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Bpd, ptsd group therapy - Carers UK Forum

Bpd, ptsd group therapy

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Hi guys my wife has bi polar effective disorder and ptsd
Recently her therapist has suggested she attend group therapy and with a local support group round the corner I’m keen to have a go so to speak ,
However she is staunchly against the idea to the point that if I slightly press the issue I’ll end up with a full bore argument

But , is it really that helpful ? Am I right to fight for it ?

Looking for guidance
Gareth, two thoughts -

Firstly, is this group for survivors of childhood abuse? I would surmise that unless it is, she is unlikely to have the slightest empathy with them, if they have not been through what she has been. And she may well NOT want to tell strangers what happened to her. It's private and, as I said elsewhere, most unfairly it can act to 'shame' us (illogical, but true, sigh)

Secondly, ensure she is allowed to go and simply 'observe' for the first few times. That way she can 'see what it's like' without being expected to do anything at all by way of 'interacting'.

Thirdly, do you get to go to these meetings as well? If not, then find some where partners DO go as well. I can well understand her feeling daunted by being 'abandoned in a room full of strangers without anyone she knows and loves with her to support her, and expected to tell gruesome details of what other people did to her as a little girl'! A horrible ordeal for any of us, surely!

Fourthly, have you, and your wife, met the 'counsellor' who will be running this group, and what do you make of them? There has to be HUGE trust here, for the reasons I said above.

Group therapy is not something you just 'walk into blithely'.

Fifthly, will she be the 'new girl' there, or are all the group 'new'? If the latter, then easier for each of them surely.
That was more than two thoughts! More kept occurring to me as I typed.
Gareth, hi - how goes it on the group therapy front? Any joy?
Why fight? Here's some food for thought.
The old saying "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink" is surely applicable here?

I don't know much about mental illness, but I was happily married for 34 years, and we didn't argue. We didn't always agree either, but would talk things over until we could make a decision we were happy with.

I've read on the forum so many times about a loving partner being slowly eaten up or destroyed by the controlling behaviour of the partner with a mental health issue.
it's not about her controlling you or vice versa, it's about living together in harmony, with give and take on both sides.
Surely you should be working together to make her as well as possible?
If she is not prepared to attend, that says to me that she isn't really that bothered about the effect her illness has on you.
You cannot force her to go, but maybe you can go yourself?

Marriage is supposed to be a partnership, with each of you equal to the other.
The only power she has over you is the power you let her have.
Do you ever get a chance to do what you want, does she do what you want ever?

Ultimately, IF you both want to stay married, then she has to make some effort, and if her counsellor is suggesting it and she is refusing, doesn't that say she doesn't want to make an effort?
What do YOU want?
Have YOU had counselling to go through how you feel about her illness and your relationship generally?
So much depends on WHY she is refusing. If it's for 'valid' reasons (such as I suggested) then OK, but if it's for 'invalid' reasons (such as BB indicates), then not.

Please do check out the rather dark concept of 'secondary gain'. It's where people who are mentally ill get 'something' out of BEING ill. If they do, they can then develop a 'vested interest' in 'staying ill'.

That has to be sorted, so they can finally move on and head for healing...

While they are stuck on getting the 'secondary gain', they won't try and get the 'primary gain' which is to get BETTER.

Wishing you (both) all the best possible (which might be more than your wife thinks IS possible...)