice, everyone here is always so insightful.
Warmly,NY DAISY


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#231655 - 06/18/08 01:15 PM Re: finally got my husband back in therapy, now wh [Re: Junefriday]
NY Daisy Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 183
Dear Junefriday, Hi,our T pretty much said the same thing to us yesterday. Whenever my H is having a bad time dealing with things, (after knowing about it for 13 yrs) I am still shocked at the things he magnifies into huge problems. I never see it coming either. We will be fine, then BAM, I'm a bad wife, mother,unattractive you name it. As soon as he goes there, I know it is due to his past. I wait and then he'll tell me he wants out of this marriage, he is sick of being the only one in it, and he thinks he might be gay. I try to get him to open up and tell me if there is something that has happened to trigger this, I try to tell him I am there for him, but he won't discuss it. After he is, I guess over it, he thinks it should, A- be forgotten, or B- he doesn't remember saying any of it, and says I am crazy. I tried to get him to this sight, he said he doesn't need it,and I have no business being on it, and it is filling my head with crap.
You can't help him if he won't acknowledge the problem, I kno i've tried. It's good you are seeing someone for yourself, it's the best decision I have made so far. good luck with everything and thanks for the advice,
Warmly, NY DAISY


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#231682 - 06/18/08 03:12 PM Re: finally got my husband back in therapy, now wh [Re: NY Daisy]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Quote:
I remember when my H said he was abused and dealt with it, the therapist made a comment how people make a big deal about it, and keep it going well after it's been dealt with.


OK, that's the most absurd, unprofessional thing I've heard yet. I revise my first thoughts on this - sound to me like the guy is an ass who won't be of any use to either of you.

ROCK ON......Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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