Post # 1
Just curious, I notice that I lot of Bees recommend therapy or counselling for all sorts of things, from relationship issues, family issues, personality issues, and also just pre-marital counselling. I guess its more common in the US to seek a therapist when you have a problem than it is in the UK (stiff upper lip and all!) so am curious to know whether you’ve been to see a therapist and whether it actually helped you or not?
My motivation for this is, although my BF and I get on great, we’ve effectively grown up together and for sure have changed a lot as people and as a result we’ve got the whole ‘you used to do this and be like that’ thing going on which we can’t seem to shake (we’re both as guilty as each other!) and it often leads to arguments (we don’t argue well either-always goes off topic and often back to more ‘you used to/didn’t use to..). We’re not in a breakup place at all, I guess more looking for closure on ‘yes, I was like that, but now I’m not.’
Anyway, since counselling isn’t big over here unless there is a serious problem (eg abuse) I don’t know whether it would be appropriate or if it would even help us out (mediation I guess?). I’ve suggested it to him but he just brushes it off (again the idea of speaking to a therapist makes it sound like there is a serious problem, which there isn’t, just I’m fed up of visiting the same arguments)
Post # 3
I think it all depends on how serious you are about wanting the help. I have been to counseling before and I never really wanted it enough. It did me no good.
I think for couples it can be great because there is someone there who has no opinions on you two before you go in. The counselor is unbiased and can really help you two figure things out.
I think the best thing about therapy is that it makes you two talk about things that you wouldn’t normally talk about. You get the chance to figure it all out before you get married and make that committment. Good luck!
Post # 4
@Corgi-cariad: You’re right that it’s a different culture over there. My parents are European/English so yeah, I get what you mean.
I saw a counsellor (they offer a program through my work) last year when I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with a number of things. It helped to just have another perspective, and to have someone other than my SO listen. I am not sure she had any major insights or anything, but I felt the process helped me because it was nice to vent. We’re all encouraged to take advantage of this program, if need be, so there isn’t really a stigma of using it. I know other coworkers who have used it as well.
You could try going on your own if your SO is uncomfortable about it.
Post # 5
You could always give it a try. I think it is about finding the right person you feel comfortable sharing with.
I can’t vote on your poll- it is not that I have “had no need” nor that “I wish I had.”
Post # 6
I went to counseling to deal with some really bad things that happened to me as a kid. It definitely helped. I didn’t even tell anyone what had happened until I got to college and I didn’t tell my family until the therapist told me I had to (didn’t want them to feel like it was their fault, etc.). I haven’t tried couples counseling so I can’t say how well that works, but I know that going to a therapist really helped me a lot.
Post # 7
Yes, I was in therapy for several years as a teenager. I’ve shared my story here before when other bees were going through a hard time, so I’ll go ahead and say why – my parents forced me into it because they found out I was cutting myself and basically suicidal. And it was a good thing that they forced me, because I was being sexually abused by a relative and was terrified to tell anyone, but it ended up coming out in therapy.
I will say though that it took a few therapists to find the right fit – and it was not a pleasant experience. In the long run it helped me heal and made me a stronger person, but if you do go to therapy don’t give up because you don’t like the therapist, or feel awful after sessions. Find a new therapist if you don’t click with the first one you try, and it does bring up a lot of emotions so it’s normal to not feel great after and for it to take a bit of time.
My parents were kind of like your relationship – not about to divorce or anything, but thye were fighting somewhat frequently, at least a few times a week, and just in general having trouble communicating with eachother. After attending a few of my sessions they decided to give marriage counseling a try, and I can see what a difference it has made in their relationship and the way they communicate.
Post # 8
I started going in October. Was quickly diagnosed with depression and she told me to see my doctor. Was put on anti-depressents a week later. Now, 5 months later, i am so happy i finally went. I told my FI that i can honestly say i am completely out of my depression now. He was so happy. He was so happy because we as a couple are back to how we used to be. It was so hard for him to see me upset all the time and be missing work because i couldn’t face the world.
It was completely worth it even though i was terrified. I have not been in about 2 month only because i am working too much and dont have the funds to see my therapist. BUt i will be going back.
Post # 9
I’ve been to therapy before and for the most part I’ve always had a positive outcome. I went as a child when my parents got divorced, and i continued going for awhile after that. Eventually I no longer went and just my sister did. After I graduated high school I ended up reconnecting with my therapist and went back to see her about personal issues I had – how to deal with issues regarding my parents, carving out my own life within my family dynamic, just different things. Eventually I stopped off with her. My husband and I have talked about going to sit down with a therapist we know who specializes in teaching people how to effectively communicate. We don’t really have problems, we just think it would be great to strengthen and grow our relationship. We haven’t made an appointment yet, but we are thinking about it.
Post # 10
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@Corgi-cariad: Acknowledgement of mental health issues and the need for counseling is much more accepted here in the States. It can be as serious as someone needing weekly counseling for major depression to prevent them from committing to suicide to providing a mediator to a couple that just needs a little help communicating. It doesn’t hurt to get a little extra help but I understand your FH’s reluctance (my FH’s father is British so I understand the stiff upper lip.)
Maybe try to read some books on relationships and communication together and discuss them? I really liked the Five Languages of Love and Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. They helped me to better communicate with the men in my life.
As for bringing up old arguments and re-hashing them, I would re-address them in one calm conversation and put them all to rest. When you two are not fighting, let your FH know that you want to talk about those old arguments in a neutral environment. Do it somewhere in public with semi-privacy so that the discussion is unlikely to turn into a loud argument. Go over each one of the old arguments, each of you are to say your peace and then agree to not bring up those topics or subjects again. Agree to call a truce and learn to fight fair in the future without bringing up old arguments.
Post # 11
Not an expert on counseling in the UK, but sometimes this is exactly what relationship counseling is for — to get a qualified third party’s advice on how to restructure a communication pattern that isn’t working or to work through a recurring issue. Think of it like a medical doctor — sometimes you go to a doctor because you have something life-threatening, but most of the time when you see a doctor it’s for a bad cold, or a sprained ankle or something like that.
I guess I’m curious about what it is that you did or did not used to be or to do, and why that thing/those things are causing such arguments. That would be a help in knowing whether counseling would be appropriate.
Post # 12
I went to counseling about issues I was having with my mother, and the relief I felt when they assigned me to an international Asian counselor! nothing quite like having someone who could relate to me.
Post # 13
I personally haven’t but my brother went to a therapist when he was dealing with major depression and it really helped him a lot. I honestly don’t think he’d be able to be where he is today (totally happy and med free) without the help of his therapist!
Post # 14
My husband and I currently both are. We started at couples therapy, but the first guy SUCKED. So if you do go, and don’t feel a good connection with them, try someone else. I’ve had to try a few before finding someone that helped. So don’t give up if at first you’re not feeling it, it might be the therapist.
Post # 15
@canarydiamond: yes, it’s the stigma associated with going to see a therapist that’s our issue. Neither of us are particularly ‘softly softly’ people and while I can talk for Britain and he is more introverted, the idea of opening up to a stranger is a bit disconcerting, for both of us. People just don’t talk about their issues!
@Wonderstruck: that sounds about right-it’s just tiring ending up at the same point in an argument-we both know its happening but neither of us try to stop it. Thats really encouraging that your parents have had success with it after all this time! There may be hope for us too 🙂
@star_dust: I was offered it when my parents got divorced. However I was 12 and didn’t like the woman who was offering it so I insisted I didn’t need it. Which is probably why I’m still so reluctant to pursue it now. However I’m definitely coming around to the idea!
@beachbride1216: the love languages thing is definitely something I need to look into. I might have to prioritise it! Yeah you’re right aboth shaving a calm conversation about things when we’re not arguing. I have tried that in the past but he’s like ‘why bring down the tone’ because I’m bringing up past upsets… But at the end of the day we need to get through them so we don’t keep reliving it!
@village_skeptic: things like: him ‘you used to give me more BJs’ (sorry TMI), ‘you used to be more fun’ me: ‘you used be more tidy’, ‘you used to help out more around the house’ (I’ve already had a WB rant about his inability to do housework)
@MrsConnick: how long have you guys been going for? If you don’t mind me asking, is it a particular issue or just general relationship stuff?
Post # 16
@Corgi-cariad: I didn’t mention in my post, but I’ve been to more than just the one I talked about. I had 2 in the area we lived in when my parents got divorced, and then 1 when we moved. I have also had a brief conversation with the last one I mentioned, the one who deals a lot of effective communication in relationship (any relationship). It’s all about finding the one that you connect with the most, and feel is the most helpful to your situation. Every psychologist has their own strengths and weaknesses and ability to connect with different clients on different levels.