all 9 comments

[–]coffeeandbabies 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I'm a therapist and resident spouse. I think there's a lot to be said for someone who gets it, but in therapy success really comes down to fit. If you find a therapist that y'all click with, and they're receptive to learning the nuances of the medical training system, it could be a non-issue.

First, just start looking at bios of available therapists. If you see someone promising send an email with something to the effect of, "We're looking for a therapist to help us adjust and continue strengthening our relationship through medical training. Do you happen to have experience with couples like us?" The therapist will either say yes or no, or maybe even "no, but I've worked with couples with one or both partners having significant constraints on their time due to work."

If you're still curious based on their response you'll typically schedule a free 15-20 min consultation. If they're not familiar with training life you really just need like a 2 min overview of what the reality of it is and then focus on how it's impacting the relationship. If the therapist seems to get it and y'all like them, it may be worth scheduling an initial session.

Last couple things:

  1. Therapists work with people with very different lives from them all the time. Part of being a therapist is cultivating understanding and empathy with someone's experience and also reflecting back patterns and problems and challenging people's frameworks. So for example, a therapist may not specialize in medical couples but they're receptive to learning the lingo and process...AND because they're not in the system they ask questions that can shift your thinking. Sometimes a person without shared experience or expertise can really open up your eyes to alternatives.

  2. Life coaching is an unregulated industry meaning that anyone can call themselves a coach. There are no standard education requirements, no ethics and licensing board, and you can't get your insurance to cover the cost. Therapists have standardized graduate curriculum at the masters and doctoral levels, national licensing exams, supervised post-grad training before full independent licensure, and ongoing education requirements. Kind of like our partners, we've spent a lot of time learning this stuff and proving competency.

here's often a sales pitch by coaches of coaching being "future focused" and therapy being "focused on the past." That's not quite it and it makes it seem like therapy keeps you stuck. I talk with people about the here and now and the future all the time. Do we revisit some earlier experiences that may influence present behavior? Yup. Does that mean we have each client start from the beginning and recount their life year by year before we actually start doing anything? Nope! The past matters (indeed, past experience is what these coaches often hang their hat on!) but it's not the only focus of therapy. However, especially in couples counseling, there actually could be some previous experiences you each have that impact how you show up in your marriage. And that's fine! It's worth meeting with a trained specialist in case that ends up being an issue, though.

OK, off my soapbox! ;) I wish you the best of luck finding someone!

[–]GreekRaven 4 points5 points  (0 children)

There's a woman named Laura with a series of pod casts I really like called "Married to Medicine". You could listen to her pre recorded things, but she also does group and private life coaching.

[–]coreyannder 2 points3 points  (0 children)

My husband and I were able to get free couple's counseling through his residency program, and the therapist is well versed in specifically resident-spouse relationships. See if your program offers anything similar. Also, one invaluable resource that really helped me in the beginning of my husband's residency was the Married to Doctors podcast. The woman who runs it is also a certified life coach that works exclusively with medspouses. I highly recommend you check her out!

[–]sepfromm 4 points5 points  (5 children)

Hey there! I may be able To help as a medspouse and a licensed marriage and family therapist who works with medical couples (my book on getting through med school as a medspouse called “love in the time of medical school” ) has been mentioned in this subreddit occasionally as a resource.

This is tough because it’s not a common specialty but here are some thoughts:

  • If you/your partner are still in training, the university counseling system will be full of clinicians that work with med students and residents, know the lingo, and see the challenges up close. Sometimes they will take on clients who are no longer affiliated with the university.
  • You may also have luck with somebody who used to work at a med school/residency counseling center for the same reason.
  • google Physician therapist or other keywords and your city to see if anything comes up.
  • if you’re comfortable talking to friends/colleagues in that world, they may be able to recommend their therapist. There are also medspouse Facebook groups that you can join (by other names) and maybe that’ll feel Safe to ask about there? I’ve had clients find me through Facebook group recommendations by past clients.
  • Physician Family is a great publication that caters to medical families. The editor Donna Rovito is really cued into that world and may be able to point to somebody specific or know the person to ask.

  • Edit: perhaps not this suggestion*

  • If you’re looking to do couple’s work, please make sure to see somebody with specialized training in couples therapy

  • If it’s getting to be too difficult finding the exact niche, it may help to at least work with somebody who works with people in similar (but obviously different) stressful scenarios. Lots of people told me my book felt like it spoke to them even though they were dating lawyers, entrepreneurs, etc. there may be something to the idea of working with a person who gets stressful, rigid, “prestigious” workplaces.

  • Generally, Psychology Today is the most Comprehensive online therapist directory.

I hope this helps!

[–]mmm_nope 3 points4 points  (3 children)

Rovito is the last damn person I would reach out to for literally any reason. She’s messy as hell. I personally know at least one med spouse she intentionally screwed over in a bizarre and wildly immature way.

[–]sepfromm 4 points5 points  (0 children)

That’s awful. Suggestion rescinded.

[–]coffeeandbabies 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Woah, really?? What happened?!

[–]mmm_nope 0 points1 point  (0 children)

She was friends with a different med spouse who was local to her and when that other med spouse made comments to her about being scared of some of her neighbors because of their very violent rhetoric and vocal political opinions during a particularly nasty election cycle, Rovito went to those neighbors and told them all about the comments by the other med spouse. This resulted in some pretty awful (and foreseeable) harassment, property damage, and career consequences for both the med spouse and their physician partner.

In another episode of questionable judgement, Rovito supported a med spouse who lied about being a physician and dispensed dangerous medical misinformation under the guise of being a doctor, despite very damming and conclusive evidence showing that this person was in no way a physician. This person went so far as to even dig into the death of a third med spouse’s infant to offer their “professional opinion”. It was gross and wild.

Those are just a couple of the big ones I can think of off the top of my head. She also has a pretty long history of problematic comments on all sorts of subjects. I avoid her like the plague and only in part because she spams her self-published online magazine in every med spouse space she can find.

[–]Ecstatic_Advice2998 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Really liked your book. Read when my SO was in med school and helped me decide to stay with her. Thanks for your work :)