Not all of my work is conducted one-on-one – if it helps for you to draw someone else into our work, I am open to it as a general rule. A few things to consider though…..:
Couples Counselling with a Narcissist
….is generally not recommended because the pair of you are not committed to the process in the same way and with the same goals. The chances are that you are trying to make the relationship work, which in normal couples counselling involves a good deal of being honest and open, of being prepared to listen, to understand, to empathise and to compromise. Revelation all round. That is what a normal loving partner committed to saving a relationship would be seeking.
A narcissist approaches couples counselling with a very different agenda – to further reinforce Dr Jekyll, and to mitigate Mr Hyde. They will listen to your tales of woe (and secretly get a high from it), they will take careful note of your insecurities and vulnerabilities to use against you at a later date, they will try and pervert any mediator or counsellor onto their side to your detriment, and they will learn to play the role of Dr Jekyll even better.
Would I try it? Let’s talk – I’m not saying no……
Enlisting a Loved One
One of the major challenges that you face is getting the validation that you so desperately need, and sadly much of the help that many loved ones give you can be very counter-productive. “There are plenty more fish in the sea”, “You’ll get over it”, “People have breakups all the time” are the sort of messages that can be very harmful to your mental and psychological health – because this is not a normal breakup that you are going through, and it is not so much the loss of him/her that is so difficult to come to terms with – but the loss of you. The ONLY people who get your predicament are fellow survivors – even traditional therapists can be hazardous to your mental health all too easily.
As such, bringing in someone from your close support group – be it a parent, a best friend etc – can be a valuable exercise if, as a result of their involvement, they are able to better understand your situation and how they can best support you.
If you are trying to split from the coparent of your kids, you’re in a doubly tricky position I’m afraid – pitfalls and pressures abound over and above the challenges that you are facing yourself. Just as you need to do some work to heal, so they are likely to need to do the same. I can either work with kids directly, work with you all together, or help you to coach them – you are, after all, probably the one person on the planet who really knows what they have endured, how it is likely to affect them, and how to find routes on your journey of healing.
Two Survivors Journeying Together
Something that I have done, and that seems to work very well, is helping two survivors of abuse undertake their journey as travel companions. Consider me your guide, for as much or as little of your journey as you wish – but the pair of you are sharing the load – exchanging stories and anecdotes, making sense of each other’s madness together, validating and supporting each other. If this is of interest, let’s chat it through and I will explain how it could work for you.
Personally I am all for trying something different 0 to break patterns, to invent, to adapt, to improve. So if you want to structure your healing in a new and innovative way, and particularly if you want to enlist help outside our work, let’s talk – I’m probably all for it.