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Is it bad if I don't go to counseling?

Old 03-29-2011, 07:47 AM
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Is it bad if I don't go to counseling?

My self-healing process was initiated when I left home for six weeks. In that time, I've read books by alcoholism/codependency experts like Melody Beattie, Debra Jay, Ketchum (Under the Influence), and Harriet Lerner.

I've gone regularly to an Al-Anon group here in the town I'm living in.

I've been stepping up my practice in my Christian faith by attending church regularly, helping out at a food bank, going to Lent programs once a week and finding a spiritual director to help me with the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.

I did agree also to attend counseling with AH, to support him more than anything else. AH is trying to sober up completely, but has recently been complaining about the cost of the counseling, because we just learned our insurance only covers 50% and is subject to a high deductible. He can find another counselor in-network that will still be 50% without a deductible.

The counselor we started with has asked me to see him on a regular basis (once a week). But, I spent $1300 on this "hermitage" that I'm living in, despite my great efforts to pay down a huge amount of personal debt that I have. I really don't know if I can afford this counselor.

But I'm worried that it's just denial on my part, and that I'm just trying to find excuses not to work on myself.

How would I know which is true--are all my other efforts enough, or do I really need to sort this out with a trained alcoholism counselor?
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:03 AM
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Solo, this is your call and you do only what makes you feel comfortable. I see a counselor off and on for me; tried and called off marital counseling because it wasn't working and was too early in recovery for either of us.

I do go to Al-Anon regularly and that costs me $1, $2 sometimes if I have extra. And it seems to me to be the one thing that really does work. Funny how the least expensive option has turned out to be the most effective. Have you tried any meetings where you are now?
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:04 AM
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Everyone is different.
We did 7 years of marriage counseling. Most of that was in the throes of alcoholism and through either student health or my employer's EAP.

When we moved, I found a therapist I really liked who specialized in addictions, and set it up as "marriage counseling," which she saw right through, and announced she'd be focusing on him. Which is exactly what I wanted. I saw "our" therapist on my own a couple of times as I was making the decision that my line had been crossed and I wasn't going back. It was mostly nice to have a sounding board who wasn't my mother agree that I wasn't the crazy one.

If you're getting enough out of AlAnon, maybe you don't need it. And if you can't afford it, well, that's a huge consideration.

Just my 2c
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:10 AM
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Is it possible you "know" how this is going to play out?Alot of money and effort on your part and very litlle on your husbands?Do you want him to do this because its his issue and you are just tired?Personally, I wonder how marriage couynseling works when one person is in active alcoholism..I know if there are underlying mental health issues they say to work the addiction first..then you can get a clear idea of whats underneath..
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:12 AM
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Recovery really is a la carte.
If it works for you, do it. If it doesn't work, find something else that does.

I am debating stopping my counseling. My therapist is nice, certainly, but I don't feel like I'm getting as much out of it as I did in the beginning - and my insurance covers most of it, so it's not a money issue, I just feel there may be better ways to spend that one hour twice a month.
I do like having him as backup regarding XABF's occasional appearances (since he does not seem to understand the meaning of the phrases "It's over" and "No"), but after that I may simply stop going.

Does this therapist specialize in addictions?
From some of your other posts, it sounded like this is the wrong sort of counselor to go to, anyway. It felt like she bought into you AH's story a bit too often, and wanting you to "compromise." That might be me reading into things, though.


Ultimately, it's your decision.
Don't go simply because you feel guilty not going and aren't getting anything out of it, and don't stop going if the money is the only problem but the therapist is working out great.

It's your decision to make - but either answer can be right, if it's right for you.
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:43 AM
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I do like having him as backup regarding XABF's occasional appearances (since he does not seem to understand the meaning of the phrases "It's over" and "No"), but after that I may simply stop going.
You have your personal fucshia pink paintball brigade.
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Old 03-29-2011, 01:59 PM
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IMHO, From what I know about counseling, they are only guides really to steer you in the right direction. 99% of the real work is done by those seeing the counselor. They can't do the work for us, just like we can't make an alcoholic stop drinking.

I never did see a counselor after my abusive marriage ended. I did most of the work on my own because I couldn't afford it. I read what I could, researched, and talked to other women who had been abused. I can say with certainty that I am so much better mentally than I was three years ago.
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