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What DoYou
Say When...?

What do you say when a client has been lying to you and their spouse for months?

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Finding out that a client has been lying to you and their spouse about ongoing infidelity is very tricky. Suddenly what was already a difficult infidelity repair case gets a whole lot tougher.

For some therapists it is just more grist for the mill. For others, it forces us to think about our role as a therapist and whether we want to continue seeing that client.

A couple named Sue and Joe initially came to therapy when Sue discovered Joe was sexting another woman.

Joe totally denied anything beyond innocent texting and insisted he had stopped. Two months into therapy he was confronted with indisputable proof that he had been lying to his wife and to Pete, his therapist.

He then also confessed to multiple affairs during their 11 years of marriage.

Here’s how Pete talked to Joe. It was an exceptionally strong confrontation.

Pete:
Let me ask you a question, Joe. As you are going through this crisis right now, what are you learning about yourself from your patterns of deception?
Joe:
I learned what I did is just horrible. It was a terrible thing to do and I feel so, so bad. If you would see me in individual therapy I intend to work on it and deal with these walls I’ve put up.
Pete:
You’ve just described your reaction and your intention. Let me ask you again, what have you learned about yourself that would be painful to admit and say out loud?
Joe:
That what I did was really bad.
Pete:
Well we know that. I don’t think that’s a new learning.
Joe:
I don’t know what you’re talking about then.
Pete:

How about this – maybe you learned there’s a part of you that has the capacity to be extremely deceitful. You can look Sue in the eye and lie to her deliberately, then compartmentalize it, which is really scary.

You denied the effect it would have on her. An effect that would corrode trust and make her question her sanity. She now knows she is with someone who can look her in the eye and say I am telling the truth right now while knowing full well that you are lying. 

Maybe you are learning that it is scary to know that you have the capacity to inflict that much pain on your wife and that you would risk destroying your marriage for your own personal gratification.

Joe:
Oh shit.
Pete:
What do you think?
Joe:
That’s really hard to hear. Thank you for being honest with me. I need that kind of bluntness and I need that kind of directness.
Pete:

I have a dilemma and it’s based on working with a lot of people for a lot of time. I’m not sure that I can work with you Joe, because you will come in here and you will be attempting to be honest but I’m thinking you might lead me astray. And I won’t know if you are being truthful or not. 

We have to be raw honest in here with each other and we have to be able to trust each other that we are going to be truthful and direct.

I don’t want to second guess myself. I’m not sure I want to invest my time and energy working with you because frankly I don’t know if you can quit telling these kinds of lies. 

It’s been habitual for most of your life. You lie about things that aren’t even important. Lying has become a habit.

You just tell people what they want to hear and after a while it’s hard for you to discern the truth.

I’m trying to encourage you to be transparent and talk about an ugly truth and be able to tolerate it when Sue asks you a question and you say “yes I lied about that.” And she says “you are disgusting” and then you say “Sue, there’s more. I also lied about this.” 

You’ve got to learn to be that honest because right now frankly the marriage you have been in is dead. That marriage is destroyed. It’s like the Titanic. Even if you bring it back to the surface that ship is not going to sail. Your marriage is dead. If you guys are going to stay together you’re going to create a new marriage.

A marriage that has a different foundation because the foundation you have had has been built on lies. Sue no longer knows what to believe. She can’t trust her own instincts about how or when or whether she should trust you. Going forward a level of transparency and openness is going to be required of each of you and I can’t help you be honest with each other while I’m sitting on stuff that I’m not saying. That’s why I’m telling you this.

Take Action Now

  1. For this series we chose some of YOUR toughest situations, based on survey results, and will show you what you can say and do when clients are very stuck or ask you impossible questions. What do you think about Pete’s extreme intervention? Please comment with your thoughts below.
  1. Join Pete and Ellyn for a live webinar on April 24 from 9-10:30am Pacific Time. It’s called Beyond Blame, Fighting, and Enmeshment: Motivating Couples to “Do the Work.” They will address principles for creating change with highly enmeshed and conflict-habituated couples.

Please leave your thoughts below about Pete’s extreme intervention.

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June Stone
June Stone

This is a very good ‘read' and confirms for me that being true to your principles, will show through in a client session at an energy level that supports the need to trust your instinct and integrity. I admire Pete's mastery have learned from this example, thank you.

Kathy Hardie-Williams LPC LMFT
Kathy Hardie-Williams LPC LMFT

I am very inspired and impressed by Pete's extreme intervention. This is the therapist I aspire to be. Well done, Pete!

Diane Coulson-Bisiker
Diane Coulson-Bisiker

I found this to be amazing, confronting the client with his dishonesty and Pete’s honesty about his own principles and beliefs. This is something rarely discussed in counselling circles.

Deborah Cole
Deborah Cole

How is this helpful for Sue? Im not sure she would want to come back any more than her husband!

Tabitha N
Tabitha N
Reply to  Deborah Cole

As I personally went through this exact situation with my husband, and because none of the people I saw would take this approach with my husband, it dragged out our healing process for almost 3 years. Without approaching the truth about what is going on and taking this approach the counselor is in the same situation as Sue, which is not going to help either one in the situation, not help either of them be able to move toward their own personal issues. This is also, in a way, very empowering for the husband to understand exactly where the responsibilities are for him and which are for her. This is possible to help him feel more in control; the thing he actually wants, rather than feeling out of control and trying create it through lying.

Doug
Doug
Reply to  Deborah Cole

Getting someone to recognize that they are partnered with a psychopath/sociopath/narcissist/whichever is always helpful.

Anne G
Anne G
Reply to  Deborah Cole

I think Pete was very helpful for Sue. First of all, he validated her fears and worries about continuing in the marriage. He modeled standing up to and calling out her husband in a very clear and appropriate way. I believe this would have been very empowering for her.

Kristin
Kristin
Reply to  Deborah Cole

Sue is spiraling into insanity. She needs to feel the ground under her. Pete’s validation of her experience will help her find ground and maybe even hope that she will survive this shattering realization about her marriage.

Michelle Quinlan
Michelle Quinlan

Really appreciate this transcript and referencing the parallel process in the marriage and in the therapy. Even if a couple never came back after such a raw, honest interaction such as this one, this is an experience I'm sure both people will never forget. I can imagine this would be very validating for Sue's emotions and support her healing. For Joe, to make his deceitful patterns so explicit, gives him an opportunity to see a path toward reclaiming his humanity. Whew, well done! Thank you for sharing, as always!

Erika Shershun
Erika Shershun

Thank you for sharing Ellyn. Great work Pete, I appreciate your directness, the way you made your values clear and challenged Joe's behavior while skillfully drawing attention to each of their core wounds. I imagine they left the session feeling seen and understood, with a clear sense of your boundaries in relation to dishonesty.

Shayla
Shayla

Wow Pete! I felt so with you in this intervention. It all had to be said as far as I'm concerned. I feel a bit in awe of your ability to deliver these body blows to Joe, while still maintaining compassion – as I heard it – for them both. I also loved the way that you put words on her experience and her dilemma now and her very real suffering. As always Pete – a corker!

Josephine
Josephine

Sad but true and real in situation. Sometimes we have to be tough with our clients, we have to build boundaries and we have to let them know that their behaviour is not okay and this is not the way of therapy. If a client is really serious about fixing the issue in themselves. They will embrace the comments. They will embrace the honesty and hopefully begin to work with you as a therapist to improve themselves and what they can save in their relationships.

Ilze
Ilze

I think Pete's intervention was brilliant. It was authentic and vulnerable and honest. He brought himself into the therapeutic space and took accountability for what he would want and need to work with them. This lays the foundation for the inner work of the couple to begin

May Scharling
May Scharling

Thank you so much for sharing this. It really makes me think and be aware of my own precautions in such a situation. I love the way you put up the limits for your relatonship with him. At the same time I get a theoretical doubt about this : How did he learn to tell lies and not things as they were- was there shaming involved in that in his upbringing from his attachments-figures? And how do I as a therapist balance betwn being honost ( trustworthy) and not activationg the shame-based self. Could you tell us more abour your inner considarations about that balance in the position your are choosing in this situation. What guides you more than the mere theme?

Deborah
Deborah

WOW. Such honesty, laser-sharp and big picture insight … I am prettysure my jaw was hanging open a bit as I read… THANK YOU for sharing this. This was inspiring.

Penelope
Penelope

The confrontation appears quite judgemental. Not sharing the entire truth is an innate human behavior and condemning it outright is in my view not professional therapeutic behavior.

Suzi
Suzi
Reply to  Penelope

There are many therapeutic situations that require us to step up and address clients' behaviors that are harmful or dangerous, and ones that make effective therapy impossible. Pete didn't say anything that there's not strong evidence to support. This guy came in insisting he was only texting with a friend, and only when there was “indisputable evidence” he confessed to having lied to Pete and his wife about an affair — AND multiple others for the past 11 years of their marriage. That's a whole different situation from someone who just had his reasoning hijacked by a one night stand who'd never done it before. Naming that pattern, taking a clear position about needing him to seriously commit to difficult change, made it clear that this is NOT just another day of gaslighting and manipulating to avoid reasonable consequences. I found this to be great role modeling! I am good at positive reframes, empathy and support, and I do not enjoy confronting clients but I prefer that when the only other option is to tolerate intolerable behavior.

Ngoc
Ngoc
Reply to  Penelope

I'm curious, how would you go about confronting Joe differently then?

Penelope
Penelope
Reply to  Ngoc

Thank you for your interest. Possible sentences/questions I would use might be:  How are you hoping to deal with similar situations in the future? (e.g. opening up on issues where your partner opposes your point of view or might be hurt by your answer) What might make your planned behavior difficult to realize in the future? How are you planning to deal with these difficulties? How are you dealing currently with the reactions your openness has on your relationship?
I also always make a statement at the beginning of therapy that it is normal and ok to not share everything in therapy. This way we can welcome the bits that are being shared and do not get in the dynamic of the therapist being the police officer hunting down the truth.

Sally
Sally
Reply to  Penelope

Not confronting someone who is a chronic liar is a setup for encouraging the same behavior. He'll get nowhere if nobody on the outside tells it to him straight. He learned this behavior either through modeling or because it served him for self preservation. And it's not serving him now but if nobody confronts him He can't see the Stark reality he lives and the damage he is causing. All of these questions you mention can be answered with more lies and maybe hes convinced himself of these lies. How can anyone trust anything he says if he's blatantly lied before? Why should anyone trust him? And what good would that do for therapy anyway? Just kicking the can further along so that he can answer and rationalize then be confronted that hes not doing what he says and make up some other excuses, etc? I find sometimes the cold hard truth is what opens up pplto change. Like being splashed with ice water. It stings but it wakes you up and then some.

Jamie
Jamie

I’m feeling split on this! The confrontation was direct and honest which I appreciate. And I never thought about the credibility of the therapist being compromised by continuing to put faith into a client who has deceived you- I like that. I’m curious about the absence of even just a little bit of empathy or understanding. Not to justify or make it seem like his contribution is anywhere near equal to hers, but reading it, I experienced parts of it as shaming, and how that might impact him. I can’t remember where I heard it, but “we lie to preserve attachments” has stuck with me. Would exploring his deception and ability to lie to someone he loves be explored later?

Doug
Doug
Reply to  Jamie

[ “someone he loves” ] Whoa, freeze that frame, right there. Jamie, there is a biiiiiig assumption in that phraseology. An assumption that goes against, apparently, a ton of evidence. Anybody who wants to say that Joe loves Sue … my suggestion would be that the burden of proof is on _them_.

Nina Potter
Nina Potter
Reply to  Jamie

You need to hear Pete talking live to hear the warmth and humor in his voice when he is direct like this. I have found transcripts to have a harder, colder edge when you can't hear the humanity and LOVE from this man.

Li R
Li R
Reply to  Jamie

I felt similarly about this intervention. I would want to offer some softness to Joe so that he knows I see him as human in his lies (fearing abandonment, learned it as a kid, etc), even though I don't condone them and see it as a hindrance to therapy. (Isn't this classic I-I ethos?)

Doug
Doug
Reply to  Li R

The softness is already in place, in that Pete did not say: “Joe, have you ever thought that you might have a personality disorder?”

Deborah
Deborah
Reply to  Jamie

Excellent observation and contribution. Thank you Jamie!

Val
Val
Reply to  Jamie

This resonated with me; “ we lie to preserve attachments “

Marketa Nykl
Marketa Nykl
Reply to  Val

yes, and we lie to also always “protect” something. Figuring out with compassion what is it to be protected or preserved seems to be much more productive therapeutic way to me than shaming. In that way therapist can be a different experience than real life. We are there for our clients not for our own principles.

Cindy
Cindy

Pete deftly held a mirror up to Joe so that Joe could see the clearly deceptive part of him that has habitually lied with impunity. It wasn't shaming, yet it painfully revealed how his habitual lying had developed into an enduring, pervasive, and self serving pattern, likely costing him his marriage.

Val
Val
Reply to  Cindy

Yes, I couldn’t agree more!

ellyn bader
ellyn bader

Pete and I look forward to reading your comments!

camille
camille

Pete. I'm not a therapist, although I do have aspirations to become one. I completely understand the reasoning behind this intervention. It was risky,as the truth hurts and Joe may have been caught off guard. You had to make a call on it, Otherwise it may of gone round in ever decreasing circles. Now both Joe and Sue have new food on their menu and their choices from that moment on, will help to determine their route forward. I think that now the outcome of his behaviour has been dished up, there's no more elephant in the room, on his side. Now, how he chooses to deal with these facts and reality's, will show Sue( once again) what's important to Joe. Ultimately Sue will have decisions to make, about her future. Both Joe and Sue are individually responsible for the choices they make, what they tolerate and how they want to live their lives. I must admit, that the tone of the dialogue from Pete, seemed confrontational, yet in a good way, as long as the intention was based on healing. Confrontation has negative connotations and can either help or hinder. Who knows. Is it not part of a therapist role to be confidential? Hope you enjoy my comments 🙂

camille
camille
Reply to  camille

Typo: confrontational (not confidential)

Miguel Cocchella
Miguel Cocchella

Lack of insight
Absence of responsibility
Strongly unreliable
Lack of empathy
Denial and minimization of responsibility and his own actions
Unable to learn and accept his wrong actions

Anne
Anne

Honestly, it can be spelt out more simply and kindly. This transcript reads as a diatribe to the client, Joe, and speaks for the other client, Sue. Clients lie all the time, you don't need to shame them to bring the shame to light. I know the client states that they appreciate the bluntness but this whole scenario is so heavily weighted on the prior relationship with the client being robust enough.

Li R
Li R
Reply to  Anne

Agreed. I do find that brevity is not something I've come to expect here, so I take the meanings/points and simplify/kind-ify in my own way. (And no need to mention that he could make money elsewhere but it's wasting his time… seems unnecessary.) Part of being a therapist is embracing the human instincts and guiding folks toward a more workable therapeutic interaction! Since it does need to be stated that lies impede therapy, can't this be the focus of the intervention? Like, “Speaking the truth about your own trangressions is indeed terrifying, and I wonder when this protective pattern started – perhaps this can be a personal project you undertake with another therapist or in a 1-1 with me. But when we are altogether, honesty needs to be present as it will make growth possible. Without even to put a judgement on it, can you see how our therapeutic process is impeded when there's dishonesty in the mix? Does this work for or against your goals?” And so on, to find an intrinsic motivation for Joe.

Val
Val

Awesome read. Initially I was like he is being quiet blunt; however, upon further reading I totally understood his premise for doing so. Very well articulated. Great example!

Eva Klein
Eva Klein

I think that Pete had no alternative than to be brutally honest. However if he does work with them, he must understand that it will not be a straight path. Habits are hard to break.

Anne Ruben
Anne Ruben

I think that Pete’s display of honesty was the one modeling factor and baseline that needed to be set for the couple to continue. I am unsure of how Pete will know or not know if the husband is being honest going forward. His habit of lying is a kind of armor against something, what is the “benefit” he perceives as opposed to the reality the lying creates? I would be curious about that, but that might take some intense individual therapy…meanwhile how do you help the couple?

Iris Akbar
Iris Akbar

I am learning about the confrontation skills and how a therapist should adhere to their principles and values, at the same time advocating to the other partner who has been hurting for years from the deception. Thank you for sharing this transcript, and enhancing my knowledge and skills on couple therapy.

Maria
Maria

For me Pete expressed his thoughts and feelings with integrity and honesty and that resonated with me. Of course this is an extract and it is not clear to me if it is indeed a repeating pattern and what the broader context is, so it couldn’t comment further. I was left thinking though: ‘now what?’ Once the marriage has been described as the Titanic and the man has called up on his hurtful deceitful behaviour, why and where do you start a follow up couple session? Clearly a thought provoking extract. Thank you for sharing.

Sue Chronos
Sue Chronos

Great intervention. Beyond the directness, clarity and honesty, it gives the wife support and a path out of this relationship, verifying that she’s not crazy and that he has been a pathological liar.

Harold Altman
Harold Altman

Direct and referenced each partner's internal pain. That softened the confrontation and, I believe, made it more digestible. I also liked that he stated that although their “old' marriage was as dead as a dooenail, something “new' might be created.

Mercedes Dominguez
Mercedes Dominguez

I am impressed with the extreme intervention, probably my Latin men population would take it as judgemental and extreme. They probably would walk out in the middle of the session . A good question would be how to balance with different cultures

Diane Bubeck
Diane Bubeck

I like it. If the therapist can't trust either party, no solid useful therapy will happen.

Laurel Jones
Laurel Jones

Made really good sense to me!

JOANNA G WHITCUP
JOANNA G WHITCUP

This is a challenging situation in that it calls on the therapist to do what he is asking the client to do. It means being true to the moral principles of the treatment, the couple and the therapist.. I have been in this situation myself. It required my fidelity to the terrific damage lying does to a marriage and to the never again “innocence” of the wounded spouse. I needed also to be forthright. And I needed to be differentiated from the outcome. When this issue, lying and deceit,, is opened up as Pete says, the marriage is never the same as it once was. (which is a good thing.). I had to be unconcerned about their continuing the treatment and give them the hard reality to allow them to be clear with themselves. It takes guts.

Deborah
Deborah

Thank you so much for sharing this transcript! It’s come as perfect timing for me in my practice. After seeing a couple for the past 4 months for his infidelity, I just learned last week that new infidelity has been discovered. I’m so saddened for them both and found Pete’s words freeing in confronting Joe’s passivity towards his internal conflicts. I do struggle with, as others have noted, the affects this conversation has had on Sue. I also deeply resonate with (Jamie) “We lie to preserve attachments”! Looking forward to the rest of this series and hoping it’ll be supportive of this couple I’m working with. Blessings!

Lou Lou
Lou Lou

I really appreciate the comments thanks everyone! I realise It’s how I do most of my learning.

Julie Feurer, LCSW
Julie Feurer, LCSW

I felt it showed Pete's humaness in such a way that Joe could understand what was expected of him.. It gave value to Pete, his time and energy. It was a great example of how to deal with a hard situation.

Darlene Wallster
Darlene Wallster

I like how Pete separated reaction & intention from Joe's first answer and then repeated the question and boldly refused to accept ‘I acted bad' —- because it really was far deeper than that. Joe thanked him which tells us that albeit difficult, it is exactly what he needed to hear. I'm taking new pearls with me from this example you shared and appreciating your work,

Maire Barron
Maire Barron

such a great read and so many interesting comments. I'm wondering at what stage this pathological lying might indicate a larger undiagnosed condition and the possibility of a referral on for a mental health assessment. if he has no access or very low access to empathy – it would be important to know this. A undiagnosed condition could severely impact any effectiveness of ongoing work.

Pao
Pao

I think one thing is telling him how does Pete feels about the lies and the repercussion that it can make in the therapeutic process and on Pete, but another different thing is the judgment, the position that he is taking when he confronts this man… we are not judges we, despite our own principles, do this job to help people in pain to help them in to auto-observe themselves and start making changes to being better and feel better…

Elisa Blair
Elisa Blair

I love how coming back, at least one more time is really taking the couple to somewhere they haven't been together. So scary and so wonderful to have space in therapy to do this. Love this!

Paul Shaffer
Paul Shaffer

I didn't feel that Pete's intervention was “extreme”, just necessary. I think many times therapists withhold their inner dialogue for the sake of “professional boundaries” or personal embarrassment, but sharing the dilemmas that client's behavior creates for therapy I think is important.

Rachel Cox
Rachel Cox
Reply to  Paul Shaffer

And I bet they were sat waiting for their next session early next week!

I agree, sometimes we have to raise the mirror and show what is going on – for both parties in the marriage. I feel that some of the comments didn't take in the full description of how worn down she is feeling and on the point of giving up. So to make him really learn what he is doing rather than the platitudes he offered was a deep changing point in his behaviour

And one that will bring a phoenix out of that marriage I think.

Katherine
Katherine

Well, Pete seems not to have been lying-by-omission to Joe at any point. His full self-disclosure of his thoughts, feelings, and values both models for Joe what Pete would require of Joe if Joe were to continue in therapy, and also gives Joe a taste of how Pete would approach him. Also lets Pete observe Joe's initial reaction. This might be useful in helping Pete decide whether investing time/energy in Joe would be worth it.

Pete says, “frankly I don’t know if you can quit telling these kinds of lies.” I assume that Pete knows the following from prior sessions or confessions with/from Joe. Or that Pete knows the pattern well enough from years of experience that when he sees what we're being told here about Joe's history in this marriage, the following pretty much always turns out to have been the case. Otherwise it would be overreach: 
“It’s been habitual for most of your life. You lie about things that aren’t even important. Lying has become a habit.
You just tell people what they want to hear and after a while it’s hard for you to discern the truth.”

In any case, I think it's valuable for Sue to have her agonizing torture fully seen by Pete, and to hear that he trusts her radar re: Joe and therefore is offering them one more session together. Also could be good for Joe to hear another man say to him, “Maybe you are learning that it is scary to know that you have the capacity to inflict that much pain on your wife and that you would risk destroying your marriage for your own personal gratification.” Offering Joe a perspective that he might never have heard before.

Anne 7
Anne 7

This was very interesting. I wonder if this approach would be effective for those women who tend to be more sensitive. I appreciate the honesty and straightforward talk to Joe as most men seem to appreciate this. It is also refreshing to have a counselor who does not put financial gains above principle..

Melissa Nickerson
Melissa Nickerson

Powerful! Refreshing and life giving in its honesty and the revelation of Pete's integrity shaping the “intervention” which goes far deeper than just an intervention, calling into question not only the foundations of the marriage, but also the therapeutic process. If this couple have any hope at all, Pete offers it here, it seems to me. Only if Joe is willing to surrender to the ashes is there the possibility of a phoenix rising and there can't be ashes with only an “intervention”. Pete brings it to ground zero. I hope Joe hung on for dear life. What is this couple hanging on to?

Christine Filip
Christine Filip

Thank you for sharing. What I find challenging about these transcripts and the judgements about the transcript and session – which unavoidably will come up – is that we all miss the unspoken process of the relationship between the therapist and the clients. The therapist needs to be confrontational at the right moment and the confrontation will only be accepted if there is a level of established trust and connection. The form of how it is done can be different from style and techniques. So if there is trust and connection, and the result is that the couple or the individuals can make a well-informed decision to move forward in their journey of growth with or without this therapist or not, it is a good outcome. My perception is inspired by the book: Common factors in couple and family therapy, the overlooked foundation for effective practice.

Jan
Jan

I’m curious how a person actually proves that he is being honest. It’s been my experience that this occurs over time where the person demonstrates by observable behavior – saying what he means and meaning what he says that trust is built. I am wondering how this client can “prove” his authenticity in one session. I hope this gets expanded on to better understand what Pete is asking for in one session.

Lisa Blalock, LMHC, CST
Lisa Blalock, LMHC, CST

Love this! So helpful

Walter Salamanquiés
Walter Salamanquiés

Hello Ellen and Pete.
I'm a psychologist and therapist worikng in Mérida, Venezuela.I do individual and couple therapy but couple therapy interests me more.
Honestly, putting in my own words what should be the client's work as Pete has done makes me doubt if the client is truly feeling what I propose.I would never do that. I would ask tje questions that I feel wouid make the client come to the conclusions I am after, in his/her own words. I stimulete them to verbalize and I would validate his/her own reflections.Petel´s style is extremely directive in my opinion.

Dawn
Dawn

What I appreciated was Pete giving Sue validation by saying this to her after she asked, Why do you want me to come back?
Pete:
Because you have a radar. You have a perspective. You have a sixth sense and a reaction that I won’t have. So at least for one more time I want both of you to come back and I want to reflect if I can work with Joe.

Reminding Sue she is/was not crazy. Pete also is giving Joe some insight into himself. The best gift you can give your self, Self Awareness. Great Job Pete!

Patricia Whalen
Patricia Whalen

Pete's assertiveness was needed. When a counselor is confronted with a lie, it creates a very uncomfortable dynamic between client and counselor. The need to confront the lie and establish clear boundaries based on principle is required.

Felicity
Felicity

I find it both very accurate and very heteronormative – I would speak of power imbalance and psuedo-mutual monogomy contract around fidelity that only she has to keep and he performs through infidelity.

Nettie Rosburg
Nettie Rosburg

I don't know how Pete could have done anything different and still be effective. He was demanding raw honesty, which of course was necessary for the work, so he had to demand it from himself and deliver it. He delivered it plainly but without anger which of course was helpful as well as professional. It was also a really important model for Joe of what it looks like to be upfront and self-responsible in a relationship.

Diana
Diana

Im so glad i read this, there are so many cases where things can go wrong in practice, and having this approach can open many new possibilities on how to manage the situation. Thank you, love it

Chuck Taylor
Chuck Taylor

It is often easier for the couple to begin again if they realize the marriage they currently have should be over – traded in for another chance at coming together in vulnerability and safety. As a life coach specializing in relationships, when family members realize they have the capabilities of starting over again, and learn some valuable methods to practice together, they can begin anew, rather than beginning with another partner who too will bring baggage into the relationships. Especially if the spousal partners have close family ties to each other's families, and/or children involved. Some might call this a “shock” therapy. But it draws the seriousness of commitment to a head. And awareness begins the journey toward coupling again. The couple needs more support from their coach/therapist, but in time, many such clients have rebuilt and thrived together. Good work – but this is only a new beginning! Also, I understand the challenges of the coach/therapist involved. To co-create with clients, there must be an establishment of psychological safety. To be brave enough to bring the uncomfortable to the forefront takes prayer, courage & practice!

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Learn from a pioneer and leader in couples therapy training as she shares exactly what to say in difficult therapy sessions.
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