How do you deal with someone who is counselor hopping?

United States
October 22, 2007 10:59am CST
In the past 5 years my friend has been to 5 counselors. The issues are not ever resolved because as soon as the counselor begins to make progress he either stops going or comes up with a reason he cannot continue with said counselor. I love this person dearly but standing by and watching this is killing me! How would you deal with this?
5 people like this
6 responses
• United States
30 Oct 07
Wow, 5 in 5 years, huh? That's quite a few counselors he's gone through. I suppose I would ask why is he even in counseling? Was he forced to by his job, the court, his SO, or did he want to work on his issues himself? Counseling is very HARD work and a person must want to get better more than anything else. I would understand if he had changed counselors once, or twice at the most, but this seems to be a problem with him, not the counselor. As the previous poster said, I imagine your friend is getting some sort of payoff emotionally by continuing in the behaviors or issues he is "trying" to resolve. Changing would mean giving up those payoffs. Counselor hopping says he is going through the motions for someone else instead of himself. Not much of a chance of lasting change. I understand it's hard for a friend to stand by and watch this, but there is nothing you can do. A horse can be led to water but not forced to drink. Take care of yourself, watch your own boundaries in this friendship and try not to let it take over your life. And it may turn out that if the friendship is truly "killing" you, it may be better to end it rather than to remain in a toxic relationship. It's not healthy for you either.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Oct 07
Thank you for your thoughts. They really help me to clarify this friendship.
@healwell (1268)
• Ahmedabad, India
23 Oct 07
I think some kind of fear stops your friend! The fear of revealing the secret! Because the work counselor does has an impact on the person! Let's try to get in to more deep area of the issue: The patient himself / herself just gave reasons arond the incapability of the counselor! But in real the fact is connected with patient's fear of revealing the secret which causing the ailment in the self! This also means that the person wants that ailment because knowingly or unknowingly s/he likes the issue/ person/ feeling related with the ailment and does not want to end up! It is one kind of duality with that the patient like to play the game of emotions, feelings! The irony is very crucial because the patient cleverly supress the intelect s/he has! To deal with this some one has to tell the person that you are playing with your likings and fear at a level where you are not aware about the fact of your ailment and its reality! At the same time you are avoiding the counselor who has the guts to free you frm this ailment but you avoid counselor to protect your ailment in the naME OF INCAPABILITY OR NOT ABLE TO TREAT AND SO ON! TO make the person aware about inside psycho behaviour pattern could help the patient to understand the things and if the patient is smart and doing this thing intentionaly also,s/he will understqand that now the trick is expose so the things will change gradually!
• United States
24 Oct 07
Thank you. That really makes sense!
• United States
21 Jun 08
So whatever happened with your friend? Did he get back into counseling? Has he decided to deal with his issues? Is he making progress? How has your friendship fared with this behaviour?
1 person likes this
@zed_k4 (17627)
• Singapore
15 May 08
Hello. I think your friend has problems facing up to the truth and he/she already knows the answers to the problems, but prefer to let it linger longer. It is not healthy to keep on jumping, but maybe he/she wants to hear different views and perspectives before making a decision. Give it some time and review further.
1 person likes this
@spoiled311 (5502)
• Philippines
14 Jan 08
hi countrymom! oh wow, that's tough. does this friend listen to you? maybe you can ask him/her if he/she really wants to be helped and wants to be healed? there are people who love to dwell in their problems and when somebody tries to help them with obvious measures, they would find reasons not to. understanding really helps, and acceptance...especially if you don't know what to do. take care always and God bless! :-)
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
6 Nov 07
Counseling can be very traumatic and if the counselor starts to get to the root of the problem your friend may become frightened, withdrawn or find it too painful to go back and relive past events, so they go and find someone else. Counseling in the UK is different because the free counseling you only get a limited amount of sessions and getting a counselor is like a lottery! Maybe your friend hasn't found anyone yet he can be comfortable with! YOu need to build up a strong rapport with your counselor after all you are revealing your deepest darkest thoughts and some of it can be horrific stuff! Some people never find the answer to life's problems and some are still searching. Just be there for them, support is all you can give them and yes it does hurt both for the person who is seeking help and for his/her closest friends.