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Just a Guy and Therapy

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Getting counseling is good and all -- but is it really necessary to spend a lot of money just to have a complaint session?

Couple with therapist

Bruce Sallan: As if it hasn't been abundantly obvious, I am just a guy trying his best to be a good husband and father. Naturally, once in a very rare while, I may make a tiny mistake. Consequently, my wife and I do go to a therapist, on that rare occasion I may make a minuscule gaff. Naturally, my wife flubs up several times -- an hour.

Joking aside, we do have our "stuff" -- a word that will forever be enshrined in my mind with the late, great George Carlin. (Google him and "stuff" if you're soooo old as not to remember that famous routine of his. Or maybe I'll just provide the link for you, and save your lazy butt the effort. Should I? Okay, if you insist: Here it is.)

But I'm getting off track here. Does therapy work for you? I find we tend to just use most sessions as complaint fests. Granted, we are the most stubborn two people I know, but do we really need to pay beaucoup $$$ to rant about each other?

We do get good advice from our therapist, but as a man I greatly respect has said about therapy and therapists, finding a good one and therefore getting value is not easy. I think we have a good one. We just need to listen to him once in a while. But what do I know? I'm just a guy.

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9 comments so far | Post a comment now
denise February 27, 2010, 5:44 AM

The key, as you said, is a GOOD therapist and I’d assert they’re maybe one in ten! AND, both partners much be willing to accept their share of “blame,” as it were and be equally willing to change, as hard as that is for us adults!

Emma February 27, 2010, 8:08 PM

Thanks for the George Carlin link. I never get tired of hearing his routines.

My husband and I took two Landmark courses (originally Werner Erhard’s est) together and thanks to that our fights are very brief. The key points that let that happen are that we recognize that:

1.We want to be right and make the other person wrong.
2.The upset our partner (or we) are currently experiencing is effect, effect, effect and often has nothing to do with something in their past rather than what is going on right now.
3. We are responsible for our own experience. It is not useful to be a victim.

This allows us to take turns “getting off it”, unplugging from the drama and letting go.

My husband often uses humor to defuse the moment, with a riff I never get tired of: “Who was that guy”? “I threw him out of the car/threw him off a ledge/etc” “He’s not coming back any time soon”.

We also frequently acknowledge the value each other and our love. So when times are good (most of the time), we are creating a base to withstand the times when there are differences.

We have briefly seen a therapist. It was to get coaching to prepare us for working together in a business venture and what our roles would be. We were fortunate to find a therapist who had done Landmark trainings so could use language that already worked for us. It made the work go very quickly.

BlackIris February 28, 2010, 10:55 AM

Maybe you guys need a chance to complain with someone there to get things from getting out of hand. Just a thought.

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