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Finding a counselor that knows about infidelity


Infidelity In an affair or suspect your significant other? Share your experiences and concerns here.

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Old 25th September 2013, 4:02 PM   #1
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Finding a counselor that knows about infidelity

I've decided to start individual counseling. This is kind of a scary prospect for me, and I'm not sure how to get started.

People on here often talk about how counselors are not always equipped with tools for dealing with infidelity. How do I know if I've got a good counselor?

I have some FOO issues, a miscarriage (a few years back, unrelatedto affair, but still affecting me) and, of course, my affair to work through.
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Old 25th September 2013, 4:13 PM   #2
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TBH, considering what you've identified as your global issues, I'd focus in on an IC who has a PhD in psychology and specializes in family issues. More than likely your current behavior sets can be examined forensically and those issues which are identified can be worked. Think of the infidelity as the canary that died. The psychologist will work to get at what went sideways in the mine to poison it.

In our case, we got an excellent referral from a prison psychologist whom was a client of my exW's. The counselor had the background in FOO abuse to handle my exW's issues as well as the training in infidelity to handle mine. In your case, an IC will focus on your issues only. Ask around. The good ones are known. Good luck.
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Old 25th September 2013, 4:14 PM   #3
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Ask your family physician or pastor for a reference. Check the internet for counselors in your area then search on each using their name and the phrase "reviews". Once you find one who seems to fit what you are looking for then remember that if you can always find a new one if it doesn't feel right.
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Old 25th September 2013, 4:38 PM   #4
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I did a lot of sessions with a 2 different counselors who weren't so great, but they were paid for through my insurance. One was recommended to my ex by our neighbor. The other was a lady I picked by reviewing profiles online.

There's also the expensive option of coaches...I had a couple phone sessions with Steve Harley that were revealing to me even if I didn't do everything he said. Marriagebuilders is their company name.

DivorceBusters also offer coaching. The lady who started that is imho the one who came up with the idea that is the "180" today.

Not saying this is what you should do...it's just another option. They aren't trained the same way as traditional therapists and have different methods. Also insurance probably wont' work with them...so it's expensive. Yeah so my pick was a mixmatch. I wish I had started with the coach though. My ex was already burnt out and done by that point.
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Old 25th September 2013, 4:58 PM   #5
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Certain ones have designations of LMC AFMT or other designations that signify marriage counseling vs. standard generic counseling.

I went through two professionals (and MD and a MS) till I found one I really liked and had the specific mix I needed (marriage counseling and sex therapy) and she was willing to be very direct and call it as she saw it – "this is wrong and this is right" – "you need to stop doing this and start doing that". Very specific behavior change requests. Most therpaist are too wishy washy and don't want to blame or tell you what to do. This final therapist was also the one that made my wife the most uncomfortable ...which was when I knew I had picked the right one. I did a phone interview for the last one - I explained what happened and what we needed before I decided to proceed. She then also did individual interviews with me and my wife before we started couples. I had to get on a two month waiting list to see this last one.
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Last edited by dichotomy; 25th September 2013 at 5:01 PM..
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Old 25th September 2013, 5:10 PM   #6
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I wouldn't get too hung up on the letters behind a counselors name. Most Psychiatrists (MD) do not do counseling and pretty much prescribe and supervise any medication you use. A Psychologist (PHD) may not be any more useful than a social worker or nurse practitioner or what have you. You are looking for a counselor for help so focus on that.
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Old 25th September 2013, 5:29 PM   #7
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The rule of thumb is to give them three visits to see if you can establish a rapport and gain insight.

It's okay to interview them too.

If not much had happened in three visits....move on.

Like all professions, there is good, great, mediocre, so-so and nut jobs.

Only you can decide for you what and whom is working.
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Old 25th September 2013, 5:34 PM   #8
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We have tried some in western Missouri, but if you are not near that area, then I am of no help to you. You have to try them out for a short time to find one that will be helpful. Some have been helpful, some have been less than helpful.
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Old 26th September 2013, 9:26 AM   #9
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I have to say finding a counselor is tough. My best friend is a therapist and I didn't share my story with her. However she will go on and on how she hates marriage counseling couples and how often times other counselors reject patients as insurances don't pay enough to speak to one person let alone two. Then she has to deal with the fighting and high emotions.

I was surprised and hurt to hear her say this. She pretty much said they did not want to be bothered. Luckily we did find someone that we went to. But the process I agree was not an easy one.
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Old 27th September 2013, 7:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnel921 View Post
I have to say finding a counselor is tough. My best friend is a therapist and I didn't share my story with her. However she will go on and on how she hates marriage counseling couples and how often times other counselors reject patients as insurances don't pay enough to speak to one person let alone two. Then she has to deal with the fighting and high emotions.

I was surprised and hurt to hear her say this. She pretty much said they did not want to be bothered. Luckily we did find someone that we went to. But the process I agree was not an easy one.
That's odd to me. I'd think marriage counseling, and counseling individuals with marital problems would be about half her business. I imagine it depends a lot on your counselor. I'm sure different counselors will have different specialities.
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Old 27th September 2013, 8:35 PM   #11
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it's Similiar to lawyers. By virtue of having THE degree, they are qualified to counsel in all areas.

But do NOT BUY IT.

Do you know how many I eliminated by asking two simple questions over the phone?

Have you personally experienced infidelity? Are you married and if yes, have you experienced infidelity and successfully reconciled?

Then LISTEN, very, very carefully to tones of indignant insult, or complete rug-sweeping outrage, or nonsense psychobabble.

You will be able to quickly discern who has walked a mile in your shoes and will best be able to help you.
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