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  1. #1
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Default What are your experiences with getting psychotherapy?

    So I finally decided to go ahead and travel 3 hours each way to visit a therapist I found online. I'll be starting on Sunday.

    Previously I've had three sessions with a therapist one year ago when I was down on account of the strain of completing my thesis, ending my 7-year relationship, and the prospect of unemployment. That was all right considering that the therapist was just supposed to help me keep my head above water at that point, but one lesson I did learn is that I have to be careful to make the sessions about my real needs and not about the impression I feel I can make on the therapist. The therapist I'm visiting on Sunday has experience with narcissistic patients (hence my pick) so I hope he'll be on guard for that as much as I will.

    My intention is to start out with 3 or 4 sessions a month for some months and then to do maybe 1 session a month after that for maintenance.

    ---

    Anyone else try getting psychotherapy? What have been your experiences?
    Last edited by Ivy; 03-30-2010 at 11:30 AM.

  2. #2
    Mud and rain and chaos... TickTock's Avatar
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    I've been to one and it ended up being a mind game, as she was trying to get in my head and I was keeping her out. It was not what I expected. That wasn't my choice to go, so if you want to go you might get something out of it personally I don't think they can do much beyond a few sessions and ultimately it's down to you.
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  3. #3
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TickTock View Post
    [I]t wasn't my choice to go
    I think this is key. They can't help you if you don't want their help.

    Let's not turn this thread into a discussion of this issue though. I'd prefer for people to just share their personal experiences.

  4. #4
    Mud and rain and chaos... TickTock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Economica View Post
    I think this is key. They can't help you if you don't want their help.

    Let's not turn this thread into a discussion of this issue though. I'd prefer for people to just share their personal experiences.
    Well, I don't want to get into it but basically I solved an algebra equation at a school where I was the janitor. It was so easy... I used to fill in their colouring books too.
    ~ Truth ~ Freedom ~ Health ~ Love ~ Communication ~ Humor ~ Respect ~

  5. #5
    Senor Membrane
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    I would like to go to a therapist, but I don't really have any reason to go, and I have too high expectations about their skills anyway... But the time I would have needed a therapist I despised them.

  6. #6
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Terrible.

    Then again I was force into it by my parents for a phobia.
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  7. #7
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    I have no experiences to share. I just wanted to wish you the best of luck, Economica.

  8. #8
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Ineffective.

    I'm too good at figuring out what they're doing and why. In fact, the last time I ended up giving them helpful advice regarding one of their issues.

    But good luck! Hopefully you aren't so knowledgable about psychology that you can't benefit from this. I think it doesn't work as well once you know how it works.

  9. #9
    Senior Member proximo's Avatar
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    Economica, I think it's incredibly brave of you to face this demon, and very wise of you to enlist help with it. It's one I'm quite familiar with myself, sadly

    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    Terrible.

    Then again I was force into it by my parents for a phobia.
    I don't think I've ever heard of anyone who was forced into it, getting any good out of it.

    I would have thought it fairly obvious that a person who doesn't WANT to change, or who doesn't recognise that they have a problem, isn't going to get anywhere just because they're frog-marched into a therapist's room.

    Although it's been getting more 'normal' here in the UK for people to see counsellors and stuff, it still draws comments and, I think, is generally seen as a last resort. It's certainly not as ubiquitous or readily recoursed to as it seems to be in the US.

    I've spent a lot of time talking things over with spiritual advisors, but that was more to do with figuring out the right means of expression for my faith, and not really to do with my personality/issues as such. Although, in the course of that, I did come to realisations through the input of the advisor, that I might have taken much longer to come to by myself, and that has had an impact on my worldview and general MO in life. No money changed hands in those circumstances.

    I did see a therapist a few times, ostensibly for help with the psychological ramifications of a physical condition I suffer from, but in reality it was more about checking boxes. The specialist that was treating me needed to be able to cover his arse by being able to say he had referred me to the appropriate support networks. It was a different therapist that I saw at each appointment, and they were all pretty much just doing the minimum they could get by on before dismissing me. I don't feel that I actually got any benefit from it at all.

    On the other hand, I do know somebody who swears by psychotherapy and says that it completely changed his life. But then, I suppose he sought it out, and was ready to cooperate with it, so it was more likely to be effective for him than mine was for me, being just a bureaucratic procedure.
    I'm male and over 30, FYI.
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  10. #10
    (blankpages) Xenon's Avatar
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    I've never had a particularly helpful experience with therapy either. Hopefully some people who have will contribute here. I'm trying to maintain faith that someday I might find someone or something that can help me.

    I've seen a few therapists/counselors, and there was only one that I particularly liked. He treated me with such genuine warmth and respect, and I became quite attached to him. Unfortunately the therapy itself felt aimless and directionless. I was supposed to provide the direction, decide how I wanted to use each session, and I usually wasn't able to do it. I'd sort of come in every week and he'd say, bring me up to speed, what's been happening, how do you want to use this time...And I wouldn't know what to tell him. My life was very stagnant, nothing much was happening, plus I was in university and putting the limited energy and drive I had at the time into keeping up with my course work. There just wouldn't be anything new to tell him. I'd be sitting there thinking, well, everything I told you when I first arranged to see you still applies, so what am I supposed to say now?? You know all this stuff.

    Sigh. I don't know what caused the failure, so I don't know how to do it differently in the future, or if I should even try it again. Was it my own self-consciousness that kept me too quiet? Was I not active enough in initiating change outside of the sessions? Was it a poor match, even though I liked him and trusted him? He said the last time I saw him that he may not have had "the resources" to help me. I don't know what he meant by that or what "resources" I'm supposed to look for. He also said it may not have been "the right time" in my life. Seems possible, but again, what am I supposed to do about that?

    There seems to be so many factors that go into whether therapy is successful. Experiences vary a lot. It can be hard to predict.

    Anyways, good luck to you.

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