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#157376 - 05/22/07 01:34 AM Seeing the same therapist
weepywife Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 57
I feel it would be beneficial for me to meet with my husband's T. I feel like if I am going to talk to someone I would rather talk to someone who already knows the situation. I feel it could also help my husband because the T may be able to give me ideas on how to relate with my husband.
I asked my husband and I can tell he is uncomfortable with the idea. He said I can do whatever I want but he would prefer that I see someone else. I don't really want to see someone else. I don't see how that would benefit the situation. I feel like we need some marriage counseling and we need to have one T.
Do you think that I am jeopardizing my husband's recovery by going to see his therapist? He said it was okay but I know he would prefer I not see his T.

#157391 - 05/22/07 02:34 AM Re: Seeing the same therapist [Re: weepywife]
WalkingSouth Offline

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16270
Loc: Waldport, Oregon

You've stated how you feel. Your husband seems to feel differently. If I were you I'd put off pushing that particular issue right now. He is obviously having some trust issues with you. I also imagine you are feeling quite insecure with him seeing his T and not wanting you to be involved.

Part of the problem for us as survivors is that we felt as if we had all control taken from us by those who abused us. Until we can learn to regain the ability to trust, we'll not be able to meet certain "demands" placed on us by those close to us, even if those "demands" would not be considered unreasonable most nonsurvivors. Pushing him on the issue will probably only serve to stubborn him up some about it.

If I were you I'd find another T who has an understanding of the issues your H faces and start seeing him. Who knows? He may be able to work out a cooperative deal with your H's T so that there is some communication and eventually you guys can end up in couples counseling which is where you probably really want to be.

My wife and I used to see separate T's but when we started couples therapy she switched to my T and he is also our joint session T. It's working out quite well for us. You may find it the same.

I guess my point is that your current approach doesn't seem to be working and to continue it will probably be nonproductive. So try a different approach. It may well work out, but will probably take some time. This recovery stuff is measured in years or even decades, not weeks or months \:\(

Lots of love,


"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting 'Holy Shit! What a ride!'" ~Hunter S. Thompson

#157396 - 05/22/07 02:43 AM Re: Seeing the same therapist [Re: weepywife]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Originally Posted By: weepywife

Do you think that I am jeopardizing my husband's recovery by going to see his therapist?

In short, Yes. If he cannot feel completely comfortable opening up to his T because he is having to constantly monitor what he is saying because he is afraid it will get back to you in some inadvertent manner, then he will be totally wasting his time. Honor your husband's request. This is hard enough on him as it is, without the added burden of self-monitoring.


#157407 - 05/22/07 03:06 AM Re: Seeing the same therapist [Re: EGL]
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA

Your husband *is* giving you an idea about how to relate to him.

Trust him, and give him this safe space to heal. Send him the message that you believe that he has the strength to recover without your involvement in his therapy.

I can pretty much guarantee that if I had done this with my partner it would have ended any shot I had of getting him to share openly and honestly with me-- because why would he tell me things that are difficult for him to say if I'm going to do what I want without caring about how he feels? He might as well just say whatever I want to hear and keep his real feelings hidden.

If you need to see a counselor, why not find one who will encourage you to invest your focus and care in yourself, and what you can do to work on the marriage and your situation?


#157417 - 05/22/07 03:32 AM Re: Seeing the same therapist [Re: SAR]
Chain Breaker Offline

Registered: 04/21/07
Posts: 376
Loc: Michigan

I agree that it would be detrimental to your husband's recovery for you to see his T. It also is not standard practice. Husbands and wives seeing T's should have one each for their own issues and a third for their mutual issues. It would be preferable to have all three T's in the same clinic, so the couple's T could have access to therapy notes from both the husband's and the wife's sessions. Having his personal T be a mediator between the two of you or be your T as well creates a classic conflict of interest. If I were his T, I would never agree to such an arrangement.

There was one occasion where I had my wife come to a therapy session with me, but it was only after we had resolved most of our marital difficulties already. I know it feels frustrating to be on the outside of his therapeutic relationship, but it will really help him if you can accept that it has to be that way -- at least until he extends the invitation to you.


My name is Joe. I am a survivor and a good man. You can count on me.


"[Insert your name here], I am [Chain Breaker]. Do you see that I am your friend? Can you see that you will always be my friend?"
--Wind In His Hair, Dances With Wolves

#157437 - 05/22/07 04:29 AM Re: Seeing the same therapist [Re: Chain Breaker]
GWsurvives Offline

Registered: 01/10/07
Posts: 251
Loc: Atlanta, and here, among othe...

My therapist will talk to my wife, but only at my request and only about my therapy. My wife has not been willing to, but none the less. My T will not discuss "our" issues with her. T says it would not be fair or ethical as she only knows my side of "our" story.

So, I agree with Chain Breaker. Until you are invited, it would probablly be best to see another T that is familliar with the issues, but not familiar with him.

Just my 2 cents.


"Some times there just aren't enough rocks" Forrest Gump

#157479 - 05/22/07 03:05 PM Re: Seeing the same therapist [Re: GWsurvives]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey

I'm with everyone else. I see a T on my own periodically and every few months or so, I am invited with my b/f to see his T to kind of "check in" but it is not a regular occurance and would actually make us both very uncomfortable. Both of our Ts have permission from us to speak to one another if they feel the need. This has been working out pretty well for us and neither one of us has our toes stepped on.

ROCK ON.........Trish

If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

#157576 - 05/22/07 11:35 PM Re: Seeing the same therapist [Re: Trish4850]
WalkingSouth Offline

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16270
Loc: Waldport, Oregon

Just to clarify, My wife and I came to this arrangement of seeing the same T by mutual agreement after a protracted period of seeing separate T's. For us this has worked out well, but we have an agreement among ourselves and the T that what we say in our private sessions is not fair game for questioning unless it happens via another mutual agreement. Other's may find this a bit odd, but like I say, for us it has worked.

I could not see it being even remotely possible several years ago when I first started in therapy.


"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting 'Holy Shit! What a ride!'" ~Hunter S. Thompson

#158168 - 05/25/07 02:59 PM Re: Seeing the same therapist [Re: WalkingSouth]
Kathryn Offline

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303

It doesn't seem to me that there are better or worse ways of going about arranging therapy and there aren't "standard" practices about seperate or shared therapists. Some therapists prefer couples to have seperate therapists and a third for couples counciling, others prefer one shared therapist for both individual and couple's, others prefer seperate for individual but that the couple decide on one or the other therapists for couples, etc.... I don't think there's a dogmatic rule for this and really shouldn't be as it seems to me there are both positives and negatives no matter which arrangement is chosen.
Rob and I see the same therapist, individually (or at least I used to) and as a couple. I think this has worked quite well for me overall, though there has been some measure of discomfort. But seeing seperate therapists would also have it's drawbacks.
Anyway, I have a preference for one therapist if it can work because it seems to me that it provides the opportunity to bring "everything" and everyone into the same room, which is how we live our lives. Of course this can create negative dynamics, but also provides the opportunity to confront those dynamics. Seperate therapists avoids these negative dynamics -- which in the short term may be necessary if they're just too overpowering and so can create necessary and thus more productive space. As Virginia Wolf said, we all need a Room of One's Own -- but we also need to relate.
At any rate, doesn't seem there's a Right or Wrong way -- just different ways, all of which have both advantages and disadvantages and any given moment.


#158194 - 05/25/07 06:49 PM Re: Seeing the same therapist [Re: Kathryn]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
Jumping in here as a therapist, I invite my male survivors to bring in their partners for occasional joint sessions. I view the partner as part of the treatment team (unless there is some destructive conflict between them).

It is by the survivor's request and I wouldn't see both individually. My wife is also a T and we sometimes split the couple for individual.

I guess there is no "right way" but it is something that WW's partner can talk with his T about and if it would be helpful for her to come to a session or three, it may help identify both problems and potential solutions.


Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

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