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Thread: Free counseling: Worth it or not?

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    Vulnerability Array Eilonwy's Avatar
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    Default Free counseling: Worth it or not?

    I am the full-time care giver for my mom, who had a stroke several years ago. Some organizations, like Catholic Services here, offer free counseling to care givers and I'm considering signing up for various reasons. I've gone to free counseling before (Catholic Services in WA and counseling specifically for care givers offered by the county I was living in) and ended up being disappointed. Is it worth checking it out here in NJ or are the people who do free counseling generally not up to par?
    Johari / Nohari

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    pet of sns and chawie Array prplchknz's Avatar
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    I'm leery of counseling done through a religious organization, personally. I'm afraid that they'll be too much of a religious bent. However if you find free counseling that's not religious, and they do exist I'd say go for it. You're taking on a lot right now, and it might be nice to have a sounding board the very least

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    Besserwisserwannabe Array Jennifer's Avatar
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    It's hard to say whether the free counseling program you are describing is up to snuff or not. Not all religious-affiliated counselors are going to take an overtly religious bent either; I'm aware of some such counselors in my area who take a more practical approach to situations rather than imposing a religious template upon things.

    I guess, if you can't talk to people who have already used this program, I would look at it this way: If you have no other reasonable options, this service is free, and you can simply choose not to go back if you decide it's not for you. IOW, the only risk is losing a session or two of your time while you figure out whether it is helpful to you or not.

    Good luck with this. I can imagine some of the issues associated with long-time caregiving for a sick relative, and I hope you can get what you need. I think the support would be very helpful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eilonwy View Post
    I am the full-time care giver for my mom, who had a stroke several years ago. Some organizations, like Catholic Services here, offer free counseling to care givers and I'm considering signing up for various reasons. I've gone to free counseling before (Catholic Services in WA and counseling specifically for care givers offered by the county I was living in) and ended up being disappointed. Is it worth checking it out here in NJ or are the people who do free counseling generally not up to par?
    I've gone through a similar caregiving situation myself. I say, you have nothing to lose in trying this service out. Make sure to do things for yourself to keep your fire going. It's far too easy to get into the mentality of "I gotta do this, gotta do this, gotta do this" and not stop and rest for yourself.

    My PM inbox is always open if you need someone to listen.

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    delightfully depraved Array whatever's Avatar
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    agreed with above... no harm in trying it out before judging it... sometimes just having someone to talk to who will just listen is incredibly helpful
    'That statement is either so deep it would take a lifetime to fully comprehend every particle of its meaning, or it is a load of absolute tosh. Which is it, I wonder?'- the Archchancellor, discworld

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    Vulnerability Array Eilonwy's Avatar
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    Thanks @prplchknz, @Jennifer, @Saturned, and @whatever. You're right, no harm done trying a session or two.

    I'll have to investigate further, but I think Catholic Services and Jewish Services are the only free counseling options in my area. When I went to Catholic Services in WA, the counselor was a lay person (not a nun) and there wasn't a religious bent to it. I was mostly disappointed by the fact that the counselor told me that she couldn't get her brother to help her when she was taking care of her mom. If the communication skills she said she would teach me didn't even work for her, why bother?

    @Saturned, thanks for the words of experience. I try my best to take care of myself, but you probably can relate to how difficult that can be.
    Johari / Nohari

    “That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.” ― Gene Wolfe

    reminder to self: "That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest." "Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain" by Michael S. Gazzaniga

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    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Array Mole's Avatar
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    I did six weeks of free counseling in Canberra and found it wonderful for the six weeks and with long term good effects.

    It seems to me there are two involved in counseling, and I think it is helpful to know what we want and say so from the first session.

    From the counselors point of view, it is important to establish rapport with the client.

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    lab rat extraordinaire Array CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    One of the best councilors I had was through a free service. She set such a high standard, I'm kinda disappointed by paid ones. She really did help me make peace with a situation. I'd be in a completely different place without her. I'm not saying my life is all roses....but it's mine.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
    Real life awaits and she is a demanding mistress.


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    Vulnerability Array Eilonwy's Avatar
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    @Victor and @CrystalViolet it's good to hear that you both had very positive experiences. That lets me know that there are good free counselors out there.

    And, Victor, I do have a general idea of what I want out of counseling at this time, which is different than what I wanted back in WA. I'm working on refining it so it's more specific.
    Johari / Nohari

    “That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.” ― Gene Wolfe

    reminder to self: "That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest." "Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain" by Michael S. Gazzaniga

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    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Array Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrystalViolet View Post
    I'm not saying my life is all roses....but it's mine.
    Yes, having our own life is worth all the change.

    And as I live near the Rose Gardens of Parliament House, I sometimes steal a rose to wear in my buttonhole.

    Did I say 'steal', I meant purloin.

    Yes, I purloin a rose to wear in the buttonhole of my life.

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