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647391 tn?1275020233

Depression

I just have been released by the counselor that I have been seeing for 3 years.  I voiced a difference of opinion, which I believe is okay.  I don't believe that everything said, I have to agree.  We were talking about my relationship with people/kids.  I believe that I don't have to agree always with what they say as the only way to be accepted.  Just as they have a opinion, I can have one also.  Have been told by my family doctor that I should always be in counseling since I deal with depression and seasonal disorder. What do you think I should do?
10 Responses
Avatar universal
I'm not too sure what you are getting at, so Ill address the notion that you are not allowed to have an opinion.  If you are going to a doctor/therapist and they give you advice, they are doing so with the best of intentions.  They can look back on cases similar to yours and look for similarities....

They are treating you and giving you the best advice that they can regarding your case.  

My doctor once told me, "You keep paying me and I'll keep giving you the best advice I can.... only you can put this advice to work and allow it to make a difference."

In essence, I thought my doctor was wrong.  His opinion didn't meet mine even half way.  I elected to not listen and I suffered with depression for about a decade and a half longer than I needed too.
480448 tn?1426952138
I agree completely with brice.  Sometimes, we see something one way....but then we're missing the big picture.  You're angry that your therapist has dismissed you, but was a "difference in opinion" really cited as a reason?  Or, was it more tlike the therapist felt perhaps she could no longer be of help to you due to you perhaps being close minded about some of her recommendations?  I have a very hard time believing that one disagreement, or difference in opinion, would cause her to just up and show you the door.  There has to be more to it than that.  And, I mean that respectfully.  She would have had to have given you a letter, what exactly did the letter say?

When it comes to something like therapy, we have to dig deep and sometimes come to uncomfortable conclusions about ourselves or our lives.  That's not always easy...but it's necessary to be able to see the whole picture, and to address the real issues at hand.

Just try to be open minded about the situation, find a new therapist, and really give it your all.  Put this behind you.  It's not always about being "right"...sometimes it's about opening your eyes to what someone is saying.

Very best to you.

647391 tn?1275020233
by text message.  I had texted her first.  saying that the way the conversation ended, I felt that it was hanging over my head.  The way she talked to me felt mean spirited.  I was asking questions to try and understand.  I pushed for answers.  I thought counseling was about helping me through the tough stuff.  The area of relationships is a tough subject and I really wanted to understand.  I having to deal with the fact that the counseling session didn't end calmly - time ran out and I was expression frustration not with her answer, with how I was feeling.  The text was blunt and I am sure it was why I turned her off.  it is part of my personality that she has seen.  I never thought she would give up on me.  I am not out of my head.  I have learned lots and used a lot of things discussed.
I appreciate the answers received and I understand.  Don't know what direction I will go.  Whether I will go at life without a counselor or find a new person.  tough to start over - not really over - just have get use to someone else.
480448 tn?1426952138
You TEXTED your therapist?  Had she given you permission to contact her via text?  How did you get her cell phone #?

To be very honest, it sounds as though you acted inappropriately outside of the patient-therapist relationship.  Sounds like for one, (as you said)...you pushed her for some kind of clarification via text message.  If you were upset about something, or needed clarification, the time to do so would have been at your next therapy session.

Even if she had given you permission to text her, sounds like you went overboard.  You have to understand that while a therapist is there to help you...it would be inappropriate to contact her excessively about something related to your therapy, outside of a therapy session.

It sounds like you recognize what you did wrong, which is good.  I think finding a new therapist is the way to go.  Sometimes, even though you have to regain that "comfort"  level, a new perspective can be good.  Plus, I do believe sometimes you can become TOO comfortable with a therapist, which sounds like that may have happened with you...for you to step outside bounds of a patient-therapist kind of relationship...and kind of treat her more like a friend or acquaintance, than a therapist...sounds like the lines may have gotten blurred for you.

Very best to you.
647391 tn?1275020233
I had permission to text.  I had her phone number.  There were times that she helped me with some very tough time.

I met with my counselor.  She said she ended with me for she felt that I needed someone else to work with me.  Her and I had reached our end point.

I will be be on a journey to find someone else.  Not a easy thing, but I believe to be a very healthy thing to happen.  

Not sure how I will proceed with looking.  I will visit with them and explain what I am looking for/need.  Hopefully there is a good match for me.
Avatar universal
Sorry to hear that you had such a bad time with your former therapist.   Therapists are just people and your past therapist could not keep impartial as therapists are expected to be.  If you think that another therapist can be helpful to you, then I would look for another one and get rid of that one if it isn't a good fit.

You say that you were told by your family doctor that you should always be in counseling due to depression and seasonal disorder.  That is a highly unusual opinion to deal with those problems.  Therapy can be helpful for awhile, but "always"?  And sometimes it's not helpful at all.  

Light therapy can be terrific for seasonal disorder.  You should try it.  Even the regular light tubes helped me years ago. I stacked about 3 of them on my desk for about 30-45 minutes a day in the morning.

And anti-depressants can be very helpful with depression.  There are many millions of people taking anti-depressants who no longer need a therapist.  

So maybe you need a different doctor as well.  I wish you the best.

Sara
647391 tn?1275020233
Thanks for your feedback.
Avatar universal
Hi ami74.
     I don't feel like I can say much about what happened between you and your therapist. There are so many things involved in that relationship. Maybe it's a good thing and maybe it wasn't??
    I only wanted to share that I've been in and out of therapy since 1989. I had major issues then and started therapy in order to keep from going 'crazy!' But I also read Scott Peck's book "The Road Less Traveled" and came to believe therapy can be more than most people think. IF you find a good fit between therapist and client, it can be a 'faster' way to not only deal with your issues (which everyone of us has) but also to 'evolve' as a person. Each person is different as to what they need and what they want.
    The first counselor I went to I attended 2x a week for 6 months at $60 a pop-MY pop!  Her background/belief system was along the lines of AA. I suffered for 6 months from major depression, PTSD remembering past sexual abuse I had blocked out and then started remembering, panic attacks etc. She did not believe in medication. She believed in self-pity, character defects, and toughing it out. Finally her supervisor told her to refer me to a psychiatrist for medication. After I went and got to feeling 'normal' again-I started reading everything I could to educate myself. Knowledge is power and I had to empower myself. I can still get mad thinking what an idiot she was and how much time, money and needless pain I went through with her. I guess I just have to believe there was some purpose in that nightmare. I think it was to never completely trust my life into anyone's hands. I have to think for myself and learn to listen to that small voice within called intuition! Also-educate myself. NEVER give my personal power over to any other human. Research therapists and interview THEM. Learn about the different modes of therapy and what kind of therapy they use. There are many systems with different beginning 'points of reference.' Freudian, Jungian, so many I can't state them right now. Some techniques I would consider abusive. See if they are a good fit: be discerning. How long have they been practicing? Do they have a supervisor or someone else they are accountable to? Some are just as messed up as their 'patients' or more! I'm have a social work/psychology degree and I know from experience that many people go into that field to solve their own screwed up heads-me included! Some therapists are total control freaks. Some will cross the boundaries with you and involve themselves personally in ways they shouldn't (men with women and visa versa). Some therapists are toxic! I know this because I have 'gone through' many therapists in 25 years.
    Most of the ones I've been to have been good. Some have been 'just what I needed at the time.' Maybe I saw them a few sessions, a few months or a few years. I'm not a therapy 'hopper.' I just went to ones and learned what I could until I didn't feel the need for more. Or I felt they had taught me as much as I could learn from them. Like one therapist was great taking me through the "Courage to Heal" chapter of my life. But she did not discuss spiritual things. So when I felt I needed more of that in my life I sought someone out with more of a spiritual orientation. When I had marital issues, or issues related to raising children-I went to someone who more or less specialized in my particular needs.
     The therapist I go to now-I have seen off and on for 20+ years. I went to her when my insurance covered her. When it didn't I went to someone else for a while. When my insurance changed and it covered her-I went to her again. I went to a few other's because I liked their technique (like 'family sculpting therapy,' and wanted to see what I could learn from that.
     I don't have any insurance now-but my therapist (off and on of 20+ years) works with me on what I can afford. She has her doctorate in psychology. She is a very caring, loving, non-judgemental, and spiritual (not religious) person. I feel like she can challenge me too and can condense an hour of me babbling about my problem into a couple of concise, right-on comments that get to the heart of things. She is insightful and helpful. Empowers me and helps me to see the good and difficult in myself. There is something about 'all the qualities that make a therapist a good therapist,' that you just can't explain. I may not go for months or years, but when I feel the need-we can just pick up where we left off without having to go through my whole story again.
     I hope you will find some one good for you when and if you decide to. Educate yourself and you will be able to look back on this relationship in your life and decide for yourself: was she screwed up, was I, was this good on both our parts, what did I learn, what would I want to experience again and what would I want to avoid in the future? Best of everything!
  
647391 tn?1275020233
Thank you so much for your response.  It is very encouraging.  I believed it is a positive that I am having to look for another counselor. We have a history, both good and frustrating.  

Do you believe that a counselor is there to listen to you.  That you talk through what you are thinking.  I believed a advantage of going to a counselor was you had someone you could talk with for a hour and not feel  guilty about talking about yourself.  I used it as a opportunity to discuss how to handle situations.  Got some good ideas.  I did't know I was doing wrong by talking.

Anyways.  Thanks for sharing.  I appreciate it lots.

Avatar universal
Hi again ami74!
     I believe you need to find a therapist that will meet YOUR needs (basically they are getting paid to help YOU.)  If you feel like you need someone you can talk to for an hour-then find a counselor who is supportive of that. They may say they do 'talk therapy' (a loose description) or interpersonal therapy. When YOU interview THEM for the 'job,' let them know you need someone to talk to because you don't have someone in your life to give you that kind of support. See how they respond and what your 'gut' feels being in their presence.
     I don't believe you should come away from ANY therapy session feeling guilty about expressing yourself and your ideas. OR disagreeing with them. Of course we can feel something like guilt or shame and it might be more about how WE feel about our selves. If you grew up not being able to express yourself, feeling 'unheard,' or less than good about who you are-you were TAUGHT to feel shameful for this and may not feel worthy of being heard.
    If we have done something like molest a child or purposely hurt someone-then that would be a good thing to feel guilt. Not everyone does.
    If it's over a behavior, something you could have said in a kinder way or 'mistake' you've made, an addiction you are struggling with, then that is just one of your 'lessons' to learn from in this school of life. You are human and that's how we all learn the most-from mistakes. If you feel extreme guilt or shame-I know it's hard-but I'd try to clarify with the therapist if that is what they are wanting you to take away from that session.
    If you have a counselor who consistently makes you feel like you should always be looking to HER (safer going to same sex therapists for some) for YOUR answers---I'd run as fast as you can and find another. One purpose in counseling is to help us learn how to think for and trust ourselves. That can take a long time for some of us. It depends so much on our past experiences and what we've been taught. Again-in the end we should feel EMPOWERED.
     Because of MY past-I discovered I was 'stuck' in many ways-at a younger age. This can happen when we experience trauma. Through many years of therapy, I saw myself kind of growing up. The therapist served as a pseudo 'GOOD parent,' and I developed through 'stages' I had missed. She listened and acknowledged my feelings. She 'loved' me like my parent couldn't and is STILL helping me learn to love myself. Over the years, I've gone through some 'teenage' developmental stages. Then young adult etc. I'm 61, but still sometimes something can 'trigger' me and I end of feeling like a small child again.
     Most insurance companies don't support this kind of therapy. They want something short and brief like what they call "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy." Even when that isn't what most of us truly need. If you feel bad because you just went through a divorce-they want you to 'process' your feelings about it and get out of there in 6 weeks! Just deal with the immediate situation at hand.
    Augment that with reading, going to support groups, or whatever you can 'finagle' to get what you need.  There are usually free 12-step groups in most communities. Here they have some for: survivors of sexual abuse; adult children of alcoholics; overeater's anonymous; narcotics anonymous; co-dependents; sex addiction; emotions; love addiction; etc. Some groups have some really messed up people who can be mentally abusive....so be careful.I had a man in my 'adult children' group (who was also a 'sexaholic') call me in the middle of the night for phone sex!! Usually groups share phone numbers with one another for support. If you don't feel comfortable doing this-DON"T.
    Some groups are VERY geared toward ONLY using the philosophy behind AA and that isn't always healthy. But-if you need support-it is there, free, and you might meet some good people there. Question everything! Don't just buy into any 'self-help' program without intellectually deciding if it feels right for YOU. Some people have their own agenda and aren't who they pretend to be. Some of us (me) aren't good at 'picking up on people' who want to use people to feel good about themselves.
     Churches also may have 'grief workshops,' divorce groups. If you have a mental health agency where you live-they may have support groups for people with depression and/or bipolar; other mental health issues. Doctors sometimes have educational classes for diabetics. Health departments have parenting classes. On & on.
     Sorry to go on so long. This is to show you that going in and just 'babbling' is OK if that's what you need. Often-as I LISTEN to MYSELF talk-I end up with these 'Ah-HA!' moments where I actually see my problem clearly for myself. Sometimes it's overwhelming and it's just all tangled up like a bunch of garbage. That's when my therapist will be able to say-"Do you think THIS might be what you are really dealing with? I see you needing....How can you get that???" It's usually right on. But other times I may be like "No---I think it's more that...." And then we'll discuss this or that. And she'll give me suggestions, like you said you wanted ami, on how I might handle the situation better. Etc.
    One more thing and I'll let you go! Ha, ha. My goal is to do EMDR (a type of therapy you'd need to look up on line) that my psychiatrist said I should try to help with Post traumatic stress disorder. Last week I went to counseling intending to do that. I ended up talking the whole hour about some things troubling me that came up during the last week. So-I said "well, I guess I wasted this hour-we were 'supposed' to do EMDR!" She said "No...NOTHING is wasted! This is what you NEEDED to do obviously. Right now you have little support in your life and if you need to talk, you NEED to talk. You need to get it out. It's ok!" And I did. Just getting it out of my head in a safe environment is just what I need to 'take the power' that experience has had over me and diffuse those emotions. By the way-sometimes I feel really good when I going into therapy and end up crying the whole time. For me once I get in there-it's a 'safe' place with a 'safe' person I can trust-and it all comes pouring out.
     The therapy should be about what YOU need. Just talking and feeling our emotions is tough, exhaustive WORK. Unless you are court-ordered, MOST people don't go into therapy unwilling to take a good look at themselves and their behavior. The whole purpose is to discover ways of coping, communicating, being...that no longer serve us well. And Relearning some better ways of being that help us live happier lives.
     You sound open to that ami, and that takes courage and a willingness most people don't have. You are being very vulnerable when you are willing to share the worst and best of you with someone else.
     Don't let anyone take advantage of that vulnerability by making you feel less than you are or than who you want to become. PROTECT yourself. I did not know how to choose a good counselor in the beginning. I didn't know how to trust myself. I let that first counselor convince me she knew more about what I needed than I did. I FELT that she was 'controlling.' But I wasn't able to trust my gut and act on it. I was so OPEN to listening to someone "wiser than myself" and changing- that I didn't believe in myself. I used education (reading books, researching on-line, talking to others) to help me decide what I needed and how to find that.
     Trust that everything in your life is working out perfectly. Ask yourself what you can learn from this. What do think your 'life lesson' is at this point. You are brave and you know more than you think you know! You just need to find that inside yourself and learn to honor your self!
    

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