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Counsellors colluding in deceit

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Stronger2 posted 6/25/2019 10:04 AM

I recently made a complaint about this post from a senior counsellor working for a UK couples counselling organisation (Relate - ask ammanda - should I tell my partner about my affair? ). As usual the post blames the BS and an unhappy marriage for the affair....they also recommend that the WS 'cherishes their memory of the affair' and advises that they should only confess about the affair if it 'feels right' even if the BS asks them directly.
I contacted Relate and explained that I have PTSD as a result of my BS's physical and emotional affairs being hidden for 13 years. However, the post has not been amended. I'd be interested to hear whether others think this post represents ethical practice on the part of counsellors. If you don't think so, please do pass on your own experiences of being deceived to Relate. There is a serious problem with professional collusion in BS's either being blamed by couples counsellors or worse, being kept in the dark in fake relationships in my view because counsellors seem unable to grasp that infidelity renders relationships non-consensual. We as a community should start to challenge this kind of nonsense and the culture that supports it.

deephurt posted 6/25/2019 10:09 AM

I have PTSD also. I caught my WH and he lied but I found enough proof that he ended up admitted to partial truth. The gaslighting and TT destroyed every little bit of trust there was remaining after initial discovery.

The therapists should be ashamed of themselves, advocating for cheaters to continue to lie. When is lying ever the right thing to do? Most importantly, every BS needs to get checked for STD's. These therapists that you are speaking of are telling cheaters to leave their BS's in the dark and they could have STD's that could threaten their lives and their ability to have children.

I am glad you lodged a complaint. I am in a different country than you are so I doubt a complaint from me would assist but if you have somewhere where I can state my opinion, I would be happy to do so. Not sure if you can post it here but you can PM me where I can go.

cocoplus5nuts posted 6/25/2019 10:34 AM

I have never heard of Relate. Is it an 9nline counseling service?

At any rate, I think a counselor advising someone to lie is unethical unless it's for the safety of someone. I think this shows why it is suggested that we stay away from couples counseling in the beginning. They are focused on saving the relationship, not addressing an individual's personal issues.

Adaira posted 6/25/2019 10:35 AM

According to my exWH, his IC encouraged him to keep his continued cheating a secret from me while he “figured things out” ie sat on the fence and ate cake for months while leading me on. Never mind the consequences to my mental and physical health. Disgusting.

Stronger2 posted 6/25/2019 10:49 AM

Relate offers face to face couples counselling in the UK.
On my third session with them the counsellor told me my husband had been lying to me to protect me....

Stronger2 posted 6/25/2019 11:10 AM

Hi Deepheart.
Thanks for your message. I can't seem to PM. I tried the double smiley and looked at the PM option from my profile page but couldn't find a place to message. Maybe because I only have basic membership?
Anyway, if you Google Relate UK then look for the relationships link- affairs and scroll through the links you'll find the 'Ask Ammanda' posts. There is an email address to send messages there. Doesn't matter that you are not in the UK I think.

deephurt posted 6/25/2019 11:53 AM

Okay I will look it up.

Did you lose it on the therapist? I sure would have. If he was protecting you, he wouldn’t have cheated in the first place. Not telling us only protecting himself.

Stronger2 posted 6/25/2019 12:08 PM

Yes I told the therapist my husband was lying to protect himself only. Even my husband thought that comment was appalling. We didn't go back to that therapist but unfortunately had crappy experiences with others after.
One accused me of being an abusive person because I told my WH he was a shit husband (the day I learnt of his infidelity). I pointed out that having affairs was abusive but she didn't seem to want to discuss that. We didn't go back there either

Stronger2 posted 6/25/2019 12:13 PM

And Adaira, you should complain about that therapist to the relevant professional body.

deephurt posted 6/25/2019 12:14 PM

Wow. That’s horrible. I hope you are able to find one that has real experience with infidelity and empathy. The ones you have spoken to have no clue.

HoldingTogether posted 6/25/2019 12:17 PM

Bit of a threadjack, but an interesting side note.

According to my exWH, his IC encouraged him to keep his continued cheating a secret from me while he “figured things out” ie sat on the fence and ate cake for months while leading me on. Never mind the consequences to my mental and physical health. Disgusting.

Post Dday my FWW told me something similar about her experience in IC. I was, needless to say, fucking incensed . Had her call her IC fire her on the spot. Really read her the riot act.

Months later it kept eating at me. I just could not believe an IC would advise that course but FWW kept insisting that that was what she had been told and even offered to go and ask for all the notes from her sessions so she could prove it to me.

Well, she did just that. Came home and triumphantly handed them over to me. She was so certain she was right about this point....

Low and behold, reading the notes of her sessions, the IC never recommended anything of the sort. If anything, the IC recommended she stop the affair until she could figure her marriage out.

And let me be clear here. My FWW was obviously, visibly shocked when I showed this to her. I honestly do not believe that she was lying about this point. I sincerely believe that she heard what she wanted to hear at the time.

I think people often do that. Doesn’t make it ok obviously. But it sure is an interesting glimpse into the wayward mind.

HT

burninghouse posted 6/25/2019 12:19 PM

infidelity renders relationships non-consensual

I hadn't thought of it this way but you are so right.

I have PTSD as well and it's terribly disheartening when I come across advice such as what you are highlighting. I've noticed in the past year plus more articles with better, more accurate information on betrayal and PTSD. Also noticed that blanket terms such as "codependency" can be way off. There is such an intimate deeply held bond that is abruptly and violently severed. It can cause the body system to go haywire aka fight, flight, freeze and get stuck there, hence PTSD symptoms. It's is all part of the body's protection system but on overload it can be difficult to heal. When D-day happened my body went into a kind of freeze-panic-terror mode. I tried to explain this to a friend which was challenging since I had never experienced anything like this before and didn't know what was happening. Plus I was in full-blown panic and felt like my heart might give out. She mentioned codependency. I started looking into codependency but it didn't seem to fit the symptoms. The term codependency seems to be tossed around often but it's not always applicable. Plus it fails to address the issue of trauma and its effects.

IMO professionals who work with betrayed spouses including therapists, doctors, lawyers, etc. should be trauma informed. I've noticed in my area that trauma informed is a designation for many therapists and it seems to be growing in popularity. There are many BSs with PTSD and some don't even know it. We're being labeled codependent, blamed for the As, kept in the dark, yet the trauma and PTSD symptoms are not being properly addressed and even exacerbated by these common yet sorely misinformed practices.

We as a community should start to challenge this kind of nonsense and the culture that supports it.

^^^ Could not agree more on this. ^^^ We need more trauma informed professionals who recognize that infidelity betrayal IS trauma.

TX1995 posted 6/25/2019 12:27 PM

It's interesting (and sad) that there seems to be a whole school of thought on keeping infidelity a secret.

My WH told his 2nd IC that he hadn't "told me everything" (didn't say he had sex, just that I didn't know everything) and the IC didn't encourage truth. And in fact retired about 3 months into treatment and didn't think my WH needed to find another therapist.

I just read Mira Kirschbaum's When Good People Have Affairs and was flabbergasted that she too encourages lying. In fact, the whole book sans a few chapters is about how to make up your mind whether to leave a spouse for an affair. To kind of "try out" the affair partner if possible to see if you'd work in the real world. WTF is that? Insanity.

Chaos posted 6/25/2019 12:33 PM

I had more than one professional advise against telling OBS.

deephurt posted 6/25/2019 12:38 PM

Good grief. It’s actually scary that people we rely on to help us are advocating for lying.

My wh went to IC who promptly told him that I shouldn’t want answers to sexual questions as it will give me mind movies.
I literally blew my top that she would say something like that and said she had no clue about infidelity. We have nine movies regardless and the truth actually eliminates the ones that aren’t true -at least for me.

My wh stopped going because each time we discussed it I would get angry at something she would say. At one point she said “I don’t want to discount deephurts feelings but....” and went in to do just that.

Our MC was much better but she also would say things that would make me freak out. Line when she said his cheating would be easier for me to take if it was love. What a load of crap.

Unhinged posted 6/25/2019 12:47 PM

Not all therapists are created equally.

There IS an entire school of thought that believes infidelity is normal, should be kept secret, and that it's based upon unmet needs in a relationship. The mental gymnastics performed by such therapists is just as staggering as the justifications created by wayward spouses.

This is why I caution most, if not all, betrayed spouses to be very cautious with therapy, especially marriage or couples' counseling. If you choose to go see a therapists, remember that YOU are hiring them. Ask questions, specifically about their own personal experience with infidelity as well as their professional views on the subject. In other words, interview them.

[This message edited by Unhinged at 12:47 PM, June 25th (Tuesday)]

cocoplus5nuts posted 6/25/2019 13:48 PM

felt like my heart might give out.

When I was googling stuff post dday, I came across articles about broken hearts. It seems that people can actually die from a broken heart! The physical reactions are real.

Maybe I've been lucky, or maybe it's because I have been in therapy off and kn for 34 years now, but I have never experienced anything like this from a therapist. I've seen quote a few. We move a lot.

I'm looking for a new one now. Will definitely interview them.

Adaira posted 6/25/2019 14:17 PM

Low and behold, reading the notes of her sessions, the IC never recommended anything of the sort. If anything, the IC recommended she stop the affair until she could figure her marriage out.

And let me be clear here. My FWW was obviously, visibly shocked when I showed this to her. I honestly do not believe that she was lying about this point. I sincerely believe that she heard what she wanted to hear at the time.

I think people often do that. Doesn’t make it ok obviously. But it sure is an interesting glimpse into the wayward mind.

I’m sure there’s some of this going on with my exWH as well. It’s why I’ve never really pursued the matter. I do think she was a terrible therapist, not just based on this one incident, but several other things he took away from his sessions with her. On the other hand, my exWH is sick in the head and lies to everyone - himself included. Who knows what the real story is there.

Stronger2 posted 6/26/2019 07:09 AM

Thanks All,
It is both heartening and depressing to hear that others have had similar experiences. I agree that there is often a total failure to recognise betrayal trauma or even to know what it is. I have lost count of the number of times I have been told by 'experts' or have read that infidelity is like a bereavement. No - it really isn't. It is a profoundly damaging and life changing trauma which causes significant psychological harm.

That is something else that I have fed back to Relate in the UK along with numerous negative experiences with couples'counsellors. I have given up on couples' counselling as having been through four of them I have come to realise that it is not fit for purpose for the most part and I won't subject myself to being blamed and invalidated by people who clearly don't know what on earth they are doing. When I fed back to Relate I also pointed out that adultery is a form of abuse I was told that the 'Home Office' don't class it as such. When I pointed out that most people would consider non-consensual sex to be abuse and that it's not possible to consent to sex with a partner if this is given on the explicit basis that they are not having sex with someone else or risking giving you a potentially fatal disease, the person I spoke to seemed to start to get it. They were also a senior counsellor with more than 20 years working in the field but only just started to grasp the reality of infidelity when I expressed this to her.
In terms of Mira Kirschbaum's When Good People Have Affairs advocating for lying, it's not surprising really. I think the clue is in the title - good people don't have affairs.....
Seriously, we have to stop taking this rubbish from people - it is just a form of victim blaming like there used to be in relation to domestic violence - 'her husband hit her because she was a nag or she didn't have his dinner on the table'. Please....

[This message edited by Stronger2 at 7:22 AM, June 26th (Wednesday)]

totallydumb posted 6/26/2019 07:45 AM

This is why I caution most, if not all, betrayed spouses to be very cautious with therapy, especially marriage or couples' counseling. If you choose to go see a therapists, remember that YOU are hiring them. Ask questions, specifically about their own personal experience with infidelity as well as their professional views on the subject. In other words, interview them.

This can't be stressed enough.

I had a initial therapist who was a 2X WS!

I asked her if she had any personal therapy to find out her whys, she did not answer, and after a long silence, tried to change the subject.

I said I did not think that I would be able to work with her and left.

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