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-   -   Counseling.... (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3927)

LovingRadiance 10-09-2010 04:45 AM

The biggest issue I see with message boards such as this is that people inevitably pop on here looking for advice.

BUT-advice is best given by someone who is able to STAY THE HELL OUT OF THE MIDDLE of your dynamic.

There is a reason why counselors are told not to COUNSEL family or loved ones. It's also best not to "counsel" someone who is having a problem that you yourself are struggling through at the moment-because you are less likely to be able to remain neutral.

So people come on here asking for and looking for 3rd party advice.

But what they get is time-bombs from other people who are also struggling through similar problems. Then they use that advice and they find that it blows up in their faces.

The reason is that counseling someone takes a lot of effort. Very few people grow up to become counselors and of those that do-quite a few SUCK.

When you ask for advice-take time to ensure that the people you listen to are ACTUALLY NEUTRAL.

Taking advice from someone who has an agenda or see's one side more strongly than another is just asking for a time bomb to go off in your life.


Mohegan 10-09-2010 07:42 AM

I wish we had a like button.

clairegoad 10-09-2010 01:31 PM

One flaw I see with this board, is that many people come in, spew their problems, get advice and leave.

We don't really see the full arc of the relationship.

Writing out the problem, helps identify the issues...at least for me. Frequently I'll "see" the issues better if I am typing them out to explain.

Worse, we don't see the person... their face, their body language, their inflection...

What worked for me, may not work for someone else...

And frankly, some people may offer advice, when they have no experience, just theories. (I'm thinking of someone I know in real life, who is an expert... and offers advice because it make him feel good... BUT... he has very little experience... and is still struggling with some basic issues... Too bad he is an expert...otherwise he'd listen and learn.)

Yes, sometimes a counselor is needed... to help sort out the big issues from the little issues. Because when you're in the middle of a long term debate.... the toothpaste lid is a MAJOR ISSUE.

Honestheart 10-09-2010 02:34 PM


Originally Posted by LovingRadiance (Post 48034)
The biggest issue I see with message boards such as this is that people inevitably pop on here looking for advice.

But what they get is time-bombs from other people who are also struggling through similar problems. Then they use that advice and they find that it blows up in their faces.

I have found that even those time bombs can be supportive in that they illustrate that you're not alone in what you are going thru. I also find that when a person states "this is from personal experience" that its a persons choice to follow "advice" or that other's "experiences".
even when mistakes are posted on this forum, i think they're helpful. they show you, hey this didn't work fer them... but then again just cus it didn't work fer them doesn't mean it wont work fer you.
this forum has also shown, well shown me anyways, new opportunities and ideas that never even thought of for problems i never knew about based on those with more experience in poly. not necessarily counseling, just flat plain out advice or life experience being posted.
If ur in need of counseling then yes, i agree that seeking a bunch of unprofessional counseling is not the best way to go. But by the same token, damn I've heard it can be so hard (especially in lil towns) to find a therapist these days who knows about poly and doesn't think that the source of all your relationship woes is poly itself... so i can understand if somebody were to try the route of forums...
but hey if ur seeking advice and support or just want to pick people's brains on thoughts on poly in general then then i think ur in the right place.
every body is different, every relationship is different and as i said in another discussion... personally i think that we all need to bear in mind that whats good fer the goose is not necessarily good fer the gander... and then we are fine...
I understand what u r saying, but i think whats needed is clearer communication is all. I don't see any problem with people seeking advice, or whatever on a forum as long as they understand they are not speaking with professionals and that said advice and experience is just that...personal experience and not necessarily the best path to follow unless u so choose to follow.
that's my 2 cents take it or leave it ;-)
fyi: i , really do see ur point too but i have the terrible habit of argue both sides to a point. maybe its cus i love debates? sorry LOL

LovingRadiance 10-09-2010 06:32 PM


Originally Posted by Mohegan (Post 48044)
I wish we had a like button.

Thank you Mohegan.
I'm sober and bright eyed, bushy-tailed and guess what?

I still agree with what I said.

THAT is another thing (Maybe I should of called the thread pet peeves?) that bugs the shit out of me.

When people don't take responsiblity to consider what they are saying BEFORE they say it-ALWAYS.

I don't care if you are drunk, stoned, high, sleepy, mad, sad, glad, horny-



Ok, thanks for listening. :o

LovingRadiance 10-09-2010 06:52 PM


Originally Posted by clairegoad (Post 48058)
Yes, sometimes a counselor is needed... to help sort out the big issues from the little issues. Because when you're in the middle of a long term debate.... the toothpaste lid is a MAJOR ISSUE.

This is true too, but I wasn't getting at saying that someone needs to see a counselor.
I was more getting at taking responsibility to understand that when we are giving advice on here-we need to keep an objective eye out-not get personally upset and involved in other people's problems on the board. Because when we do-that doesn't help them either.

I was frustrated last night-again-reading threads where people are getting upset, emotional and caustic in their responses to other people's broken hearts. That doesn't help anyone.
EVEN if you think one person in the group IS an asshole-it's not helpful to say "well you are an asshole and therefore she should dump you" or like-minded statements.
OBVIOUSLY if they are together, there is SOME reason. So keeping OUR focus on the actual problem that they are bringing up-and what ideas we have that they themself can do to work on THEIR OWN SELF to improve the problem; instead of what they should think of their partner is MUCH MORE HELPFUL.

That said-yes some issues are just significant enough-they need to be taken to a professional. ;)

LovingRadiance 10-09-2010 06:59 PM


Like I said in my last post,

I wasn't meaning people shouldn't talk through their issues here. ;)
Sorry to confuse.

I'm ALL FOR doing that-I do it. :D

I just think that people who are responding need to give caring sincere advice to the problem that is being brought to the table.

It's aggravating when threads deteriorate into arguments because people can't be respectful of ALL of the people who are involved in a dynamic.


If I come on here tomorrow (or last week for instant) bitching about Maca being a jerk. It's not helpful for someone to tell me they hope I leave him and that I find out GG is a jerk too...... Just not helpful.
Better to ask me what I mean by "jerk".
If I follow up with saying that he's been making caustic and rude remarks that hurt my feelings....

it's not helpful to say "well he's an insensitive ass and you need to get rid of him."

There's already PLENTY of posts by me on here stating that I'm in love with him, what his good points are and that I have absolutely no intention of leaving him.
It would be more helpful to suggest ways I can deal with MY HURT FEELINGS and ways I could more maturely communicate to him that he hurt my feelings. THAT is showing me how I can improve my situation by changing something in myself.

I can't change or control him.
I can only change or control me.
I do love him.
I do want to be with him.

So suggestions should be supporting those ideas; not things that are going to create bigger fights and more hurt feelings.

If Maca comes on here bitching about how insensitive GG is to his feelings/needs. It's not helpful to say "yeah GG is an asshole, you shoudl tell your wife you are done with this poly thing and they need to move out"
We don't want to get divorced.
Find out HOW GG was insensitive and then suggest to Maca how he can deal with his emotions and more maturely communicate his feelings and needs to GG.
THEN if you really think GG is being an ass-PM GG and ask him what his take on the mess is, then maybe you can advise him as well.

But don't just annihilate GG's character on the board because Maca said he was insensitive.

Does that make sense?
Those were all arbitrary examples but they are things I've seen over and over on the board-it's just not helpful.

PollyPocket 10-09-2010 09:00 PM

I think that from all the bad that can come out of this....all the pain....all the emotional turmoil, I find myself saying "Thank You" today. Maybe we do have to live through the really bad shit to FIND OURSELVES. Maybe, just maybe, I have been lost to myself for years. Just going through the motions of 'happiness' and giving to others, and never giving to myself. Rather, never allowing to give to myself. I deserve some, ya know. It has taken this torturous week to put things into a bit of perspective. Aside from a real counselor, I have sought counsel in a variety of people in my life whom have all questioned me....
"Why do you have empty pockets in you, Polly?" AND you know what, I am all ears to that...I wonder that too. Why did I have to search so hard to fill those pockets?
PollyPocket has never seemed like a better stage name than right now!! :s
Wow...deep shit. AND knee deep in it, too!

redpepper 10-10-2010 01:35 AM

I like this thread too. :)
I think its really important to realize that when you write about your shit on a forum that others don't know you, and your situation entirely. Quite often you can get some really good advice and support that is completely valid and makes sense and sometimes you just have to blow off what others say and take it with a grain of salt because it doesn't sit right with you.

I always like to think that whatever I say is just interesting and will make a person think about their situation from a non-emotional point of view. I realize that doesn't always happen, and that's too bad, but whatayado?:rolleyes:

Therapy for me is when I couldn't possibly work stuff out on my own or with the people involved. I have been to work on family of origin issues because I don't really have the option of working stuff out with specific people. That's it. The rest of the time I work on communication skills and processing skills so that I can do most of the work on my own.

As to the leaving issues. I think that most people don't like sharing their crap and most of all the process to go through the crap. I really appreciate when people take the time to fill us in or continue processing on here. I think its so important to give them their space to do so and not have a biased opinion of what they say. There is always more to everything that we read on here. Always!

Tonberry 10-10-2010 06:13 PM

I find what helps me is often writing the posts. Then just knowing there are other people around who actually understand.
I agree aggressive answers and attack wouldn't help me much. It's not about sugar-coating everything, either, quite the opposite, really, it's about trying to stay neutral and unbiased. Pragmatic.
Of course it's not easy. But as far as forums go this one is pretty good. I've seen so much worse.

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