Since I ended the relationship, very recently, I have spoken to a few people who have discussed the benefits of accessing some counselling from someone who understands the issues created by abusive relationships. The problem is I have been given so many different suggestions I have been getting slightly overwhelmed.
I was interested to know other peoples experiences about what might be best (eg. IAPT, low-cost counselling options, national counselling services for men experiencing abuse or private therapy). During the relationship and quite early on I had a course of CBT that really didn’t offer very much, although if I’m honest at the time I was trying to convince myself at the time that everything was ok.
Any help or advice I would be happy to hear it. Thank you.
Hi Domino – thank you for posting. This raises a really good question that a lot of survivors face, which is how best to recover from abuse and what support they need for that. It’s different for everyone, but it can be overwhelming to face so many different options.
A big consideration is your personal circumstances – if you don’t think you could comfortably afford a private therapist (which can cost £50-70 a session, sometimes more or less depending on where you are and the practitioner), then it’s worth looking into lower cost options offered by charities or the NHS. Many therapists do offer lower costs when asked though (it’s not always advertised).
It’s worth remembering that you can try a few things at once (such as a group and 1-2-1 work at the same time) and that you can try something and step back from it if it’s not helpful. You can also make a few enquiries and see what emerges as feeling right or feasible.
We would suggest working with a person or service with an awareness of domestic abuse and who is LGBT+ affirmative, but at the end of the day it really comes down to who you click with in terms of the practitioner themselves (and shopping around can really help figure this out).
Remember that therapy and emotional support is one tool amongst many (books, support from friends and family, this forum, etc.) to help you recovery from this. That can take some pressure off the decision, knowing any one thing doesn’t have to be perfect.
You’re very welcome to contact the helpline (email@example.com / 0800 999 5428) to tell us where you are and we can look at local services that could support you, if you wanted. Thank you again for raising this! I would love to hear if other survivors have a perspective on this.