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I'm at the place where I'd like a therapist now, but afraid to go. (Feel a general distrust for them). May I ask about your experiences? Also, isn't it possible that any therapist could be a crazy bast#ard himself? Sorry...may be going off the "deep end"...(as dad would say). The more details the better...hate to be nosey...but info helps me feel less anxious. I'm sorry that I can't answer every responder this time ...lots of fatigue lately too. Uuggh. Thanks in advance tho.

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So, here are the gritty details.

Suidical and depressed after kid number 2 was born, I ended up in the office a well-trained female psychiatrist who got me from point A (wanting to kill myself and my babies) to a bit more stable. She was a lovely person and probably could have helped me if I'd stuck with her, but I just couldn't relate or relax. Being able to relax in therapy is huge.
She got me on course to lose some weight and to finish my undergrad degree.

After kid 3, teaching preschool and dreadfully unhappy in marriage and life, DH and I sought out a therapist. Greenwich Village, nice guy, had a bad back; he lay on the couch while we talked. He tossed my DH out after 3 sessions and kept me in individual therapy. DH assumed this was because I was the "sick" one. In reality, it was because DH has/had a personality disorder that can't be fixed. It was in this course of therapy that I realized that I needed to go to grad school.

So score one for this guy.

Fast forward; beginning of grad school and a real life crisis that I won't go into but I was yet again at the point of self destruction. My OB-GYN got me a referral to a therapist of the sort I said I would NEVER see--an older, NY Psychoanalytic Institute trained Jewish (I'm Jewish) guy 20 years older than I. After a couple of weeks of antagonizing him, we clicked over the fact that we were both accomplished amateur musicians. There was a shorthand that we had in music that made the therapy easier.

It's not so much about the discipline as it is about the relationship. That takes some time to develop. Go see someone. Talk about why what THEY are doing isn't working.

Resistance is a big part of the process.
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anonymous828521 Oct 3, 2019
Thanks barb:) but I will not 'relate' to anyone right now... Just want to discuss practical daily living things & how to adapt to my disappointments. (Sort of like a friend would do for me, but mine have died over the last few years).
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My daughter is a therapist.

The most important things to look for are the initials LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor) behind the person's name. This indicates they have been licensed by their state to provide psychotherapy. Each state has different requirements but they all include at least a Master's Degree and many hours of supervision. My daughter's degree is a MEd in Counseling and she had to have over 200 hours of supervision. Continuing education is also required.

Most PhD (or PsyD) psychologists these days provide diagnostic testing and supervision only, probably because they are the only ones qualified to do the testing and they can make a heck of a lot more money doing that.

If a therapist is not in practice with a psychiatrist, they will usually have one they can refer to if they feel medication might help.

There are many different types of therapy that have been proven effective. There are even more different types of people licensed as therapists. You really just have to find one that clicks with your personality.

Whatever you do, avoid anyone calling themself a “Life Coach!” Any idiot can take an online course and print up a certificate!
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anonymous828521 Oct 7, 2019
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I think that if you have had therapy a few times you may already have a whole lot of the tools you need to self help. IE the platitudes of "And what are you doing for yourSELF" and "What plans are you making for yourself that sound like things you will enjoy" and "What are some things you could do to talk to yourself when these anxious thoughts intrude " and so on and so on.
Anxiety once virtually ruled my life. It manifested as panic and the "where's the bathroom" drill, making me afraid to move out and on with life. I would say after two therapists and a lot of years of life I simply got SICK of it. I was in a grocery store one day, cart full, and it hit and I got the usual feeling of draining dread, thought "I have to leave I have to leave I have to leave or I will pass out and soil myself" and suddenly I thought "Leave AGAIN???? Come back and regather all the stuff AGAIN??" And I thought, "Nope. I am staying. If I collapse and soil myself I will say "sorry. Panic attack". '
After that it began to let go a bit. I won't say that personalities such as ours, which buy into fight or flight, won't melt down periodically. We WILL. It's life for us.
Therapists are so individual. I know one who told my friend "You will be in therapy all your life" and I said "what that says to me is that you are one very sick individual or HE is one bad therapist."
For me I need one without platitudes I think, one who will make me think, make me work, disturb me, stop my stirring things in the same direction endlessly. I think social workers are great for life change stuff. Dealing with birth and death and caregiving and illness. Psychologists better for more out of the box stuff perhaps but wow, do they ever vary. Usually one meeting will let you know if this person might be right for you. I don't do magical thinking and the "why not try lavender oil" school of thought. I do well with someone who says "OK, you have been doing this some time. Here's an exercise I want you to try next time you have this...." Or says "OK, I heard that story. I don't want to hear about your Mom (husband, son....whomever) again for a while. I want to hear about YOU". Yes, it makes one uncomfortable. Makes one work. For me that is good. For someone else it might be devastating.
So it's like flavors of ice cream. Try a few and see who you like best. Try to know when someone just isn't for you versus when you hit that "I am scared and I want to cut and run again" thing.
Good luck. All this said, not sure there is a right or good answer.
You are grieving. Yours is a grief with complications. And sometimes there is NOTHING to be done but time. I hope help helps.
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anonymous828521 Oct 3, 2019
Alva, thanks, (it does sounds like me, lol). I have little patience for: positive affirmation, or self-care blah blah... Cuz I already do it. I'm not much disturbed by mother passing, but found out this week that I'll prob not work again. That was the last straw.
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One thing that I learned to really respect with my social worker was he told me straight up from day one that most likely he would say things that I would not like. He asked me to hang in and give him a chance and not quit after 2 or 3 sessions like some people do. Later he told me that he respected me for working so hard in therapy and discussing tough topics. It’s hard to focus on painful parts of our lives. Once that is discussed and it helps them to understand us better then you can move forward to planning the best steps for a healthy future.

I really respect that he told me that I may not like everything he had to say. It was one of the most helpful things he said to me early on in the relationship. He truly wasn’t being insensitive at all but clearly he was well aware that some people who are struggling are indeed overly sensitive. I was one of those people who was overly sensitive and sometimes misunderstood those who were only trying to help but I wasn’t ready to hear it. Sometimes when we are overwhelmed we can read more into a situation than there is.

His remark to me made me aware that I needed to be open minded and fair and not quit the first time I wasn’t happy with a response of his and to hang in there for the long haul.

Plus I relate to ‘no nonsense’ direct people who don’t sugarcoat everything. He was fair with me also. It was a two way street.

Once I told him that he was off base about something and he asked me to tell him why I felt that way. His response was incredibly kind to me and he told me that he did assume something that was clearly not how I felt and understood my attitude and told me that he was giving me a ‘free pass’ for feeling as I did.

Therapists are human just as we are. They understand how we feel and for the most part with a good therapist we are in safe non judgmental hands. If they need us to clarify a topic they will ask and it’s our responsibility to clarify it for them.

Taking a break if needed is okay. I wouldn’t be so quick to write someone off. Working with the therapist like I have caused me to look at myself a lot more seriously. I am very grateful for that.

It’s just like the people on this forum. The ones that pointed out things that I should consider helped me the most. It doesn’t matter if I didn’t hear what they said right away because it was food for thought and they planted a seed that grew and I am grateful.
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Yes, I believe in therapist. I have been seeing the same person for over 20 years. The one thing people do is; they pay someone to lie to them. In that case, don’t bother. If you can’t spill your guts and talk about those deepest darkest ugly secrets, resentments and those things that gather cobwebs in the corners of your brain, don’t go. I told my therapist (LMHC) I would not pay someone to lie to them. She gets nailed with the very worst of me. Warts and all. When I am done with everything, she kind of gets me to ‘dig deep’ and find where those feelings are coming from. She gives me ways to see things from a different perspective. But the secret to success in seeing a therapist is up to you and can you be brutally honest? My therapist is a LMHC, meaning she has a degree and license but cannot prescribe medication, which is fine with me. Therapy has helped me to become a better person, help me through the “OMG-drop dead crisis and drama” of raising a teenager, save my marriage in 2010. But I don’t hold back ANYTHING!!! I make it a point to check in with her every six months or so when things are going well, or everything is at least OK. But when things get out of hand I go to her every week, every other week, depending on what situation I am having. So, find a therapist you are comfortable with and do it!! One of the huge things I have discovered is my brother and sister think in a totally different way than I do-They think they are ‘fine’. I know what we went through and after all is said and done, you cannot be fine after all that!! They drink, they scream and yell at people. See a therapist.
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anonymous828521 Oct 6, 2019
Im sure you're right about sharing gut wrenching issues, to get the most out of the therapy. I'm just not up to that right now, & have to see if maybe I can share more after I feel stronger. Thanks.
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I have a PhD in Hypnoptherapy a MA in Education and a MS in Psychology. I have been assisting people for 15 years. I think that the education a psychologist focuses more on the individual/family where the social worker also spends time on Medicaid laws, Child welfare laws, foodstamp issues, many other topics that are not relevant to therapy. Another point that I am not sure of is that I think I spent more time reviewing drugs the number of choices and the many that are used in mental healthcare compared to Social Workers.
Also online Check at Michigan State University or at one of your States major Universities and look at the Classes required for a MS in Psychology and compare it to that of a Social Worker!!! God Bless You & Good Health!
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anonymous828521 Oct 6, 2019
Much appreciated, thank u DrJack, I think those are important points u made.🌷
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A social worker helps you strategize how to “eat the whale one step at a time.” Sometimes life can seem overwhelming,and this SW can help you chew off a little at a time. Psychologists, on the other hand are more concerned with why a person behaves one way or another. It is a science. I hope this helps you. The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.
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anonymous828521 Oct 7, 2019
That's a good way to put it! (Eat the 🐳). Haven't yet heard back from the therapists that I emailed...but no worries.
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Elder Therapist. Social worker for community help with elder resources. The 2 are trained differently.
Make sure what your pocketbook can handle. Your insurance copays can be high. Catholic Charities has a sliding scale. You dont have to be Catholic. Just because a therapist says elder, doesn't mean they are any good for you. A young therapist just can't "get" what we are emotionally going thru at our age, the losses, guilt, remorse, fears, grieving, etc. Check with AARP, local elder groups, etc. Don't just pick one from a list. A 35 old person just can't get us
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anonymous828521 Oct 6, 2019
Yes BadKnees, I agree about the therapist's age being a factor. It wud be ridiculous for me to see a 20 or 30 year old therapist, lol. It is funny tho, how many of the 20 year old's profiles say 'elder specialist'...😱😁
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I definitely had better luck with a LCSW than I did with any psychologist that I saw. I had one psychologist that worked with my son and then I went to her and every time I talked with her she YAWNED!!! EVERY DAMN TIME!!! I wanted to say to her am I boring you????
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NeedHelpWithMom Oct 6, 2019
Geeeez, Elaine

Can’t say that I blame you for being annoyed with the yawning. Did you ever want to ask them if they suffered from narcolepsy? Would have crossed my mind after boredom. Sorry you experienced this. That would be quite unnerving.
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Find anyone who won't YAWN while you are talking to them!!!
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Angeleyes1 Oct 6, 2019
Haha, that's very good! I had one many years ago who actually did fall asleep!
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