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Why are you scared of counseling?


gingersmom
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The "you" does not refer to anyone in particular. Just the general Well Trained Mind community as a whole.

 

In another post I suggested that the OP might consider counseling for her husband and son. Apparently some people are shocked by this suggestion. I didn't suggest she burn her husband/son at the stake.

 

Will you turn to stone if you seek counsel from someone outside the family?

 

Is it a cultural thing? A regional thing? Is it because I'm a liberal democrat from NYC area? (grasping at straws here)

 

I'm truly not trying to be snarky or start an argument.

 

Just seriously wondering because it seems to strike such a nerve with people.

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I'm a NYC area girl, too, so I don't think that has anything to do with my opinion on this. It's not like everyone here is in therapy. ;)

 

I just don't happen to believe that the immediate, knee-jerk response to any kind of minor family conflict should necessarily involve counseling.

 

What ever happened to families using common sense and rational thought to solve their average, everyday problems? And what makes a counselor any better at advising them what to do, than they could deduce on their own? There are some great counselors and therapists (like our very own Joanne!!! :)) but there are also a lot of hacks out there, and I think it is ridiculous to assume that a "professional" is needed for every little thing, or that the counselor's suggestions will be useful, sensible, or pertinent just because that person happens to have some impressive letters after his or her name on a business card.

 

I don't think anyone is "scared" of counseling, and I'm sure we all believe it has its place. I just didn't think it was at all necessary in the situation in the other thread.

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I'm not scared of counseling, nor do I get the impression that the members of this board are generally opposed to it. But I do feel that it's "over-suggested" in response to many of the family/parenting/other issues that are shared on this board. I believe counseling has value. But I also believe that people are capable of recognizing issues, identifying better approaches, and addressing their problems without professional help in many situations.

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Personally I find that the older I get the more averse I am to seeing a medical doctor unless I'm REALLY sick. I've just had too many experiences with stupid doctors - from ordinary general practice MDs to top-of-their-field specialists. So I guess my feelings toward counselors/therapists run along those lines. It would take a whole lotta trouble to get me to even start looking for one I felt I could trust.

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1) many things do not require professional counseling

 

2) some have grown up under or whose faith does not believe in, is fearful of, or considers it contrary to their faith to seek secular counseling or counseling that involves some kind of psychology. But they may seek counsel through their spiritual leaders.

 

3) counseling will vary based upon the techniques and biases of the therapist. Counseling helps some people and in others it makes matters worse. Basically, it's a crap shoot.

 

4) yes, there are some for whom the culture, rather than faith, is against counseling.

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I've been on this board since my big kids were little.

I did not read the thread that this is based off of.

 

However, I think this board leans WAY towards....how to say this...thinking that every issue is some disorder or whatever. A child says no and they are defiant, in need of herbs, may need counseling, may have this disorder psychologists came up with for two year olds who say no, etc. In one way, I think this is good because SOMETIMES it really *is* something. Sometimes, the kid really was allergic to grapes and oranges. Sometimes the husband really did have cancer. Sometimes the mother really is....So knowing the possibilities can be nice. But *usually*? Usually two year olds have to learn to exert their independence appropriately, 4yos just aren't ready to stay dry at night, teenagers just get a little wonky with hormones, husbands or mothers get a little distant when dealing with X stress that may last a week or a month or whatever.

 

I just think we take it really too far. It is like we WANT there to be something wrong with everyone.

 

OTOH, I think there are some therapies that can be very helpful. I think that too much navel gazing doesn't do much; but I do agree some is necessary regardless of where you go from there. I do think that the best therapies are those that "go from there" though.

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I'm not afraid of counseling, I'm afraid of the crazy Dr, and I've had a few--for counseling. After some craptastic Drs, the next time I go I'm going to run the guy through the ringer with questions before I sit on a couch.

 

Anyway, everyone IS is counseling here in our county, which is why you can't seen get into see a Dr unless you hit the psych ward, first.

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Health care in general is over suggested. Sniffle...go to the doctor. Cough..run to the doctor. Don't have money or insurance, you'll die if you don't have a screening so go get a low cost or free screening (because screenings treat, protect, and cure your problems at no cost to you).

 

Ok...I'll shut up now. LOL

 

 

I seriously have to disagree with this. My X husband had similar feelings. He died. Doctors are too expensive to visit, overrated and a million other excuses he came up with not to visit a doctor.

 

Had he visited a doctor he would most certainly be alive today.

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I am not scared of counseling. I just happen to think that 99.9% of it is total bunk.

I just don't happen to believe that the immediate, knee-jerk response to any kind of minor family conflict should necessarily involve counseling.

 

What ever happened to families using common sense and rational thought to solve their average, everyday problems?

 

:iagree:

 

I think it was ridiculous to suggest counseling for the problem in the post you're talking about, for the reasons mentioned above.

 

I have a lot of experience with counseling. Both my parents are counselors (my Dad has a doctorate in psychology, my mom has her master's) and I have been in and out of counseling my entire life.

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But I have also felt rather bristly at the advice. For example, my oldest is a very picky eater. It has been suggested to me that I force him into therapy that includes force feeding him foods he hates and letting him vomit and the whole nine yards. I'm not willing to do that. I'm not into torture therapy I guess.

 

I think that is part of why sometimes people get offended at the suggestion of counseling. They come here to post about what they consider to be a relatively minor issue or something bigger that they think they can deal with on their own, hoping for some BTDT common sense replies, and then people start telling them that they need professional counseling.

 

Ummm.... hello???

 

If someone posts that they're in a crisis situation or that they know they can't handle a particular problem or issue, I'm all for recommending counseling, but it seems that much of the time, the OP just wants some basic ideas and suggestions on things she can try on her own, yet all of a sudden she's hearing that her family is a total mess and that she's not equipped to handle the problem she's having, and the only possible solution is to immediately schedule an appointment with a counselor.

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I thought this board *was* my source for free therapy. You mean it's not?

 

 

 

Yep, my feelings exactly. That's why I post when I'm feeling the stress of the teenage years. It is great to get other people's perspectives.

 

If I truly felt my family needed counseling, I would take them. As a matter of fact, we did take older ds when he was 8. His great grandma had just died and some other things were going on - nothing major by themselves, but they all added up. He went 4-5 times and it helped him deal with things. I liked the dr (highly recommended by a friend) and I think it was for the best. I was close to going myself when ds was 9 because he and I were constantly at each other. I did some reading on my own and learned other ways of dealing with him (if only dh would read those books!)

 

On the other hand, I'm not one to run myself or the kids to any kind of doctor for every little thing either.

 

As for our current situation, if this was an ongoing issue, with ds and dh losing it with each other every day or every week, then I'd look into it. But, I really don't think it is anything more than ds being a twit and dh getting fed up.

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As for our current situation, if this was an ongoing issue, with ds and dh losing it with each other every day or every week, then I'd look into it. But, I really don't think it is anything more than ds being a twit and dh getting fed up.

 

 

FWIW, that's exactly what I was thinking it was, too. :)

 

But hey, I'm no counselor, so what do I know? ;)

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I agree that for minor but frustrating childhood issues can and should be worked through without the help of a counsellor.

 

The other thread started concerning me when posters started staying that pushing or throwing or "getting physical" from father to teen son is part of growing up. It shouldn't be. I do feel that if people feel this is normal or expected behavior that they could benefit talking to someone who could give perspective and a picture of a healthy father/teen relationship.

 

It doesn't have to be a professional counselor, necessarily. It could be a pastor or even a trusted friend.

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I am not afraid of counseling. I don't know what posts people are reacting to, but FWIW, I have been in counseling 3 different times in my lifetime and it was very beneficial. I got worried into thinking we needed family counseling because of some behavior issues we were having with M. and it got turned into home education as the problem. That's when I didn't go back.

 

I think counseling has it's place and it's also very much over advised online.

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However, I think this board leans WAY towards....how to say this...thinking that every issue is some disorder or whatever. A child says no and they are defiant, in need of herbs, may need counseling, may have this disorder psychologists came up with for two year olds who say no, etc.

 

Don't forget gluten! I have never seen a post on here regarding a behavioral problem that didn't have at least five or six replies telling the mom that cutting out gluten for her child would solve all her woes.

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Oh! Me! I'm afraid of counseling!

 

I hate the whole idea. OTHER people should go to counseling, sure, that's perfectly reasonable, but not me. I'd just about rather have my fingernails pulled out. I do not have religious or cultural objections. I just don't like talking about my feelings to other people. Unless maybe they're my husband or best friend or a private online group where I don't have to see them face-to-face. My feelings are MINE and you can't have them, is pretty much my attitude. I'm a little strange about it...

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For me it would be a last resort.

 

Family members have been in counseling long term. I see it work well for them. I've also seen the harm it can do, especially regarding marriages. It takes a long time to find the right counselor-client fit.

 

I've just seen the down side of therapy and it's taken me years to fix some of the damage done to relationships because of it.

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I appreciate all the different suggestions of things to try - whether it is counseling or chiropractic or lava lamps or whatever. You never know when that one suggestion will be the one thing you haven't tried yet and which works for you.

 

 

I completely agree. There are so many suggestions I have found on this board that I would have never heard of otherwise. Not that I have tried them all, but are tucked away in the back of my mind to try, should I need to (gluten, dye, etc.). Heck, even household and domestic tips. I have even pointed a friend of my sister's (not a hs'ing Mom at all) to a thread full of suggestions for children suffering from anxiety. It helped her tremendously. I think this board is a blessing and shared ideas are far more helpful than many realize.

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I've known some great counselors, and I've also known people who have had really bad counselors.

 

Dh and I once had my 14 yo very troubled cousin live with us to escape a very bad home situation. We were young, our only child was an infant. I was in over my head, lol. Nonetheless, we did our best, and one of the things we did was take her to a highly respected counselor weekly. I had VERY few real rules, pretty much: no drugs/alcohol/smoking, and go to school, and don't hurt anyone. Every week, she'd get more cigarettes at school and get caught, again, and again. Go figure, it ended badly, she went back home when she became a risk to our infant. (Sent home at the encouragement of that counselor, who was the one who told me the baby was at risk.) Years later, I learned that the counselor had been SMOKING WITH THE 14 year old during their weekly sessions!! The whole time, encouraging me to keep standing firm in my rules about the smoking!

 

I have other stories, lol.

 

But, in the end, I think some counselors are WONDERFUL, some OK, and some really, really bad.

 

Trusting anyone to mess with your heart and mind is a big thing.

 

So, I am wary of counselors. Especially with my kids, mainly because I don't think the kid has any ability to protect themselves from bad counselors, whereas an adult can hopefully have at least some ability to judge the experience wisely and choose to discontinue a bad fit.

 

I'd only send my kid to a professional counselor as a last resort, and I'd research really, really, really carefully!

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When I think counseling, I think some people have an inner fear that something is inherently wrong with them. Counseling suggests peeling back inner layers that are unseen by most, and well hidden day to day.

 

Counseling is intensive, not a quick fix.

 

Actually, counseling can be very quick and effective.

 

Psychodynamic therapy can be long and cumbersome.

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I think that this entire thread attaches stigma to counseling. And sets a standard of "sickness" and NEEDING help.

 

Frankly, many people end up in counseling at a late stage problem. Problems that (at an earlier stage) could have been quickly resolved with the benefit of a trained professional with motivated individuals in a short time.

 

I think it's unkind to worry about "over suggested". There is nothing inherent in counseling that suggests you need to be "X" amount of mentally unwell to go.

 

Counseling can make a good situation better. It can make a challenging situation good. It can even make a bad situation challenging.

 

Why would you suggest *against* it? Even for a situation YOU might be able to handle without using counseling? Counseling is an option - a tool. Why remove it to a remote tool box as if it were a function only for a certain level of issue?

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Actually, counseling can be very quick and effective.

 

Psychodynamic therapy can be long and cumbersome.

 

I was seeing a therapist once and after a couple sessions mentioned how much I loved talking to her, and how if I could afford it, I'd pay her weekly forever to be my wise, supportive friend.

 

She snorted, and told me that she'd be a failure in that case, and she expected we'd be done within 8 weeks for sure.

 

She was right. ;)

 

I've seen other therapists at various times over the years, all good, but she was the best, and the briefest. She was just the right help to get through a rough patch with my extended family, help me see some things in new ways, and push me right back into living a great life (and settling into a new relationship with dh, who happened to be the best thing that ever happened to me!).

 

Sometimes short and sweet is just all you need!

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Don't forget gluten! I have never seen a post on here regarding a behavioral problem that didn't have at least five or six replies telling the mom that cutting out gluten for her child would solve all her woes.

 

Perhaps that's because for a surprising number of folks, dietary changes ARE effective in lessening behavioral problems. Non-celiac gluten intolerance is woefully under-recognized and while the benefits I personally saw in switching my child to GF were physical rather than behavioral, I really wish somebody had suggested it to me earlier.

 

If trying GF did nothing for your child, lucky for you since that certainly makes your life easier. But don't dismiss it as a potential solution for others.

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I am not scared of it, but put very little stock in it. My experience with counselling has been while trying to help my kids. Lots of judgement and "you shoulds" or "I don't know what your problem is" from the counsellors and very little help. Along with threats to involve the authorities (like threatening to call CPS to take away my kids when I tell the counsellor oldest ds had a violent outburst) so instead of trying to find a plan to help ds it breaks all trust. I went to a counsellor once for my own depression and got told parents with depression are unfit to parent their kids, I have seasonal depression that it generally under control naturally but needed help that winter. Yeah big help *eye roll* Basically my experience with counselling is that they are power tripping jerks lacking compassion, common sense and frankly any intellect to be actually useful for more than draining my bank account.

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Perhaps that's because for a surprising number of folks, dietary changes ARE effective in lessening behavioral problems. Non-celiac gluten intolerance is woefully under-recognized and while the benefits I personally saw in switching my child to GF were physical rather than behavioral, I really wish somebody had suggested it to me earlier.

 

If trying GF did nothing for your child, lucky for you since that certainly makes your life easier. But don't dismiss it as a potential solution for others.

 

I didn't dismiss it. I said people advise trying it for everything under the sun, which is ridiculous. Not every toddler having a tantrum or lying preschooler or elementary student that doesn't like math needs to go GF.

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I think that is part of why sometimes people get offended at the suggestion of counseling. They come here to post about what they consider to be a relatively minor issue or something bigger that they think they can deal with on their own, hoping for some BTDT common sense replies, and then people start telling them that they need professional counseling.

 

Ummm.... hello???

 

If someone posts that they're in a crisis situation or that they know they can't handle a particular problem or issue, I'm all for recommending counseling, but it seems that much of the time, the OP just wants some basic ideas and suggestions on things she can try on her own, yet all of a sudden she's hearing that her family is a total mess and that she's not equipped to handle the problem she's having, and the only possible solution is to immediately schedule an appointment with a counselor.

 

 

Overreaction perhaps?

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I appreciate all the different suggestions of things to try - whether it is counseling or chiropractic or lava lamps or whatever. You never know when that one suggestion will be the one thing you haven't tried yet and which works for you.

 

Yes!

 

"Breaking the Vicious Cycle", Epsom salts for night terrors, Little Giant Steps, hydrogen peroxide for flu, Feingold Diet, etc., etc. All these things (and more) I heard first mentioned on the WTM forums at one time or another and have had a significant impact on my family.

 

I'm so grateful to the people who suggested them - and I hope folks don't mind that I post them as well - not because I think they are the answer for everyone, but they might be the answer for *someone*. Same thing for counseling, gluten free, kilts, and cupcakes (and bean dip :D ).

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I agree that for minor but frustrating childhood issues can and should be worked through without the help of a counsellor.

 

The other thread started concerning me when posters started staying that pushing or throwing or "getting physical" from father to teen son is part of growing up. It shouldn't be. I do feel that if people feel this is normal or expected behavior that they could benefit talking to someone who could give perspective and a picture of a healthy father/teen relationship.

 

It doesn't have to be a professional counselor, necessarily. It could be a pastor or even a trusted friend.

 

Because male posturing is completely abnormal?

 

When someone posts a problem here, I EXPECT to see suggestions for counseling, removing wheat, and having your thyroid checked. I just do. However, just because 'I' spend too much time here doesn't mean another poster, or lurker, isn't hearing it for the first time.

 

I made Sticky Chichen last night after hearing about it here for years. It is one heck of a keeper! I'm glad it didn't get banned for being a "dead horse" suggestion :-)

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I am not scared of counseling. We have used counseling in our family. At one point, with my son, he saw a counselor who also had ADHD and was very kind but very firm. He helped ds know that violence wasn't okay and that he would recommend to us that if our son was violent, to bring him to the police. THat woke my son up (he was 9 or 10) and along with a medication change, the problem stopped. It was short term and he never got into early childhood type of garbage. The truth was my son was oppositional defiant, very impulsive, and anxious. Those are not a good combination and can lead to violent outbursts. We needed it stopped and the counselor helped.

 

Then my middle want into counseling because of anxiety issues- panic attacks and phobias and generalized anxiety. The counselor was a cognitive behaviorist and she did help my dd. That one was longer because she had so many issues.

 

Now, with my youngest, she is suffering from depression and counseling doesn't help. At times, she wants to find excuses for her depression but the truth is that hers is a chemical disbalance and as that is being treated, it is getting better.

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I'm actually in a masters program to get a counseling degree :), so I am certainly not against it. I don't however believe people have to run to a counselor for every little thing, and the prodominant way counselors are trained are not in line with Christian morality. I would like to do my internship through a church and train as a Christian LPCC.

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I'm not talking just about todays post. I'm just talking in general.

 

People frequently write about their children/spouses/family members, etc. about issues they are having and if you (most likely me) mention counseling I get rotten tomatoes thrown at me. :001_smile:

 

 

I think there are a few reasons and it depends on how that word "counseling" hits someone's ears.

Some people hear "I don't need someone telling me what or how to do something, I am intelligent enough myself to solve this, I am not weak..."

 

Others hear "Someone is going to dig around in your junk and try to convince you that you were abused, or tell you whom you should blame for your problems," or they are afraid that certain painful things will bubble to the surface and then need to be dealt with and it will be painful.

 

It often helps me just to get someone else's take on the situation. I view this as a form of "counseling" too albeit perhaps not professional but nevertheless it can be helpful. My best girl friend and I know each other well enough to help each other work through tough times.

 

I do firmly believe professional counseling can change someone's life to the better. Some have never learned certain truths or we have warped views that were drilled into us while growing up. Feelings of worthlessness or constant failure, etc is one of those examples. Then there are ways to deal with other's behavior. We cannot necessarily change their behavior but we can learn better ways of dealing with it without losing our temper. And this small change could make all the difference.

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I'm actually in a masters program to get a counseling degree :), so I am certainly not against it. I don't however believe people have to run to a counselor every little thing, and the prodominant way counselors are trained are not in line with Christian morality. I would like to do my internship through a church and train as a Christian LPCC.

 

 

Congratulations on working on your masters, and I hope you will love your new career! :thumbup:

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I don't think the hesitation to recommend counseling is because of fear so much as differences of opinion about the purpose of counseling. Where people believe the line is crossed between "you can handle this yourselves" and "you need counseling" depends largely on whether they view counseling as something to seek primarily for major issues as a last resort or something that's preferable to seek sooner rather than later, even for relatively minor issues. (I think the same is also true of determining when to call the police/CPS, go to a doctor, and other instances of obtaining outside professionals to help with a situation.)

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I've been thinking about this. I do wish that people would let different recommendations and suggestions stand without contradicting them unless the suggestion is actually dangerous. So if someone says, "have you considered counseling?" then don't come and follow it with "don't do counseling!" Same with other suggestions. Now if someone suggests "why don't you drink bleach" then there is a reason to follow that with a "Stop! Don't do it!"

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First, I have learned a lot from this board over the years. I have learned that I do not agree with any one person all of the time. As much as I like and admire Cat, Wendy, Audry, Joanne, Martha, Quill, Pam, Julie and others too numerous to mention sometimes their opinions or suggestions just don't work for me.

 

I think there are good counselors and bad. Ds went to a counselor for several months and he HATED it. Ds is a rapid processor and he saw the end game very quickly...that the counselors goal was to get him to 'accept' a person in his life that he doesn't want to accept.

 

On the other hand the psychiatrist ds sees every several months I think is helpful to ds because he cuts to the chase helping ds to see there are socially acceptable ways of dealing with perfectly understandable disappointments.

 

I have awesome support in my real life. And when I have an issue with one of those people that I want an outside opinion on I usually come here. I can see though that people without IRL support might recall benefit from being able to talk it out.

 

 

 

 

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