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Ask Eleanor
Ask Eleanor, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1517
Experience:  Marriage & Family Therapist/Prof. Counselor for 20 years
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In a relationship situation can the the same psychologist be

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in a relationship situation can the the same psychologist be seeing each party separately without telling the other?
Ask Eleanor :

Hello, I am here for you and am happy to respond. Are you here in chat now?

Customer: Yes
Ask Eleanor :

Good, hi. May I ask you a few questions?

Customer: Yes you may
Ask Eleanor :

Is the psychologist seeing these people as a couple?

Customer: No
Ask Eleanor :

So the psychologist does not know that these two people are a couple?

Customer: I would make that clear if
Ask Eleanor :


Ask Eleanor :

May I ask if you are one of the parties?

Customer: II would let the psyc. Know my intent, just want to know if she can make the decision w/o violating ethics. Yes I am one of parties.
Ask Eleanor :

How long have you been seeing this psychologist and how long has your partner?

Customer: I have not seen the psych, my partner for e few months - maybe handful of sessions.
Ask Eleanor :

Thank you for answering my questions. I will begin typing my answer for you now.

Ask Eleanor :

Psychologists may not disclose to their clients the identity of other people they are seeing professionally, nor may they discuss any issue or details of a therapy session with anyone but their client. There is only one exception and that is in the case of a client being suicidal or homicidal in which case the psychologist has what is called a "duty to warn." To see you or not would be a personal ethical decision for this therapist, but I believe most therapists would be very uncomfortable seeing you both. There is another option. .....continuing.....

Customer: I can provide you with purpose of asking if necessary
Ask Eleanor :

Since your partner has only seen this psychologist a few times, she could see the two of you for couples therapy and under that format, meet with each of you individually for a few sessions. This is quite common practice. Yes, it would help me to understand if you will tell me the purpose.

Customer: Don't believe this an option. Not sure how this service really works, if I called you to explain better, can you charge me your rate, then prorate to whoever runs this website?
Ask Eleanor :

Sorry, I am prohibited from communicating with you outside of the Just Answer format. Are you wanting to see this psychologist out of concern for your partner?

Customer: I'll do my best to explain then. I believe the psyc is encouraging a break-up, I' m sure this is her professional opinion based on info my partner is giving. I would like the psyc to meet me and provide me some advice. Based on her assessment of me would the psyc be in a position to advise me on a strategy to talk to my partner to see if she would be open to couples counseling.
Ask Eleanor :

Thank you, ***** ***** or extreme emotional abuse, therapists rarely tell their clients to break up with someone or tell them what to do, period. However, this psychologists first ethical obligation is to her present client, your partner, and I seriously doubt if she would agree to meet with you without your partner knowing. Have you asked your partner if you could go to a therapy session with her?

Ask Eleanor :

Still there?

Customer: Unfortunately that offer was extended before by my partner and I declined. As you can see this is a desperation attempt to find a way to get my partner to reconsider, but the way my partner has verbalized her response it feels like someone is telling her what to say and to essentially don't waiver. We have had a great 8 years and were to be married soon, and she was always so kind. Shae obviously reached a tipping point, and I'm hoping their is some way to penetrate that strength - don't want to involve our mutual friends , I just fe
Customer: i am just searching for an unconventional approach to penetrate the wall that she has put up. Thoughts?
Ask Eleanor :

You certainly have a long relationship together which deserves couples therapy before deciding to end it. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist and have worked with hundreds of couple, married or not, over many years of practice. I would advise against going behind your partner's back and trying to see her psychologist; I think it will only backfire. I would ask your partner again if you could go with her to a therapy session; she can only say no. I would also strongly suggest asking your partner to go to a few sessions with a couples therapist, other than her psychologist, before ending the relationship. I usually contract with my couples for six sessions. You may go to or to search for couples therapists where you live, an MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) would be preferable. Do you have any additional questions for me?

Customer: No, thank you this has been helpful.
Ask Eleanor :

My pleasure. I wish you all the best; hope things work out. Take care, Patricia

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