So this is actually a pretty short one: all you should need to do is say one of "that's not the problem" or "I don't want to talk about it" and the counsellor should back the fuck off
I have had counsellors back off and never raise the topic again when I asserted that something wasn't the problem even when it blatantly was
, because the way it goes if you say one of those things is this: either
you are right, in which case you are right, or
you are wrong, but clearly not ready to talk about it yet, and the best thing for everyone would be to leave you to your own devices while you come to terms with that, and focus on the other shit you're actually in a place to work on.
It is my view that if your counsellor is any good, they will recognise this.
Which is all very well if you are me, and have got lucky with (1) counsellors you've been assigned and (2) the ability to actually make choices or swap as seems appropriate.
Unfortunately, the above is fundamentally a "no", and if you've got a counsellor who ignores your "no" then you've got a counsellor who ignores your boundaries and that is Not Great, especially given the extent to which therapeutic relationships (can) require you to be vulnerable.
If you're stuck with a counsellor who insists on pathologising something that you'd rather they left well alone, some possible scripts are:
- Actually, this week I really feel the need to talk through [Thing On Your List].
- [if it's something like poly] I'm aware that this is a little unusual and you may not have come across it before. If you'd like me to suggest some background reading for you, I'm happy to do so, but I don't want the focus to be on [thing], and I'm finding treating it as inherently bad really offputting - it's making it more difficult for me to address my main concerns.
- I understand your concern, but I don't feel like this is something I'll benefit from working through in this space at the moment - I feel like I've got more work to do by myself before I'm ready to talk about it out loud. [Thanks for making it clear you're willing to engage;] I'll let you know when I'm ready to tackle this.
And so on - the sort of not-quite-lie that firmly redirects.
But, as I say, these scripts are what I like to think
I'd use; I've never been in a situation I couldn't solve by Stopping Seeing That Counsellor And Finding Someone Else Instead (and, again, I'm aware of how lucky I am that that was an option for me). So for those of you who've had to deal with this, I would super-appreciate your experiences in comments. <3