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I am 8 weeks in and so emotionally overwhelmed with all that has to get done. I had a grief counselling session that was horrible... has anyone experienced this? He wasn't a man of faith and he believed in the laws of attraction positive and negative ... that once I understood and accepted the negatives in my life ...as in my husbands death. That it would be easier to walk through the grief. He also said he didn't believe in the afterlife. To which my husband feared there would be no afterlife. The session left me deeper in my pain, I was physically sick for two days. Then he sent me a bill for 2100 for a three hour session. I am absolutely sickened at how even professionals will take advantage of ones vulnerable state. 

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I feel so awful for for you.  Those first weeks/months are so terrible.  There were times I truly wished I could have willed myself to stop breathing.  I was able to see a counselor through the work employee program.  They paid for 6 sessions & when I booked I said I wanted a christian.  I got a great lady who helped me a lot.  Do you have an EAP through your work.  My goodness a 2100.00 bill, that is insane.  I don't know how they can think they can charge that!  I had no support at all, so the few weeks with that lady helped, but then it's not like you are cured.  The pain goes on.  I am now 4 years & 1 month.  The pain is less intense for sure, but now it is alone lonely.  Fighting the depression is hard.  Without my pets I never would have made it.  When you feel ready see if there is a "meetup" group in your area for widows & widowers.  SO thank a man started one in our area, that has been a true blessing to be around people who "get it"  talking to someone who hasn't gone thru it is truly a waste of time & they can be so hurtful.

Thinking of you

Thank you so much Imogen, it is truly one moment at a time... Im happy to talk to people here who have been through it and know the pain I feel and to see that others are making movement in their pain. It lifts me to do the same. I have not seen meet up groups. I wish they had them for families .. as my children could use to play with other children who have gone through it too. I have been looking at grief camps for children. Not in my own area though... we don't seem to have any.. I'll to go to larger cities. However again it's for the children and not the parents. Perhaps I'll find a group though while they're at the camp.  Thank you for your words and sweet blessings to you. 

Dear soul,

I am appalled at the unprofessionalism of this man. Of course you are overwhelmed at 8 weeks in! The amount of paperwork and legal things that need to be taken care of is daunting. With every task you accomplish, it makes your husband's death more real and I know you don't want that. It's been 6 months for me and I vividly remember those first few weeks and months.

May I suggest a free grief counselor? or free grief support group? Contact your local hospital or hospice to find out where there is one and go to it.

And, that fee is exorbitant and doesn't sound right. I've never heard of any grief counselor or therapist charging that amount. Typically, it ranges from $21.00/hr to maybe $125-$200/hr. Rarely over that and usually they work with you and what they know you can afford. Also, this guy doesn't really know about the "laws of attraction positive and negative..." I'd actually look into his credentials if I were you and possibly report him to the medical association. I know, it's just one more thing to do but something isn't right. Also, he shouldn't tell you his beliefs during a counseling session.

To be honest, he doesn't sound like a professional therapist/counselor at all. He sounds like a scam artist. Don't pay the bill until you do some research or have a friend look into him for you. I highly doubt he's a real counselor.

And, as an aside, please look into these websites to help you: http://www.grief.com and http://www.thekitchenwidow.com and http://www.hayhouseradio.com for all positive and helpful information on grief. In fact, the radio site, you can call in to REAL psychologists and doctors to talk to them. One in particular is Doreen Virtue - she also has some spiritual gifts but she used to be a psychotherapist! A very loving person. Also, look into the archives for David Kessler (grief expert from the grief site) and listen to some of those for comfort. He's a very kind man.

And, if I may be so bold, in my opinion and from my own personal experience, please know that we are spirits having a human experience, so your husband has/had nothing to fear about the afterlife. There IS something more, there is an afterlife. Be comforted by that. Right now, you need to focus on self-care and getting through each day. Do only what you need to do that day and nothing more and if someone pushes you to do something you're not ready to do, tell them no. You can say, "I'm sorry but I can't do that right now. I'm dealing with my grief the best I can." 

And don't let anyone tell you HOW you should grieve or how long you should grieve! Every person is different, everyone grieves differently and in their own time and at their own pace. Whatever way you are grieving is the right way to grieve for yourself (as long as you're not harming yourself).

I'm so sorry that you had to experience this and please have a friend look into this guy for you. He really doesn't sound legit and should be reported. Whatever you do, don't pay him until you find out more information on him. Start asking around town or at the hospital or other medical facilities about this guy. As I said, try to get someone else to do this for you, if you can.

Please be gentle with yourself, soul. One task at a time and don't be afraid to tell anyone you're dealing with (even business-wise!) that you are grieving. Almost all of them will shift their tone and help you in any way they can. At least, that's what I've found out. I'm sending you lots of healing wishes! ~Lablady

Thank you Lady...yes I felt the same that he wasn't for real... but he is, he even teaches at the university. How crazy is that, teaching students of psychology. Sickened. .. I won't be paying the bill unless Im told I have to. You would not believe the emails he sent me after I gave him words of what I thought of his price and session. The man is completely off his rocker and has no right giving grief counselling. He truly put me in a horrible position within. I am telling myself to get over him though his latest emails just made me more angry and if anything made me headstrong. Even though it's not where I wanted to be within at this moment perhaps Im needing to be. Thank you for your support and words ... your messages coming in during the moment his came in was truly perfect timing it gave me strength to push through his nonsense. 

 I appreciate your healing wishes... right back to you Lady. 

You're welcome, soul. ((HUG))

However, just because he's a professor at the University, doesn't mean he's legit and has earned his needed credentials. Lots of cases of identity theft or scammers pretending to be someone they're not. You could give a heads-up to the Dean but that's up to you.

I completely understand about the anger. I had a lot of things I had to deal with before my dear husband passed away (with hospitals & doctors), as well as after he passed away (MD of the hospice care center made a critical error on his death certificate & didn't think it was a big deal!). I fought to have everything fixed, my husband's medical records amended, his death certificate corrected. But, I'm a justice fighter...to an extent.

Some may not want to go to that length, or maybe it's not the right time to do that sort of thing. It's up to you whether or not you feel it would give you a sense of satisfaction to stop him from doing this to anyone else, or to simply file a report against him, or to let it go. It's totally up to you but anger can be a driving force for good and to move forward productively. On the other side of the coin, anger can also keep you from healing.You have to decide which things to pursue that would be positive, productive, and healing; and which to let go of so you can heal that way. You'll figure it out. Give yourself time. 

Oh! Don't forget about the Consumer Protection Agency in your state. They can help you with this should it come to that, especially if you believe he's scamming you (whether or not he's a legitimate counselor). I'm not a lawyer, I just want you to know you have options and people to contact who will be on your side. :)

Do what you feel you want to and feel up to. In the meantime, stop communicating with him & put all his emails to you (esp. if they keep coming) into a folder within your mail program so you can find them easily when you need to. 

I hope you find a good grief support group, in-person. Take care of yourself!!

More healing wishes your way, ~Lablady

No one has the right to suggest what we should believe or how we should feel. This person was maybe taking advantage of your vulnerability and I find that despicable. A widow or widower is at their absolute lowest point in their entire lives and does not need someone filling their heads with some strange things in which they believe. Sorry you got a bad one. I think that person took an awful approach. We have our own beliefs and IMO the most important thing we all have in common is that we are all human suffering a horrible loss. Pain is pain no matter if you are a believer or not! I think the advice about having this person checked into before paying this outlandish bill is great advice. He sounds like a bit cf a kook or a crook to me!

There are free services available through local hospitals (hospice) and churches. Search those avenues first, they can at least tell you what to expect along the grief trail. You'll get more out of that type of info plus the comfort and care others will share with you. There is nothing you can do about the pain--no one gets around that, we have to feel that before we can heal. Support is what is useful and as time passes, you'll understand this better. Please consider posting here too (or blogging) We all have that one major thing in common and there's a lot of understanding and suggestions on issues related to grief. Very sorry for your recent loss, these early days are particularly rough but as each day passes, you are one step closer to healing. Believe that things will get better eventually-- never the same or as perfect but life can return to being good.

Thank you so much for your support and words... it truly lifted me reading everyones words of encouragement in a moment that knocked me to my knees.  I will keep posting here and I am also blogging to myself. I keep telling myself at the end of the day... I did it, another day and I moved. Little or big movements ... I take them all as movement. Im learning to what holds me to and what doesn't or who does and who doesn't .. like that psychologist. He's definitely done. Its nice to hear from others that life will make sense again one day. I need that. Sorry for your loss ... but I thank you for sharing your words with me and your internal knowing and insight. Enduring warmth and light to you.

I am so sorry that you are going through this.  Unfortunately, I had a bad experience with my Christian marriage counselor, who I went to see soon after my husband unexpectedly passed in January of this year.  This man had worked with my husband and me as a couple, and I trusted him.  He told me that I should have expected it (my husband was older and had some health issues); that I should not feel too badly because God knows what he is doing, so why be sad?  This counselor has never lost anyone close to him, his wife is still alive, he simply does not understand.  He basically shrugged off my grief.  I dumped this counselor and found a woman who lost her husband 7 years ago.  She understands.  She gets that no matter what I believe about the afterlife, I miss my husband and want him here with me, right now.  

I am so sorry for your loss, soul.  I am at Week 23 today.  Occasionally, the grief is a bit easier, but today, it is raw and seems impossible to overcome.  You are in my thoughts and prayers.  

Thank you ... it has turned me off wanting to seek professional help that is for certain. I am turning inward to prayer and letting my faith move me through this. Grief should never be shrugged off but considered a rite of passage. Our pain is so deep because we understood love so deep. I want to see it as a rite of passage for that is what relationship and love is about. In the very depths of it all ...  thank you for your words of support. I am deeply sorry for your loss and suffering. I pray you feel the loving angelic comfort of your husband within and around you... letting you know your not alone and that he's only slipped into another room.  I appreciate so much your thoughts and prayers for its the enduring kindness of others and prayers that keep me. Enduring light and prayers to you. 

Like you don't have enough on your to do list already, Do you have a tough-minded friend who could help with this? Ask them to write a letter just as you have expressed above, and either 1) send the letter to him with a check for $350 or whatever you feel is right (given the local market, your friend can research) and copy his accrediting organization in your state, stating "Your acceptance of this payment concludes our business relationship," (so if he cashes it, he can't come after you for more as he has agreed your contract is terminated) or 2) Write the letter directly to his accrediting organization in your state (or state regulator, licensing body -- your friend researches again) again describing how the counselor harmed you and that you are not making any payment and considering legal action. Send him a copy. If you have a friend or relative who is an attorney, and can send on your behalf on their letterhead, so much the better. Also copy your state attorney general -- or address to the state attorney general if he's not accredited -- and copy Better Business Bureau. List them as cc: at the bottom of the original letter, so he sees it on the copy you send him. Use some legally meaningful terms such as "contrary to professional standards, he belittled my faith and beliefs." Your pain can't be erased, but maybe you can help keep this bozo from harming others.

I must add I am not a lawyer and this doesn't constitute legal or professional advice -- just a suggestion for you to consider.

Darned good suggestion! (I'm not a lawyer, either.)  Who can get away with charging $700/hour for ANYTHING, let alone something that ends up making the situation worse?

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