Gransnet forums


Has anyone tried counselling?

(64 Posts)
Rosiestocks Sun 13-Nov-22 00:02:41

We've been estranged from DS for 10 years though we do still exchange Christmas and birthday wishes, and occasionally emails. He has recently suggested counselling. We've no experience of this and wondered if anyone could offer any advice?

TwiceAsNice Mon 14-Nov-22 08:08:59

As a therapist myself I agree completely with Poshpaws. Say yes straightaway. If you want to he’s the rift what have you got to lose. A good counsellor will help you both a lot

TwiceAsNice Mon 14-Nov-22 08:09:18

Sorry heal not he’s

TwiceAsNice Mon 14-Nov-22 08:25:16

There is no difference between counselling and therapy they are interchangeable words.

Anyone can set themselves up as a counsellor in private practice with very little training ( you should always ask for proof of qualifications and experience ) Good therapists take years to qualify and they should not know giving you their opinions, telling you what to do, or making it all about them. Self disclosure should be used extremely sparingly as only for a very specific reason to help the client.

Professional counsellors must be registered, most are accredited which is a lot of work to get, and take years to qualify. They will also have had therapy themselves and do much self awareness work in their training. They also have to belong to a professional body BACP , UKCP etc and uphold stringent ethics to continue to practice including CPD/extra training each year to keep up to date. Look on professional registers to be sure your counsellor is good enough . Good luck with it al

Shelflife Mon 14-Nov-22 11:25:47

Rosiestocks, please go for it, counselling is very effective. Your son has made this suggestion and in your situation I would be delighted. He is wanting to repair your relationship and is doing what he can to facilitate that - good for him! If you refuse or don' t approach counselling with positivity - what does that tell him ....?
You have nothing to loose but do have a son to regain. Good luck 🤞!!

Shelflife Mon 14-Nov-22 11:28:24

TwiceAsNice had made a very valid point, do make sure the counselling has appropriate qualifications - that is paramount!!!

Hithere Mon 14-Nov-22 11:40:03


From experience, therapy sessions fail when all participants are not fully open and willing to embrace the experience

Assigning who is right or wrong is not the goal - communication is

I went to a session with my narc parents.
My father mocked the therapist the whole session.
He would even ridicule us when following her tips and homework

Then he would throw it in our face how we tried therapy and didn't work

Dont be my narc father

spabbygirl Mon 14-Nov-22 12:17:31

How lovely!! He's holding out the olive branch, I would take it. It does help to find a counsellor who suits you all so be prepared to try someone new if it seems necessary.

Hithere's dad sounds awful, my ex would never go to counselling cos he said I had the problem not him, needless to say that's why we split up. He couldn't see that his shouting at me was making things worse not better, It does help to realise that something you did or said in good faith has completely backfired but its also sort of refreshing to learn that the way something was said can be interpreted in different ways. I guess my ex thought he was being helpful by explaining that I needed to do xyz to be the perfect wife but he could never see that shouting louder and swearing more actually didn't help work things out between us.
There are some people who just won't listen - really listen.
Good luck!

Caleo Mon 14-Nov-22 13:12:20

The difference between a counsellor and a psychotherapist is the latter is a graduate in psychology or some other relevant discipline who undertakes to advise on the basis of their experience and knowledge. The counsellor does not advise but suggests how the ' client ' can sort out her thoughts and ideas.

Norah Mon 14-Nov-22 14:26:09


We've been estranged from DS for 10 years though we do still exchange Christmas and birthday wishes, and occasionally emails. He has recently suggested counselling. We've no experience of this and wondered if anyone could offer any advice?

Lovely. Ten years of low contact, things will have undoubtedly changed in both lives - go with an open mind and heart.

Listen, don't argue. Good luck.

Rosiestocks Tue 15-Nov-22 14:38:40

Thank you all, too many to mention, for your thoughts and experiences. They've all helped and it's so heart warming that complete strangers are willing to try to help.. Reaching out to GN was my way of trying to understand what we might encounter as I don't know anyone who has used counselling (for any reason).
I'm assuming that the counselling would involve all 3 of us (tho' I'm not sure that it would be DHs cup of tea). We have had a couple of face-to-face meetings over the years. The first (8 years ago) was to try and improve things before DS2's wedding and I spent most of it in tears. I just wouldn't want to repeat that. But I have certainly taken on board what so many have said about listening and how positive it is that DS has suggested it.

Rosiestocks Tue 15-Nov-22 14:41:05

Thank you all again thanks

Smileless2012 Tue 15-Nov-22 15:44:09

I think it's safe to say the counselling would involve you, your DH and of course your son Rosie. This shouldn't be anything like your last face to face meeting as there'll be a professional there, ensuring that everyone listens, everyone is heard and to mitigate as much as possible any upset.

I can understand your concerns bearing in mind how you were affected the last time, and I wonder if you being so upset is why your DH may not be keen.

You need to talk this through with him so you can make the decision together and remember, if at any time you want to terminate a session you can.

The very best of luck flowers.

VioletSky Tue 15-Nov-22 16:45:59


I think it's totally up to you, you could go together with DH or one of you could go first.

You may need to ask about payment etc, whether your son is willing to pay for sessions or both contribute.

There are lots of counselling services that are means tested so you pay what you can afford. So it might be worth seeing what is available in the area.

You could also ask to see the councellor separately first, so you can talk through with them what you hope to achieve and ask questions about what to expect.

Another helpful thing for you is to keep a little diary about sessions so that if it is emotional at first you keep inimdanything you want to talk through in the next session.

Really rooting for you, hope things go well