Sunday, November 11, 2007

We Have a Question!

Hey everybody, we have a question! Step right up to the mike, please....

My only experience w/ therapy was marriage couseling. We went to ONE session where Hubby and therapist both told me "our" marriage problems stemmed from me and that i should come back alone...

I felt like a sacrificial lamb slain on the altar.

I never went back and I didn't leave hubby - regretfully most days truth be told - but I have a question to add:

How can you convince someone that they should go to therapy? I'm convinced someone I know - okay it's my Mom- would benefit immensely.

What's the best approach to use when she truly believes that you must be nuts to need a shrink?

First off, I can understand why you felt ganged up on in that first marriage counseling session. I'd just like to posit an alternate scenario - maybe the therapist felt that your husband was not going to change or was not amenable to therapy and wanted to meet with you individually to help you evaluate your options. I, of course, have no idea if this was the case, but I can say that that's happened to me several times. I'm not going to say in front of the husband (or wife, as the case may be), "Sweetie, you married a 12-year-old. Couples counseling is going to have limited effect here." But maybe the wife seems workable, so I'll suggest that we work together individually first.

And addressing the second question - remember the old joke asking how many psychiatrists it takes to change the light bulb? Answer: Only one, but the light bulb has to want to change. That's true of your mom, too. Anyone who really accepts that he/she need help is usually willing to look for it. There are plenty of counseling resources around showing that lots of people who are not nuts go to a shrink. Your mom is finding excuses not to seek help.

To people in your position, I usually suggest you consult with a therapist to help you deal with the difficult position you're in. Surprise! What else am I gonna suggest? But seriously, often the best way to persuade someone that therapy works is to be a walking advertisement. Maybe when your mom sees how well you're handling your life and how happy you are, she'll be more willing to pursue it as an option for herself.


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