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  #1  
Old 06-18-2019, 08:16 PM
DailyLimitReach DailyLimitReach is offline
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Default Therapy for Loved Ones

Has anyone here gone to therapy to deal with having an incarcerated loved one? I have been toying with the idea but on one hand I feel like I'm generally well adjusted and have been handling this well but on the other I kind of would like to have someone to talk to in a personal way about all of this.

Have you seen a therapist? Did you find it useful?


Edit:Posted in the wrong forum, please move

Last edited by DailyLimitReach; 06-18-2019 at 08:18 PM.. Reason: Posted in the wrong forum, please move :)
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:19 PM
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I went back to my old therapist when he was first arrested. I went for a few months to get my head together. If you trust the person, it is worth it.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:22 PM
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I've moved your threat to GPT.
I haven't used therapy for issues specifically related to my husband's incarceration, but I have used therapy for major life transitions and thinks it's a wonderful tool to keep a sense of balance in your life. I'm mainly writing that out for myself because I need to go now and I'm dragging my feet.

Be open to trying a few different therapists if the fit doesn't feel right. I'm not someone who loves talk therapy alone, I want to do something. So CBT and goal-oriented therapy is my preferred practice. Sometimes it takes me a few visits to know if we're going to work. But it's worth it!
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:07 PM
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I've never gone myself but have heard very good things so thought I should give it a try seeing as I'm in a very transitional period of my life.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:13 PM
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There are a lot of stressors in life. The top ones are death of a first order loved one, fatal diagnosis, divorce, and the like. They even say that moving across country, loss of job, etc, are up there in terms of stressors. The incarceration of self or a loved one has to fit in there somewhere, above loss of job and below the death of a child. Point being, stressors, when not handled right, can trigger thoughts and actions that are maladaptive. They can trigger bouts of severe mental illness in those so predisposed as well.

Most people do not have a clue how to help somebody who has a loved one in prison. They don't bring over tuna noodle casserole like they do when a parent dies. They don't check up on you, or in on you. Frequently some of your best friends dump you because anything else looks from their warped perspective as if they approve of what your loved one did. I mean, the parents of the Columbine killers were and to some great extent remain social pariahs. The morality aspect coupled with the fact that they have absolutely no clue how to talk with you means that people just ignore it, or ignore you, or steer conversations away from all that uncomfortable stuff.

A therapist is a good place to start when it comes to digesting all of the changes you are going through with an incarcerated loved one. A good therapist offers a non-judgemental place where you can talk about everything and anything and wrestle with the complex feelings you are experiencing. I highly encourage people to try a therapist so that they talk about this stuff, do not feel so isolated, and can compartmentalize a time and a place for talking about this stuff, freeing up the rest of their day or week for actual life. This doesn,t mean you don't deal with prison and loved ones throughout the week - you deal with life, and that is a part of your life. It does mean that you have a specific time or times marked out in the week to actively digest everything with somebody who will help you digest everything.

Personally, I think it is a pretty healthy way to process everything. I encourage people to talk with a therapist when they are caught up in the whole court thing, whether as a client or as a client's family.
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:20 PM
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There are a lot of stressors in life. The top ones are death of a first order loved one, fatal diagnosis, divorce, and the like. They even say that moving across country, loss of job, etc, are up there in terms of stressors. The incarceration of self or a loved one has to fit in there somewhere, above loss of job and below the death of a child. Point being, stressors, when not handled right, can trigger

Personally, I think it is a pretty healthy way to process everything. I encourage people to talk with a therapist when they are caught up in the whole court thing, whether as a client or as a client's family.
This was beautifully written, thank you. I specifically began counseling as a direct result of losing my husband again to a parole violation. It was devastating for he and I right after the holidays. I wish he had mental health services but that’s another thread lol. It took me calling a few counselors and talking on phone before I felt comfortable with choosing. I go once a week. I also see the md and get low dose Xanax to use as needed. My therapist relates losing someone to prison like death and handling the loss, the grieving, staying busy with healthy things and what not. The sadness, anger, resentment. I have even read letters from my husband when we do the “couples counseling” parts once a month. I recap the session in email to my hubby and he responds back. I have suggested that he “invent” some format of mental health services by mail for inmates, like the by mail college courses kinda thing. My husband and I do couples relationship journaling. 201 relationship questions and the I do workbook for couples are really good and bring us closer together. He’s been a great support tool this year, and I don’t feel judged or like I can’t tell him anything. I don’t think I’d be handling it in such a healthy manner if I was trying to on my own.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:10 AM
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I went to a therapist when I first got involved with my guy. She was a sanity-saver. She was not going to indulge anything self-destructive on my part, so it was incredibly grounding and reassuring to have her hear my experience and see that my decisions weren't insane.

For this particular issue, I did need therapy that was open-ended and non-goal oriented. Personally, I discovered that there was no convincing the world about my sanity, so I needed to use the therapy to figure out how to find acceptance of others' nonacceptance. That was one heck of a challenge right there. The social stigma of incarceration can become overwhelming, and a therapist can help keep things in perspective.
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Old 06-19-2019, 02:12 AM
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Since I've entered my guy's life so late in his sentence I think I'm okay without a therapist. I do have some really good friends to talk to and I appreciate them so much. His worst days are over - or so it seems - and the only "problems" we have is his stupidity He's a guy who's not been in a "real relationship" since he's been in prison so those are our "hurdles" and I can manage fine. He's not my first rodeo...
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Old 06-19-2019, 05:23 AM
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I go to a therapist for myself not for my relationship. I have talked to him about it though but in general I go for my own stuff. My relationship is still good
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:34 AM
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I go to a therapist for myself not for my relationship. I have talked to him about it though but in general I go for my own stuff. My relationship is still good
This what I've done as well in the past, to support myself, to find tools to deal with stuff and it was great, would always recommend that.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MizzyMuffling View Post
Since I've entered my guy's life so late in his sentence I think I'm okay without a therapist. I do have some really good friends to talk to and I appreciate them so much. His worst days are over - or so it seems - and the only "problems" we have is his stupidity He's a guy who's not been in a "real relationship" since he's been in prison so those are our "hurdles" and I can manage fine. He's not my first rodeo...
That's where I'm sitting, too, and why I haven't been in relation to incarceration. But being MWI I think shapes a lot of that, no? That said, we have already agreed that we want to attend therapy sessions after he's released. Individually and together. He was a kid when he went in, he's never had an adult relationship to factor into his choices in the free world and we come from very, very different cultures in terms of expectations. Having a mediator feels like the smart thing to do. We love each other, but we're both incredibly stubborn.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:19 AM
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That's where I'm sitting, too, and why I haven't been in relation to incarceration. But being MWI I think shapes a lot of that, no? That said, we have already agreed that we want to attend therapy sessions after he's released. Individually and together. He was a kid when he went in, he's never had an adult relationship to factor into his choices in the free world and we come from very, very different cultures in terms of expectations. Having a mediator feels like the smart thing to do. We love each other, but we're both incredibly stubborn.
I think that's a great idea and I'd love to do that as well with him because trying to merge two different planets (almost) would need some support
Loves does not conquer all, sometimes a professional has to help.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:44 AM
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I see one. To me, Bobby's arrest and incarceration caused me to feel grief that was almost comparable to the death of a loved one. It wasn't just the fact that he would be out of my life (physically) for a period of time. I had to deal with the fact that I had been deceived and that parts of my life were not what I believed them to be. I had to have help dealing with the anger which is not a usual reaction or emotion for me. It has been an amazing help.
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Old 06-19-2019, 05:35 PM
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Thanks everyone for all of this info. I just generally feel at a loss for answers and for a oerson like me know feels like she knows the answers to most thing a it's a strange state to be in. Even talking to my sister who is basically the only person who knows I'm dealing with this it feels like a burden to talk about. Like she just doesn't quite understand although shes isn't judgemental which I truly appreciate.
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Old 06-19-2019, 05:55 PM
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Thanks everyone for all of this info. I just generally feel at a loss for answers and for a oerson like me know feels like she knows the answers to most thing a it's a strange state to be in. Even talking to my sister who is basically the only person who knows I'm dealing with this it feels like a burden to talk about. Like she just doesn't quite understand although shes isn't judgemental which I truly appreciate.
A lot of us are right there with ya sis. Feel free to dm me if you ever need to vent or talk!
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:14 AM
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A lot of us are right there with ya sis. Feel free to dm me if you ever need to vent or talk!
Thank you! I will do that
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