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Couples Counseling - Question

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Couples Counseling - Question

Postby Assika126 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:48 pm

My husband and I have been in couples counseling for about 7 months. We are also each seeing an individual therapist. My husband has been with his therapist for 5 years (initiated at my request); I started seeing my therapist 4 months ago. My husband has PTSD and an anxiety disorder, and I have a possible anxiety disorder as well.

My question is this: My husband has things that he *WILL NOT* tell his therapist or our couples’ therapist - experiences that he (or we) have had, and thoughts or feelings that might bother him for days or weeks. Sometimes they have to do with the therapy or therapist; for instance, the last several couples’ sessions, he has left convinced that the therapist believes that he and/or we are very messed up, far worse than her other clients, is uncertain about the future of our relationship, and that she relates better with me than with him – basically, he feels that she thinks he is the main cause of the problems in our relationship.

Even though I don’t see it the way he does, I have tried to validate his feelings and experiences, and have offered the options of either bringing this up gently with our therapist, or finding a new therapist. I don’t believe it’s right that he should go into OUR therapy feeling like the therapist is judging him in any way, when she should hopefully feel like a compassionate and neutral resource for both of us. He is adamantly opposed to both options and wants to proceed without bringing up his feelings, hiding them and pretending they don’t exist.

Based on our conversations, I have the feeling he does this in his individual counseling as well, trying to cover over his feelings and paint himself in sessions in a “good light” to make his therapist think well of him, and hiding things that seem to him to be uncomplimentary.. I’m familiar enough with his therapist to know that he is very good; compassionate, non-judgmental, and experienced enough to relate even with distressed clients. My husband likes him a great deal. I do not believe this therapist would judge my husband if he were to open up further. However, I know his individual counseling is HIS therapy and really not my business; I just continue to hope that over time, the therapist will continue to gain his trust.

I know he feels a lot of guilt for the challenges he faces, and how they affect his behavior, and maybe that’s why he doesn’t feel like he can address this sense of inequity. I am wondering how I should respond to this. I really need to be in therapy with him, because we need a safe place to speak openly and overcome some of our fears together, but I don’t feel comfortable with knowing he’s hiding these feelings from her and feeling left out and/or blamed.

What do you think I should do?
Assika126
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