We’re in counseling. Just like all the other bloggers out there. But mine has a happy ending and I wanted to share how and why we did some counseling and how it’s helped us overall.
My Co-host on this episode is my husband, Drew Erickson.
Big thanks to our sponsor Family Routines. Getting in a routine and making the rest of life easier makes it easier to have discussions on a routine and enjoy life more.
Going to Marriage Counseling
In this episode
Why we went to counseling.
We did the Our Relationship Course. We chose the option with the coach, which was $150 (and it’s still that price when I looked today).
How that course and coach helped us out.
How taking a marriage course with a coach works.
Other things that might interest you
Splitting Household Chores episode
Handling Finances as a Couple episode
Producer: Drew Erickson
Check out my other marriage podcasts:
Check out all my podcasts:
[00:00:00.360] – Hilary Erickson
Hey guys, welcome back to the Pulling Curls Podcast! Today on Episode 93, I kind of got some bad news. We’re in counseling. Let’s untangle it.
[00:00:18.490] – Hilary Erickson
Welcome to the Pulling Curls Podcast, I’m Hilary, your curly headed host on the podcast, where we untangle everything from pregnancy, parenting and home routines. I want you to know that there are no right answers for every family. And I find that simplifying my priorities is almost always the answer. It’s tangled just like my hair.
[00:00:43.310] – Hilary Erickson
OK, before we get started, could you make sure and leave a review? It means so darn much when you guys give us a review and it really helps our podcast get seen.
[00:00:51.590] – Hilary Erickson
I mean, we are revealing like all of our deepest, darkest secrets today. So leave a review. Thanks. OK, did I get you with that intro? I have to say that when I told a few friends that we were going to counseling, I always backed it up with, like, I mean, we’re not going to divorce or anything. We just feel like we could use a little help. So in January, I was coming up with my goals for the year and I just knew that having a stronger, happier marriage was going to be one of my goals because I’m not going to lie and say that twenty twenty wasn’t rough on the old marriage.
[00:01:19.280] – Hilary Erickson
Drew and I worked together and then we were together all the time. He did not teach for his college this semester because there was decreased enrollment. It was a lot of together and it was a lot of me also pivoting and shifting a lot of things and not communicating that very well. I don’t know that ever happens to you. So I came downstairs to his office and I was like, hey, I think we should go to counseling. And he was kind of like, what?
[00:01:40.400] – Hilary Erickson
Because at the time we were really in a good place. But I think everyone could use a little bit of counseling and we actually found a way that was cheaper than we thought it was going to be. And we found like it was really great. So I want to introduce today’s guest, my husband, Drew Erickson.
[00:01:59.170] – Hilary Erickson
Are you overwhelmed by all there is to do around your house as a new mom? I felt overwhelmed at every turn. Fortunately, I turned to systems to make a change, whether it’s mornings, dinnertime or even just to climb out of a pile of kids clothes. My course family routines can save you. I hold your hand as we smooth out these rough patches, making every day easier so we can more easily handle when your preschooler tells you they can use their urine like a light saber, parenting is always going to be a wild ride.
[00:02:24.430] – Hilary Erickson
Routines are just your seatbelt and they can support you. Use coupon code untangled to save 50 percent at checkout, link in the show notes.
[00:02:36.660] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, Drew, welcome back to the Pulling Curls Podcast.
[00:02:39.300] – Drew Erickson
Good morning. It’s a pleasure as always.
[00:02:40.860] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, such a fine guest. OK, so Drew and I did marriage counseling.
[00:02:45.780] – Drew Erickson
Yes, we did.
[00:02:46.800] – Hilary Erickson
What did you think when I came into the office and I was like, hey, I think we should go to counseling?
[00:02:51.390] – Drew Erickson
I thought, is there some problem that I’m not aware of that we need to go? But then when we started talking about it, then it made more sense and I was more on board with it.
[00:02:59.730] – Hilary Erickson
Were you initially hesitant?
[00:03:01.770] – Drew Erickson
No, I was just kind of wondering where it was coming from. And then after we talked about kind of New Year’s resolutions and getting kind of things on a new start, that made a lot more sense to me. And I was I thought it was a good idea.
[00:03:12.690] – Hilary Erickson
I only have good ideas. OK.
[00:03:16.480] – Hilary Erickson
OK, so we decided we were going to go to counseling, but then I looked through a bunch of online platforms because we were still in the middle of covid. We definitely weren’t up for going to a counselor. Honestly, we didn’t know any counselors around us.
[00:03:30.180] – Drew Erickson
I mean, truth be told, we are pretty pro online courses. Yes.
[00:03:34.950] – Hilary Erickson
So… So but we were looking around. I figured we’d just go to a counselor on the interwebs. Like a telehealth type counselor thing. And I was looking and that probably would have been in the two thousand ish range, I think.
[00:03:48.250] – Drew Erickson
Yeah, something like that.
[00:03:49.260] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. In looking at a little bit further now, we, I mean we probably could have done two months of counseling, which only would have been like eight sessions for five hundred ish.
[00:03:58.050] – Hilary Erickson
So not crazy.
[00:03:59.040] – Drew Erickson
Yeah. But I think the solution that we found was actually probably among the best solutions that we found.
[00:04:05.160] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. So we ended up finding… I was just Googling around for quite a while, like I looked on for a while and I found the relationship course not sponsored by them. In fact, I asked them to come on and they never responded. Tiny podcast, I guess. Anyway.
[00:04:19.980] – Drew Erickson
Who knows, maybe someday in the future.
[00:04:21.660] – Hilary Erickson
So we chose this our relationship course.
[00:04:23.700] – Hilary Erickson
It is a course that you can do. I think it’s… It was fifty dollars when we were looking. And you can also add on a marriage coach for another hundred dollars. Right. Which we thought was a great bargain, that we could at least try this and maybe find out what our big problem was. And then if we still needed counseling after that, we could take it to the next level.
[00:04:43.440] – Drew Erickson
There was a counseling option available with the program also, wasn’t there?
[00:04:47.040] – Hilary Erickson
No, what we got was the coach.
[00:04:48.890] – Drew Erickson
Oh, I understand that. I thought we had that there was an option to also have one of the counselor head people that you could talk to as well if needed.
[00:04:57.090] – Hilary Erickson
No. OK, so we paid one fifty at the time that gave us access to the course, which you have to do. It’s self-paced. So if you have an issue with staying up with online things, then this probably isn’t the option for you, but it probably took.
[00:05:12.110] – Hilary Erickson
Some weeks, like up to three hours, probably in the course for each of us, right?
[00:05:15.760] – Drew Erickson
Yeah, there were, there was quite a bit of detail in terms of going through some things yourself and kind of coming up with not just not necessarily a strategy for how to answer the questions or strategy for how to talk to your spouse, but or to the other person in your couple, but just kind of make you think about what it is that was really at the core bothering you about whatever whatever topic you were working on.
[00:05:41.360] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. So in that course, you come up with you each come up with what you think one of your biggest problem is, at least the problem you want to address. And Drew and mine was pretty similar, which you guys this is going to be a big shock. It was communication. So I’m pretty sure that that’s most people’s biggest problem. Yeah, although there are bigger there are bigger problems. But that wasn’t ours. That was.. Communication’s ours.
[00:06:02.870] – Drew Erickson
Well, in watching some of the videos that were provided by the course, there were clearly other couples that had done this course or that had done some counseling with the with the group that started this program that had come with much bigger, bigger issues. And that’s kind of why they started it off, I think was to try and allow some of those couples to that may not have had quite as big of issues, an outlet to kind of work on it on their own and see if that could alleviate some of the problem, but also give them some tools to kind of help out as well.
[00:06:31.380] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. So you meet with your counselor like three times during the course, which is nice because it does give you kind of a deadline because you’re like, oh, we need to meet with her on Tuesday, which means we need to finish this module this week. But there was some flexibility with scheduling. It was good to get through it. And I think having the coach helped. Now, having the coach, I mean, she just kind of goes through it with you and she gives you a lot of positive feedback.
[00:06:55.740] – Hilary Erickson
I felt like. Didn’t you feel like Drew?
[00:06:57.230] – Drew Erickson
Yeah, I know. I thought she was a great person to have on our team kind of a third party observer, just seeing how things were going, kind of checking in with us, not necessarily giving counseling advice per se. I- she did give some advice and some some tips and things of that nature, but it was more how how are you doing on working on the things that you’ve decided to work on?
[00:07:17.960] – Drew Erickson
And that’s one of the things that I actually liked about the course and about our choosing to do the course was that I think all of us as couples have things that we need to work on, even if our relationship is fantastic. When we get down to the nitty gritty, we really do find that there are things that we could be doing to make our our relationship or our communications a little bit better. And that was one of the things that we found as we were working on communication, was that there were certain assumptions that both of us were making about what the other person was thinking that were not correct.
[00:07:45.650] – Drew Erickson
And those assumptions were kind of getting in the way of our being able to communicate freely and have a more open relationship. Yeah.
[00:07:52.010] – Hilary Erickson
So the the girl that coached us, it looks like all of them are in school to be either counselors or marriage and family counselors or some type of that thing. So I think the course is run by professors and then I think they’re giving their students this opportunity to coach in addition to it, which is probably why it’s so well priced, because it was a great price for what we ended up getting, I felt like.
[00:08:14.660] – Drew Erickson
Absolutely. Considering some of the other kind of counseling services that we’ve talked about in the past in terms of hourly rate that was significantly cheaper and was an opportunity for us to, again, kind of really get at some of the core issues with a little bit of outside observers.
[00:08:29.390] – Drew Erickson
And I would say if they are students, they’ve got to be grad students. It’s not somebody like somebody who’s working on a bachelor’s degree in marriage and family counseling that’s that’s talking to you. It’s somebody who is actually..
[00:08:39.380] – Hilary Erickson
No, they’re on their way to be doing counseling, which you can’t do with just a bachelors.
[00:08:43.040] – Drew Erickson
Right. So it’s either a master’s degree or a doctorate. I believe it would be a doctorate.
[00:08:46.760] – Hilary Erickson
But, yeah, I don’t know what she was getting.
[00:08:48.890] – Hilary Erickson
But the reality is a lot of what I think they do in therapy is just kind of letting you work on your conversation, which this course really guides you through. Like it literally has a color for what I’m supposed to talk about. And then you switch to a color for what Drew’s supposed to talk about so that you’re having these conversations without having to pay for a therapist, which is probably what we would have had in a therapist’s office either way.
[00:09:10.820] – Drew Erickson
And I’d set it up in such a way so that in a virtual standpoint, it makes it so it’s easier for each person of the couple to have a very clear distinction of when it is their opportunity to sit back and be the listener and when is the time to be the speaker and bring up things that they are wanting to address.
[00:09:30.140] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, and they definitely use the speaker listener scenario where you’re like we talked about, we did this in nursing school, but where you’re saying what I hear you saying is that you think my hair is too curly.
[00:09:43.070] – Hilary Erickson
And then Drew goes, yes, I think your hair is too curly.
[00:09:46.040] – Drew Erickson
[00:09:47.150] – Hilary Erickson
[00:09:47.960] – Drew Erickson
Your genetic predilections to the contrary.
[00:09:50.690] – Hilary Erickson
So so how do you think it helped us, Drew?
[00:09:53.120] – Drew Erickson
I think it helped us in terms of being able to talk about some of the back story that we may not have known before. For both of us, it brought some of those conditions to light so that we were able to actually put some of the surface emotions to the side and actually get to some deeper, deeper issues, some deeper understanding.
[00:10:11.630] – Drew Erickson
As the course would call it.
[00:10:12.890] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, I think the thing is we both knew we were assuming things about the other person, but we weren’t taking the time to find out what we were assuming. And so we were guessing at some of the things we were assuming. But it just that was kind of what I got out of it, is it helped us to just really take the time to dig a little deeper and to hear the other person out.
[00:10:31.640] – Hilary Erickson
And, and it also made that whole speaker listener conversation a little bit easier because it can be really awkward initially if you’ve done it before. Yeah. And now we’re able to do it maybe with our kids or with each other without it being as awkward, because we’ve kind of found our rhythm with it.
[00:10:48.060] – Drew Erickson
Right. And I think in terms of any downside of the course, that was the only thing that I could really come up with was that initial awkwardness.
[00:10:56.150] – Drew Erickson
And having some of the conversation and going through some of that process was a little bit awkward. But that was the only really downside.
[00:11:03.320] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, it also has helped for other issues. So if our issue was in communication, if our issue was more like parenting or I don’t remember what the other ones were, you can go through some of those other helps. So Drew and I are doing that on our own time now because I don’t know how long we have access for the course, but for right now, we’re using the help that they have so that we can go through maybe other issues that could crop up or smaller issues in our relationship.
[00:11:27.470] – Drew Erickson
Yeah, that was actually one of the things that I really liked about it, is that they get you to focus on one particular issue, one particular thing, and start there, but they give you access to the library of other things so that if you want to start a new subject and work through that as a couple, you can go through that with the with the other library of resources that they have or just do some more research and a little bit more reading and through some of the articles and studies, things that they have available so that you can work through other things as a couple.
[00:11:56.540] – Drew Erickson
It’s not something that you finish. The one thing and you’re done. You can actually use it, continue to use the process to help through other things. Yeah.
[00:12:03.740] – Hilary Erickson
One of the things I actually really liked about it is it helped me realize that maybe things that I thought were a big problem actually aren’t that big of a deal because they were like, how frequently does this come up? When we were like, I don’t know, like once, maybe twice a month. And the options were like once a day, once a week, once. And I was like, wow, once a day. Now we definitely don’t fight that often.
[00:12:23.510] – Hilary Erickson
I mean, we could I could fight that often because I’m a fighter, but I’m OK. But also I thought, like, our therapist was like brought up a lot of the good points in our relationship, which I think was really good to focus on the positive things rather than dwelling on the negative things. I really like that part of it as well.
[00:12:38.780] – Drew Erickson
Yes. And I really like being able to take some of those skills and include that into the communication stuff in our communications with our children, because that has helped.
[00:12:48.800] – Drew Erickson
The only difficulty there is that we have had we’ve both gone through it so we know what to expect from each other in the process of of doing this communication side of things. But sometimes in talking with our children, they haven’t been. So it’s very easy to slip into old bad habits because the other person is not following along with the pattern as they’re supposed to because they don’t know what the pattern is.
[00:13:08.660] – Hilary Erickson
Anything you didn’t like about that?
[00:13:10.430] – Drew Erickson
The only thing that it was just a little awkward and uncomfortable when we were first getting into the communication side of things.
[00:13:16.040] – Drew Erickson
And I think it was very transferable in terms of talking with our children. I have gotten a lot better about talking with our kids and not letting some of my surface emotions get in the way. It still happens. And that was one of the other things that I really liked about the end of the course of them making the point that some of these things might still be an issue. We’re just giving you the tools to help it be less of an issue and you will get better at it as you go on through time and get better at practicing what you’ve learned here.
[00:13:41.930] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, and they do a couple of follow ups, which is nice. So you meet to follow up about how things are going with a problem that you’re having, which is nice because I think it’s real easy to be like, OK, we’re going to fix it. And then the follow ups are really important to tweak and adjust your system.
[00:13:56.660] – Drew Erickson
Yep. And I think that helps also in terms of even just again, going back to communicating with our children, it helps us in communicating not just between us as a couple, but communicating as a parent/child relationship or even as with our more adult child, adult to adult kind of relationship as that moves out of child/parent relationship, but to from one adult to another and really having kind of more deep conversations with them as they get older.
[00:14:22.880] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. Anything else you’ve noticed after doing it?
[00:14:25.670] – Drew Erickson
No. Well, I start to notice things in my conversations with my parents that I that I find myself either able to get them to open up about things a little bit more than maybe they would have before. I do find that that has been a little bit more helpful in that regard.
[00:14:41.720] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, I think I noticed that things that I probably would have felt like too awkward, like one of our goals is to for me to bring up a topic so that you have some time to think about it before I jump into or down your throat, as you might say. And so I can say and I probably would have found this too awkward before, but now I can say, hey, I want to have a discussion about X, Y, Z, when would you like to do it?
[00:15:05.540] – Hilary Erickson
And sometimes you are like, let’s do that later. Or sometimes you’re like, let’s just talk about it now. But at least I’ve given you that option of when do you want to talk about it versus, you know, we’re talking about it now and I’ve already got my 16 points written down in my mind. So you’re screwed because I’m going to win this conversation.
[00:15:22.980] – Drew Erickson
Right. It definitely takes some of the antagonism out of it in terms of my side of things, just that kind of understanding where each other is coming from.
[00:15:32.520] – Drew Erickson
I have really appreciated you taking more time and giving me a little bit more time to think about it rather than jumping into it. Because like you say, if you’ve got a whole list of things and I haven’t even thought about the issue, then I’m automatically on the defensive because I have no idea what’s coming at me.
[00:15:47.370] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. So I really liked it. I would recommend it for anybody. It’s a great price. You could do it without the coaching.
[00:15:52.740] – Hilary Erickson
I don’t know if the coaching really stretches your budget. I don’t think that it’s required, but it was really helpful. So if you can pull that hundred dollars out of somewhere else, I would definitely recommend the coaching as well.
[00:16:02.280] – Drew Erickson
At that price point, it is well worth the time, the hour, the three hours or whatever it takes to get from one week to the next week. In terms of the time that’s invested into it, it is well worth the amount of money that you’re going to put into it, as opposed to how much money you would spend on true traditional therapy at the cost rate that the same amount of time would would run you.
Yeah. So there you go, everybody. Marriage counseling, one on one.
And again, I think our relationships are in a much better place as a result of that.
Yeah, I agree. Thanks for coming on the podcast, drill. Absolutely. Thanks for tolerating me. Jumping down your throat for the last twenty five years. Almost twenty five. Almost twenty five. Yeah. The math is too hard once you hit twenty the math too hard.
OK, I hope you guys found it helpful. We really loved marriage. I mean it was kind of like marriage coaching. It was not a life coach. It was an actual like it was a girl that was in school for therapy, but it was written by marriage and family therapist. So, yeah, totally legit, real cheap, but totally helped us out. And I have to say that after I finished marriage counseling, I decided that I needed a little counseling, too.
So I’m going an online program. We will have an update on that one in the coming months because I’m currently still anxious about things. So yeah, but things are good. Things are great. We can always make things better, especially in marriage, right? Is it just me? Marriage is hard, guys. I don’t I don’t want you to think that. I don’t think that marriage is hard for a little help can never hurt. Right.
Thanks so much for joining us today. I hope we help smooth out a few of the snarls in your life. We drop an episode every Monday and we always appreciate it when you guys share and review. Until next time, we hope you have a tangle free day.