My husband and I were having a hard time in our relationship during my second pregnancy and thought that Collette Crawford, who I adored during her prenatal yoga classes, would be just the one to help us out as we found out that she did counseling as well. I liked her comforting voice during yoga class and thought her approach and expertise in childbirth through yoga would carry over to her counseling sessions. Not true!
We came in at 9 in the morning on a Friday ten minutes late and she spent the first five minutes of our session "scolding" us for not being on time (not taking her session serious enough) and for the fact that it took me two weeks after my initial phone call to her to make a appointment to see her. Her shocking comments went on and on! Not a good start when I was already stressed out by my relationship and pregnancy!
Then, we tried to give her a background of our lives (my husband grew up in another country and there were cultural aspects to consider), we had just had a major financial disaster with a start-up company that we had started, and we just wanted to tell her a little bit about our "story." She rudely interrupted several times with a cold, blank look asking "why are you telling me this? I don't need to know any of this" We said that we felt she would want to know a little bit about our history and she kept stopping us, shutting us out.
As the session went on, it seemed that everything we made a comment on she would take out of context and/or make very outlandish comments and was not open to listening to our defenses. She even called me "sly" at one point in the session, which gave me tears (and if you met me even once, you would know this is not true, almost laughable!). At one point my husband just made the remark that to help my kids sleep, I sometimes let them into my bed to sleep with me (and she fired out at me "You, You have put a wedge in your relationship."....and went on and on without letting me talk. She also told us that we "have no marriage!" At this point I was pretty upset (feeling very personally attacked) and I made the remark "I would like you to tell my children at home that their mother and father have no marriage!" And I furthermore went on to say that we may have a real rough/rocky marriage right now, but of course we do have a marriage/relationship and that is why we are coming in to help solve some of our problems. And she repsonded back with a very disgusted look that "You don't know how to Love!" My next point to her was "Everyone knows how to love. A newborn child, a mentally handicapped person, every human essentially knows how to love. We just might not show it." It went on and on this way, in circles. We even tried to ask her what kind of therapy methods she uses and would not let us call it "therapy." It was "counseling," -- difference, anyone?? She refused to give us information and kept saying that "you just need to see it and when you open up to it, it is so wonderful." She even went on to attack the psychiatric field, when I mentioned that my sister was a clinical psychologist and that we have had problems with my husband's brother who has mental illness. During that point in the discussion she actually started swearing and yelling, turning it over to something about "George Bush" and how they were all liars (how & why she linked George Bush with psychologists I will never know). I think she just wanted to yell (a little surprising to see your cherished yoga teacher out of control!!).
She also put my husband's career as a CEO of a start-up company down and asked him seriously why he doesn't go work at the post office. Seriously! She demanded an answer from him why he didn't just go and work at the post office!! Not a great thing to tell a guy who has invested all of his time and money into a company!!
She also insisted that "we were in crisis" and that we needed to come back every single day, for maybe weeks for her sessions. Being that we were going through a major financial disaster at that time, I was alarmed at the cost of what she was insisting on. She made more deragatory remarks about "Well, what would you do if you had cancer? Wouldn't you sell everything/spend every penny to fix it. and "You are in crisis," she kept on repeating over and over again (my neighbor friend later that evening told me "well, if you weren't in "crisis" before you came in there, you sure would be by the time you walked out!!).
Okay, so we agreed to come back the next day, as she kept saying that we needed to make this commitment. So, we did. It was the same -- awful -- I walked out in tears and had one of sickest stomachs of my life!! I just felt like I was an awful person!
So, we were scheduled to come back the next day AGAIN but by that time my husband and I finally put our heads together: we took walks, talked with our friends and thought that okay, we have made this "commitment" to come to her, and we will do so one more time, but if we weren't both in agreement to come back again, we would find someone else to help us.
We went in to her office that next day in a totally different mood (that happens -- people are dynamic that way) and she kept demanding what had happened to us overnight. She essentially accused us that this was not really us, as I think she sensed that right away that she would not be able to challenge us, put us down, and get under our skins. So half- way through she tried to "fire us," saying "You two are just not ready for this." Not ready for Collette's "awakening???" She wanted us to end the session half-way through it and I challenged her, saying that I made the commitment to come like she had requested, bought a babysitter to watch my children for the hour and had just payed her for the full hour, She said she would refund the last half-hour and I said NO. I wanted to complete our session and I did with pride, challenging her the whole way. My husband was so proud of me and afterwards said "you took one of Seattle's biggest yoga gurus, challenged her philosophies and won." We walked out of there feeling much better than before and ran into another couple coming in right after us with the most disturbed, painful looks on their faces, like they were going off to war! I wonder how many other couple's she has done this too?!! She is unskilled, with no degree in counseling behind her name, a real "quack." To those who read this, remember you are not alone if you have ever met with this woman for counseling! Hopefully someone will find a way to put her out of business (at least on the counseling side!!) We found a wonderful new marriage counselor right away after that which was very successful! Thanks for reading this!