ADHD spouse's approach to therapy

My husband has been seeing a therapist for approximately 8 months.  I encouraged this and still think it's a good idea.  But my husband doesn't seem to be making progress.  I asked him today if he exposes himself to the therapist.  He asked what I meant.  I said I meant showing his vulnerabilities, saying things such as, "I've been seeing you for eight months and I'm still depressed" or "I'm tired all the time, the kind of tired that makes me unable to get things done."  My husband said that no, he doesn't talk to the therapist about these things.  Knowing my husband as well as I do, I'm not surprised but I'm very disappointed and frustrated.  What does he think the therapy is for (aside from getting me off his case, something that he hasn't succeeded at either...)?  Have others experienced this with their spouses or partners and therapy?

Progress

My husband saw a psychologist for about a year and didn't make much progress and then changed to a counselor that has direct ADHD experience and more of a coaching bent and it has helped a lot.  The first doc was great fun to talk to, focused on cognitive behavioral therapy but that requires the patient doing homework (not ADHD friendly idea), and doesn't add practical applications to life.  The new counselor also has talk therapy but also includes practical ideas on behavioral changes.  Still has homework but it isn't reading as much as practicing new things.

I can not emphasize enough how important it is for the counselor to understand ADHD.  Also it would help if your husband went into sessions with a goal, rather than just to chat.  Like how can he become more effective, or how to communicate more effectively.  It is so frustrating to not see faster change and sometimes it can be that it's the wrong counselor or the wrong approach, or not doing the homework, or a combination.  Good luck.

Thank you, Shelley.  I like

Thank you, Shelley.  I like what you said about having a goal.  I was thinking of asking my husband tonight what his goal for therapy is, but I had already talked his head off and so decided to shut up.  He does seem to like to chat to his therapist but at a somewhat superficial level.  I've been invited to a therapy session; I think that the therapist also realizes he isn't hearing everything important.

llc's picture

You should ask to attend a

You should ask to attend a session. My band does this occasionally and it really helps us stay on the same place. It also gives my therapist a much better idea of how my husband sees me. Good luck xo