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Old 11-09-2013, 05:30 PM
PolyinPractice PolyinPractice is offline
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Default Marriage Counseling

I recently have seen a few advise marriage counseling in desperate situations.

I don't disagree with the advice, but does that ever actually work? By which I mean, do you know of any relationships, personally, that have benefited from this.

Also, are there poly friendly counselors that anyone trusts?
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:33 PM
london london is offline
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I think all effective therapy can help people recognise and communicate their needs in a way that isn't harmful to themselves or others. If you manage to learn this skill, I'd argue that the therapy has been beneficial. In terms of couples, learning this skill may highlight incompatibility and lead to break ups. Of that does happen, I.wouldn't say that means it hasn't been beneficial. Quite the opposite.
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:33 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Yes!
Mine.
Without the communication training we got in therapy-we would be divorced. The papers were already filled out and ready to go. This came from a counselor who is not "alternative relationship friendly" per se. But-he is GREAT at training on communication and we stuck to that topic with him.
We knew we needed to resolve our communication problems before we could even tackle our poly issues.
He is also trained to deal with PTSD and other trauma issues. So he worked with Maca on trauma from his childhood. Which was a huge help in allowing him to heal so he COULD improve communication-because there were trust issues about women in general that were holding him back from being able to even have a productive conversation regarding a difficult topic.

YES! My personal counselor, who was helping me through some depression and anxiety issues and is basically "available when I need her" (which hasn't happened since last winter) is VERY great about poly.
In fact my sister see's her as well in dealing with some of her issues in her poly dynamic (I wasn't seeing her for poly issues-but I was certainly very open about my poly dynamic and she was supportive and easy going about it.

I would say-it ABSOLUTELY necessitates that both parties be diligently devoted to finding solutions and honest about the ACTUAL problem. Not "what I am angry about". Because often what we are pissed over is just a symptom of the REAL problem.
Like cheating. It's almost always a symptom. Could be a symptom of narcissistic personality disorder (in which case I advise LEAVING). But it could be a symptom of a LOT of things. We have to do the personal, honest, deep, introspective inventory of OURSELF to find out what the REAL problems are.

Also-the next thing that was biggest in helping us was me taking Interpersonal communication at the college. OMG what an eye opener! Just KNOWING what goes wrong all of the time was an eye opener. Having to do a personal inventory on MY communication and defense mechanisms (got an A+) left me in a puddle of tears, realizing **and accepting** how much of our issues were mine.
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Old 11-10-2013, 02:51 AM
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Yes. Ours. Even though our counselor says we have excellent communication skills, we still find benefit in going. There is always sonething new to learn.

Our counselor and her counsel is Christian based, but she is nonjudgmental towards our predilection. Very refreshing.
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Old 11-10-2013, 06:11 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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We have a "life coach" that we see on an as-needed basis. She's been a lot of help at getting us to direct our thoughts in the right direction, and acknowledging what the real issues are.

Not all counsellors are good though, and it's really important to find the right fit. Don't be afraid to shop around, and don't assume that if it doesn't work right away that counselling on the whole is ineffective.

That said, it's hard work to fix your problems and change your habits and behaviours. You have to genuinely want to change, and never is it all one person's fault, no matter how many problems they may be bringing to the table.
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Old 11-10-2013, 02:32 PM
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Yep. My husband and I see a counselor. Because we both recognized the need to improve our communication and empathy with each other and are willing to work for it, it's been very beneficial. Just anticipating what the counselor would see & suggest helped. We have not hidden what kind of relationship we have and put it on the table for background, but we both recognize it's not a problem. We are our problems, whether it's communication, the need to deal with past issues, or insecurity. That's what we work on and just try to be sensitive of how poly can add stress if we are dealing with an issue. Acceptance of our relationship model is only important if the counselor makes it a problem or tries to change our minds.
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Old 11-10-2013, 02:38 PM
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My POV, which is a bit reversed - whether or not counseling would have worked for me and my ex-husband, his refusal to go to counseling told me that he wasn't serious about working on our marriage. That refusal sent a very loud and clear message to me - that he was right, I was wrong, and I was the one who needed to do all the work.

Whether or not that was what was actually going on in his head (he wouldn't tell me), that's what I got.

So, whether or not the actual counseling would have done anything for us, just his attendance would have gone miles.
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:16 PM
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yes I have one
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:47 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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Mine! We went for over a year and ONLY stopped going due to finances. It's not a magic wand, where you go for 6 weeks and everything is magically all better. It takes a great deal of work by all parties involved. Even after our therapy started, I nearly filed for divorce twice more (the first session was, either show up or I'll walk into the court house and file the papers the next day). It was rough, but very worth it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YouAreHere View Post
My POV, which is a bit reversed - whether or not counseling would have worked for me and my ex-husband, his refusal to go to counseling told me that he wasn't serious about working on our marriage. That refusal sent a very loud and clear message to me - that he was right, I was wrong, and I was the one who needed to do all the work.

Whether or not that was what was actually going on in his head (he wouldn't tell me), that's what I got.

So, whether or not the actual counseling would have done anything for us, just his attendance would have gone miles.
This is a very good point, if your partner is unwilling to participate, then they have already checked out and no amount of therapy will help.

Last edited by SNeacail; 11-11-2013 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:35 PM
FullofLove1052 FullofLove1052 is offline
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We are in therapy and have been since March. This is our second therapist because we relocated. We have been seeing her since June. She is poly, kink, etc. friendly. Her marriage has been open and closed at points, so she understands both POV. We trust her. It has been a grueling process, but it has saved our marriage. We are in a healthy place, and she is going to make a decision regarding the frequency of our sessions after we attend a couples retreat with her and her team next month. Right now, we see her every week for about 1.5 hours. Some appointments go over that.

It has only worked because of the work we have both put in and her determination to make sure we do not tarnish her success rate. I am not going to pretend like it has not been a long road. There were days when I wanted to quit. Our therapist quickly reminded me that I had no right to be a quitter because I was the one holding the shovel and helping to dig us into this hole. She pushes us because she believes in us. She has put me in my place many times over. I cannot tell you how many times she has paused the timer and pulled me to the side. I have a great deal of respect for her because without her help, DH and I would be fighting over the divorce and disagreeing over who gets our children and when.

I wholeheartedly believe the success depends on the couple and the therapist.
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