Do We Need an Infidelity Therapist?
If you are having an affair and feeling very guilty about it or if you are in shock after discovering that your partner has had an affair, then as a couple you probably need therapy in order to re-build your relationship and communication.
Why? Because affairs are very damaging to marriages and love relationships.
Yes, they usually have different perspectives and emotional reactions to a discovered affair.
Discovery of an affair upsets the “hurt” partner on a very deep emotional level especially if they assumed that their relationship was monogamous and had no suspicion that an affair may be occurring. Hurt partners usually feel very shocked and betrayed, suffer with emotional pain and become emotionally less stable. A bleak dark cloud rapidly forms over their entire life. Infidelity can then cause: distrust, withdrawal, anger, resentment, confusion, paranoia, depression, hopelessness, revenge. It destabilizes the marriage and the family relations and communications.
Meanwhile, the “unfaithful” partner may detach and withdraw emotionally from his/her partner and not understand why their partner has become so upset, unreasonable or out-of-control. Or, they may feel very guilty about their “cheating” behavior and how much suffering they have caused in their unsuspecting spouse/partner. They may either stop the affair immediately or continue it and refuse to give up their “affair partner”.
Even If One Partner Is Reluctant, Should We Still Pursue a Therapist?
Yes, because of this complexity and intensity, utilizing the assistance of a professional specialist in infidelity can be a very wise choice for everyone involved. It can pull the partners out of confusion and into understanding and perspective. It can lift a partner out of deep anger and depression and it may also protect the children and family from unnecessary pain and disruption. Therapeutic intervention can prevent further relationship deterioration and distancing.
This is not a journey for most couples to take on their own and, unfortunately, friends, physicians and family members are not equipped to be very helpful. This is probably new territory for both of you and therefore you are not equipped to make it through in a healthy way.
Here’s a brief outline of 9 general steps for partners to take when seeking a therapist:
- Agree that both partners will participate in therapy.
- Decide who will make the calls to potential therapists.
- Identify the names of some local qualified therapists.
- Call some therapists on your list and have a brief consult on the phone.
- Schedule an initial appointment if you like how they responded to you.
- Attend an initial “informational interview” to determine their experience, style and whether or not there is a “good fit”.
- Determine your possible costs and what benefits to expect from your health insurance company.
- Make a commitment to start regular sessions with one of the therapists.
- Make your first appointment with that therapist.
These 9 steps above may take a week or two in order to meet with a few different therapists. Shopping around for a “good match” is acceptable because you want to find somebody you trust, resonate with and can afford.
What Specific Actions Should We Take Now?
Take the following 4 important steps to find the right therapist to work with:
1. Do a Self-Evaluation – Start with yourself before meeting a therapist:
- Identify and write down a list of the impact the affair has had on all involved.
- Ponder and write down the possible causes of this violation.
- Contemplate what type of couple therapist you might prefer: male vs female therapist; small private practice vs large clinic; age of therapist; etc.
- Research the usual or customary costs of psychotherapy in your area.
- Determine if you need your health insurance to pay for treatment. Call your insurance provider for information about benefits.
- Determine how much you are willing to pay out-of-pocket for therapy.
2. Get Referrals – If you don’t know any therapists, you need to ask for recommendations or search online:
- Don’t be shy or ashamed to ask for recommendations.
- Ask close friends or family members especially if they have previous experience with psychotherapy or infidelity.
- Ask your physician or pastor for a referral to someone they trust.
- View the online directory of in-network mental health providers recognized by your health insurance company.
- Check-out suggested therapists online to get more information.
3. What to Look for in an Infidelity Specialist – Consider these qualifications:
- Type of educational degree: Ph.D., Psy.D., MD or MA/MS
- Licensed by the state or working under the license of an agency or as an intern under professional supervision
- Type of license: Psychologist, Social Worker, Physician, Marriage and Family Therapist
- Number of years working as a therapist
- Treatment specialties
- Level of experience with infidelity
- A pledge of valuable and productive sessions
- Good listening skills
- Provision of helpful direction, advice and feedback
- Trustworthy demeanor and presence
- Compassionate and accepting personality
4. Meet Therapists Face-To-Face – Assess the therapist’s style:
- Did you feel comfortable and trusting of the therapist?
- Did the therapist ask you probing questions about your situation?
- Did the therapist evaluate your situation before recommending therapy?
- Did the therapist offer you hope and an initial treatment plan?
- Did you determine the costs and insurance coverage to expect?
- Will the therapist submit claims to your health insurance company?
If you want information about my “Therapy for Infidelity” services, click here: http://www.drrevelmiller.com/what-we-treat/therapy-for-infidelity/
To learn more about qualifying therapists, read my article “How Can We Qualify an Effective Infidelity Therapist?” by clicking on the link below: http://www.drrevelmiller.com/2019/10/how-can-we-qualify-an-effective-infidelity-therapist/
Over the past 30 years I have provided therapy for many couples and a good number of infidelity breaches. I’d like to help you both through this ordeal to heal and live a more fulfilling life. Let’s work together to lift you out of the darkness.
Call me soon to schedule an initial consultation session– 805-448-5053.