Just don't trust therapists anymore
I'm new to the forum. This is my first post.
There are probably people on here who have benefitted from therapy, but I really want to hear from people who feel very cynically about therapy.
I've been depressed my whole adult life; I'm 40 now. Actually, I starting feeling depressed when I was 16. My family didn't call it depression though. They called it lazy.
Anyway, I've had a lot of therapy. I'm so sick of it. I don't think one therapist I've ever seen has really understood depression. They end up just getting impatient with my "downer" attitude. "If you'd just change your thoughts, the emotions would catch up!" I want to eat cookies and then take a nap after just typing that cognitive RAH RAH junk.
In the last 2 years, I was asked to leave an MSW program. My intern supervisor failed me at the end of the year. Did she ever tell me that I had any problems or was in danger of failing the internship? NO NEVER!!! NOT EVEN ONCE!!! I thought everything was fine and was expecting an above average (definitely passing) performance review. Instead she failed me. Well, the school administration reversed her decision and decided to pass me anyway. But they also told me that I should leave the school. I didn't have to leave, but they were pretty nasty during that meeting. I also didn't have another internship lined up yet and I decided I couldn't beat it.
Then I got a dogwalking job. After 9 months, the woman who owned the company fired me. She said I left a client's door open. I definitely didn't. The woman's door was being worked on. How can she be sure it was me? But I know for sure I didn't leave it open because I remember that I couldn't get the deadbolt locked b/c the door was so jacked up from being worked on. I could get the bottom part locked. I wiggled the doorknob and pushed my weight against the door until I was convinced that the doorknob lock was keeping the door closed and locked. I got fired anyway.
So, you'll probably say those two things must have been my fault somehow and I have a victim's mentality. That's fine. I'm used to it. Believe me, you wouldn't be the first person to say it. I've even lost a couple of friends because they don't want to be around such a loser.
But the thing I want to get across is that a therapist should be more understanding. Even if it is my fault, my perception is that life threw a truckload of bricks into my face TWICE in one year. I'm scared to do anything now. Now, I'm just a housewife. I'm lucky because my husband doesn't mind and we can live off his salary. I didn't want things to turn out like this, but they did. Now, you can say that I deserve it and I caused it; that's fine. But I can't find one understanding therapist. It's just a lot of RAH RAH think happy thoughts junk. They tell me "keep going be resilient!!!" They therapist I was seeing during my internship (who was flabbergasted when I failed) said she was so disappointed with me for quitting the program. Does she get to tell me she's "disappointed" in me? What is it to her? She doesn't have a dog in this fight?
Anyway, I decided that maybe the problem was that I was seeing LCSWs. I've been to a year of MSW school and I can tell you that the curriculum is very weak and flimsy. So, I thought: I'll go to an actual psychotherapist. She wanted me to do primal screaming and imagine I was killing all the people who had hurt me. I didn't want to do the guided murder imagining, but she pressured me saying "you have to want to get better. I don't think you really want to get better." So, I did the stupid guided murder imagining. I imagined that I hit someone with my car and she said "we're animals. animals don't hit people with cars...what do they do?" So, I imagined hitting the person with a bat and she said "you have to remember we're animals. would an animal use a bat?" So, I figured out that she wanted me to use my hands so I imagined that I was punching the person. After all was said and done with that guided imagery, she then criticized me for killing someone in my imagination!!!!!!! I was like, "what the funk???? YOU wanted me to do this!! Remember, I didn't want to do it and you said this is the only way to get better???!!!!!" So, then she told me this is part of the process. I have to "forgive" myself for wanting to kill the person and I was like "I DIDN'T WANT TO IMAGINE KILLING THIS PERSON!!! THAT'S WHAT YOU WANTED!!!"
Anyway, I'm way way depressed. It's bad. If you've been depressed then you know what I mean. But, I just can't see another therapist.
I really want to hear from people who understand how I feel. C'mon, there have to be some of you out there who need help and find that therapy is pretty piss poor.
Please don't tell me how wonderful therapy is. I acknowledge that some people have had good experiences. But I don't want to hear how therapy was wonderful for you because it'll just make me jealous. If you live in the No. Virginia area, tell me the name of the therapist; otherwise don't tell me.
Wow...I can't believe this post has gotten 60s views and no one has replied. It really hurts to share such personal pain and get no response.
I lift the gag order about therapy. Go ahead and say it's great.
If the admins could tell me how to delete my post, I'd like to do that.
Hi there! I read your initial post, but didn't respond because I have actually found therapy to be very helpful for me, so I figured that wasn't what you were looking for.
But I wanted to respond this time so that you don't feel ignored!
Therapy is perhaps only as good as the therapist you go to. I am lucky that when I was going through one of my worst depressive periods, my parents found a highly-recommended therapist for family counseling, whom I still see individually several years later. He focused on first gaining life skills - regulating sleep cycle, establishing routine, adding responsibility back into your life slowly, starting an exercise regimen to help your mood, complying with your medication schedule (if you have meds), monitoring yourself daily for changes in mood. After I was doing better with those things, we tackled some other issues and he helped me to formulate goals and plans for myself.
In the beginning, my parents didn't really understand how much of my depression was beyond my control, and he really advocated for me and explained to them what I was going through, and why I wasn't just able to do certain things as easily as "normal" people. Eventually they "got it," and I really owe that to him, because they didn't want to believe me until I had a professional backing me up. I've really gotten my life on track, and a big reason for that is that I've regained life skills, learned to better manage my illness, and learned some good coping skills.
I always thought that this was sort of "standard procedure," but apparently it's not, and your experience can vary a lot depending on who you see. My boyfriend has been depressed, and tried seeing a therapist for a few months. He stopped going because he said, "Therapy doesn't work for me." I told him, "Maybe it's not that therapy doesn't work for you, but rather your therapist doesn't work for you." He's reconsidering, but would probably see a different person were he to try it out again. I went to one of his appointments, and his therapist was a very nice guy, but apparently focused a lot on mindfulness and meditation techniques, which are nice and have their place in managing mental illness, but meditation alone isn't going help my bf stop sleeping 14 hours at a time and accomplish things he wants to do. In my opinion, mindfulness and meditation are pretty low on the list of things necessary for management of mental illness. We had kind of been hoping that he would focus on some bigger things first.
So anyway, I agree that your experiences sound pretty awful! I would be totally turned off of therapy, too! The therapist that made you do primal screaming and imagined killing sounds completely wacky. And I don't think therapists should be all happy and positive all the time - their role is to get you to see things realistically, figure out what you can change, formulate a plan of action, and discuss your feelings within a safe space. I don't think it's necessarily helpful to sugarcoat things and be overly "nice."
But I guess my advice is to keep searching for a therapist who specializes in your issues if you think that you could use the direction and guidance in overcoming and managing whatever issues you may be dealing with. I really hope there is someone helpful out there for you!
I know this isn't the cynical response you were hoping for, but I hope at least some of that helped. I'm sorry that you've been feeling depressed, and I do hope that you can find a way to feel better, whether that includes therapy or not.
I had a hard time finding therapist, it can help you, but i definitely think will not resolve all your problems, but that's my personal opinion, so it depends on the individual
Thank you Letitbe987 for responding.
I probably won't go to therapy again. I had one I liked. She was a sweet woman and helped me understand how my family actually functioned. I didn't understand how abusive my family of origin was/is. But she's retired now, so I can't go to her. She retired while I was seeing her.
I'm glad it worked for you. I guess it's worked for the other members of this board. Or maybe there just isn't much action on this section of the board.
I think it's nice that your therapist helped your family understand how difficult it is to do things when you're depressed. My nice therapist did that with my husband. Not that my husband was down on me. He knew something was wrong, but going to therapy with me helped him understand why "willpower" doesn't always work with depressives.
i only just read your post so you may have found therapy and started loving it but if you haven't then I totally get what you're saying. I come from a different angle because I had a year of psychotic episodes then still have some symptoms emotional baggage bla bla.
Basically I feel like overtime i try to express myself to a new person that comes int he form of a uni mentor, care coordinator, nurse, therapist, counsellor etc etc. i'm being analysed and picked apart and treated like a car that doesn't work properly and they're just trying to find out why this bit is in the wrong place so I can get going again. But seriously I'm human being and I'm a bit more fucking complicated than a missing tube or a faulty exhaust or whatever the fuck they think is wrong. I get given little theories about my life that include my father, my mother, my ex, my relationships with all the above as though everyone has the same life and the same problems and we can all be categorised as 'codependent' because it just so happens we were in a dysfunctional relationship and the only vocab I have to describe that (says the therapist) is you must want to solve your partners problems because you have low self-esteem
A - that would be a no
B - I've known you for a total of four weeks and your pointing out my flaws as if your my mum
C - your so obsessed with getting a result you don't even notice that I'm really fucking fragile and my emotions are time bomb ready to go off but you'd rather just suggest hackneyed, stogy, outdated, cliched theories so you can get home on time
I swear to god therapists only get away with this shit because their patients are mentally ill and vulnerable it your mate came up to you (which mine do) and started picking apart your life you would (depending on who you are and your attitude towards violence) either have a go or just knock them out or politely explain through gritted teeth that you have complex emotions if your middle class like me woohoo thanks society for teaching me to bury my emotions and then blaming me when I have a breakdown.
To be honest if you don't reply its all good I just needed to vent because everyones got to feel like its bullshit some of the time; maybe sometimes you get a breakthrough but why treat your therapist like the sun shines out of their arse because they've been to school and read a few books by Freud. ANYONE CAN DO THAT IN THEIR SPARE TIME. If you have spare time just read about stuff yourself and make guesses and assumptions then construct a story that makes you feel satisfied, fulfilled/ empowered and self aware about your experiences and thats a good as any therapist can do, but if everyone did that they wouldn't have anyone to pay their bills. I'm getting a bit ANTI-THERAPY now heaven forbid we don't bow down to the men in white coats but anyway despite everything I've said I'm still gonna go because you can just bounce ideas off them and see how it sounds and then when they start making stupid suggestions you can just say no thanks and shut down and then open up again and then shut down. Some people like to think its the holy grail because they want their problems resolved neatly, I personally think life is a lot more complicated than people give it credit for and I'm bored of listening to lazy theories about trauma and mental health. You don't know unless you've been there and what do you actually know about the therapist other than that they want to solve your problem. Wouldn't it be a better scenario if they opened up about their shit as well so they're not all locked up in their ivory tower. Great you have a degree in psychotherapy but how have you handled your own life? How can someone sit there and make assumptions about you and give nothing of themselves away other than they're essentially a nice caring person because they're in the role of caregiver. It's not fucking fair. iT'S ONE-SIDED.
Fuck the whole anti-victim mentality. I'm sorry but not wanting to be a victim is the whole reason I got a mental health problem in the first place just because our society only wants to see people succeeding anything less than that is considered weak, invalid and unwanted. You just have to navigate the way people think and manage yourself sometimes even when they're a fucking health professional. Some people will just never get it and thats when it's time move on.
I am also completely disgusted with the current mental health care system. It's just a racket, a business, a shell game that provides income for any idiot who can get through a university, get through a job interview, or hang out a shingle.
There is no doctor-client confidentiality.... if you mention ANYTHING that makes your therapist "uncomfortable".... and God help us all, all the therapists under the age of 60 have come out the snowflake-generating American academic system... they will report you to the law or whoever... OR.... shove you out the door because they are more concerned with their license than your well-being.
I had moved to a different state and went to a new psychiatrist to get prescriptions for the same medications that I had been maintaining on for several years. He said he could not give them to me because his handbook said they were the wrong meds.... and then "If something happens, I could lose my license". The only way he would issue a prescription from him was if I accepted an additional medication.
"Therapist".... I went to one after I found my wife had been cheating on me. I was looking for a clinical psychologist, got issued a social worker... who was/is some sort of feminist nazi. Didn't like me and didn't take too many pains to hide it.
Screw them, screw therapy, screw meds.... let whatever happen, happen.
And when it does, I have already written a long and detailed letter about it.
I've damaged myself, ok.... MY RESPONSIBILITY, my penance.
I've been damaged by other and those debts will be repaid in full. Screw karma, screw waiting around for the big wheel to keep on turning. I'm going to do, when it is time, what I need to do, and the more damage I can inflict on those who hurt me, the better. Exit smiling.
Interesting topic here as I'm going through the same. I started to get dissolution with therapy myself after seeing a bad one who made me feel worse. I've been trying to pick up the pieces for a year now and I've come to the conclusion that therapy has made me far too introspective for my own good. I give meanings to things in my past that are probably meaningless. Now my days are spent constantly analysing to the point of exhaustion.
I studied a degree in psychology and did some basic counseling training in 2013. As part of the course we had to look at some critiques of psychotherapy. One book was suggested.
How to survive without psychotherapy, by David Smail. I just skimmed the text back then for an essay but recently just read it again. It calls into question the effectiveness of therapy. You may find it a useful read.
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