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Old 03.02.2008, 16:57
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Marriage Counseling in Bern - Please help!

Hi All,

My husband and I are new to Bern and we are having some serious problems adjusting. We are both students and money is really tight. So, marriage counseling is financially out of reach. I was hoping that maybe someone could recommend some lower cost alternatives. We are in Bern and would appreciate any info for in or around this town. We would be grateful for any suggestions you could send our way!
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  #2  
Old 03.02.2008, 20:16
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Re: Marriage Counseling in Bern - Please help!

That is tough. Have you tried looking if Bern uni has advisors who help students with various issues, including financial ones? Usually they have a few councillors, and they are likely to know whom you could contact. If you need help searching around the uni website, let me know.

Also, is there a way you could reduce your rental costs perhaps? I do not know what you are paying, but if it is more than average, that might be a good way of improving finances. (You can sign up for a weekly mail with cheap rental options, the mail comes from UniBe).

Sorry I cannot offer more detailed help, but if you need general help adjusting to Bern/Swiss life, post as well.
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  #3  
Old 03.02.2008, 22:10
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Re: Marriage Counseling in Bern - Please help!

Hi I am sorry to hear you have difficulties. If counselling is not possible due to financial issues then maybe try some books - Relate do some good ones which are available from Amazon.
Also as a Therapist I myself I recommend a great book to all my clients especially those who have relationship problems or those who want to gain a better understanding of who they are and the inter- play of communication between one another. It tells the story of Toad who is depressed and goes to see Heron for counselling. An easy , enjoyable and entertaining read and really gets you thinking and indeed learning why you / others behave the way you do ! It is called Counselling for Roads by Robert De board. Amazon also can send it elctronically if you are in a hurry.
Take care and good luck
Caroline
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Old 03.02.2008, 22:14
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Re: Marriage Counseling in Bern - Please help!

Could you find a forward-minded relationship counsellor in England who might be prepared to use Skype or some other means of making a conference call?

Would that work?
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Old 03.02.2008, 22:40
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Re: Marriage Counseling in Bern - Please help!

Many of us counsellors use SKYPE or offer free calls or means test according to their ability to pay but I think the issue is that they cant afford a counsellor full stop. That said would getting SKYPE help with cheaper calls back home for family / friend support?

Therefore books or forums like this are a helpful resource.

There are plenty of topics available on the internet and cost nothing to read.

You are also likely to be grieving for the loss of unfamiliar surroundings / people / food/ etc.This is understandable and try to be kind to yourselves and understand it is bound to be a difficult time. Also you are studying so this additional pressure does not help either.

In my experience I would suggest that you each write down on paper exactly what is botherng you then give it to one another and read at a time when both of you are not together as it gives you time to digest and consider each others thoughts .

Questions like..

I want..........
I need.........
I miss.............
I like it when.............
I wish you would..............
I wish you wouldnt....
When you say ..........it makes me feel.........
(you can do several of these)
I get sad when..........
I get angry when..............
It makes me happy when...........

and so on.

It is at least a start. Often when we argue with our partner we get stuck - stuck in our own shoes and it is hard to see / understand or even care what the other person thinks?

The Toad book I have already recommend will also help you look at your relationship eg, are you sulking and wanting your partner to be nurturing but you see him as critical ? When in fact he might just be being adult?

It is really important that you try to understand one another and recognise how you both feel.

You may not agree with each other but feelings are important on both sides. Here is an example

My husband insists that since the children have arrived he is at the bottom of the pecking order in our house.
Now I know for a 100% fact ( lol ) he isnt and that I am. So I can keep disagreeing with him or I can try and see how it feels for him ?

I did this excercise and found out he felt lonely, bereaved, miserable.
Therefore whether or not I think he is correct in his belief it is for me to understand and see how it feels for him and what I needed to do to make him feel happier (apart from the obvious before get any wise cracks ! )

I hope this makes sense and is a start at least. Maybe give it a go
Good luck
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Old 03.02.2008, 23:11
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Re: Marriage Counseling in Bern - Please help!

Quote:
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Hi All,

My husband and I are new to Bern and we are having some serious problems adjusting. We are both students and money is really tight. So, marriage counseling is financially out of reach. I was hoping that maybe someone could recommend some lower cost alternatives. We are in Bern and would appreciate any info for in or around this town. We would be grateful for any suggestions you could send our way!
Hi there,

it's a fact, there really isn't much around in the way of support in English here, a crying shame for sure, but something I guess that has to be expected unfortunately.

No real help I can suggest really, except enquiring at the uni as Muze7 suggested.

Perhaps another place to ask is at the St Ursulas Church in Bern.

They may be able to give you some advice on where to get counseling in English, both in regards to adjusting to life here as well as hopefully some tips to help relieve the financial strain you are both having, that being one of the hardest things for any relationship to shoulder.

Take heart, spring and summer are coming up and the brighter days are something to look forward to .

Wish you both all success in your studies here and yes, as Muze said, just ask!

Take care now,

Ros
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Old 04.02.2008, 08:22
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Re: Marriage Counseling in Bern - Please help!

Quote:
View Post
Many of us counsellors use SKYPE or offer free calls or means test according to their ability to pay but I think the issue is that they cant afford a counsellor full stop. That said would getting SKYPE help with cheaper calls back home for family / friend support?

Therefore books or forums like this are a helpful resource.

There are plenty of topics available on the internet and cost nothing to read.

You are also likely to be grieving for the loss of unfamiliar surroundings / people / food/ etc.This is understandable and try to be kind to yourselves and understand it is bound to be a difficult time. Also you are studying so this additional pressure does not help either.

In my experience I would suggest that you each write down on paper exactly what is botherng you then give it to one another and read at a time when both of you are not together as it gives you time to digest and consider each others thoughts .

Questions like..

I want..........
I need.........
I miss.............
I like it when.............
I wish you would..............
I wish you wouldnt....
When you say ..........it makes me feel.........
(you can do several of these)
I get sad when..........
I get angry when..............
It makes me happy when...........

and so on.

It is at least a start. Often when we argue with our partner we get stuck - stuck in our own shoes and it is hard to see / understand or even care what the other person thinks?

The Toad book I have already recommend will also help you look at your relationship eg, are you sulking and wanting your partner to be nurturing but you see him as critical ? When in fact he might just be being adult?

It is really important that you try to understand one another and recognise how you both feel.

You may not agree with each other but feelings are important on both sides. Here is an example

My husband insists that since the children have arrived he is at the bottom of the pecking order in our house.
Now I know for a 100% fact ( lol ) he isnt and that I am. So I can keep disagreeing with him or I can try and see how it feels for him ?

I did this excercise and found out he felt lonely, bereaved, miserable.
Therefore whether or not I think he is correct in his belief it is for me to understand and see how it feels for him and what I needed to do to make him feel happier (apart from the obvious before get any wise cracks ! )

I hope this makes sense and is a start at least. Maybe give it a go
Good luck

I am glad that you have not given up. I have noticed that you have been given a hard time in your pervious posts. I do believe that you have a lot to offer to the expat community, especially the english speaking community. Counselling helps and when the counsellor speaks the same language and is from similar cultural background, it is a bonus.

What you wrote today in the forum is tantalizing to anyone who needs counselling. I am sure a few reading it would think about going further and may ask for your help.

Take care,
Uno
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  #8  
Old 04.02.2008, 09:12
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Re: Marriage Counseling in Bern - Please help!

Thanks for your support.
I do try to offer genuine empathy and support but sometimes find this forums too vocally challenging and intimidating by stronger members of the community and it puts me off replying. Not sure if anyone else feels that way?
When I wrote that I am a therapist it is because I want to offer some credibility behind my advice but I have been chastised by some in the past for saying this. Next time I think it would be better to write "as an ex grave digger I feel that you should....."
Cheers
x
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Old 04.02.2008, 23:05
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Re: Marriage Counseling in Bern - Please help!

Hi All,

Thanks for your kind and thoughtful advice and all of your support! Tubbies-Mummy, I will try out all of your suggestions - it is really generous of you to offer your expertise. I am hopeful that things will get better - it has just been a long couple of months. If I have additional questions, I will be sure to post again. Thanks again for everything!
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Old 05.02.2008, 08:00
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Re: Marriage Counseling in Bern - Please help!

I was only too happy to help. Life is a struggle at the best of times and moving to a new home can make it harder. This forum seems really supportive as well. I wish you all the very best Take care
Caroline
xx
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Old 09.02.2008, 20:29
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Re: Marriage Counseling in Bern - Please help!

Hi Brigid,

Try Frabina. They're a counselling agency near the train station in Bern.

I went to them when I was looking for information on separation and divorce ( they also cover relationship counselling, though) and they gave some useful advice.

I had to pay Sfr. 50 for about an hour's information but for people who are in financial difficulties, I believe it's free!!!

Check out their website here: http://www.frabina.ch/index_e.php

Good luck!
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