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  1. #1

    What to say at first

    I think I may have found a psychologist to try. I have kind of a weird question...when the person asks "What brings you here today?" or "what can I do for you" I don't really know what to say. It's like my mind goes blank. I have several things to talk about, but nothing urgent. I don't know what issue to present and I don't want to scare the person off like I did to the other doctor. Clearly I was too forthcoming before. I would say I have two pressing issues, and that is relationship problems and also a desire, or need rather, to stop smoking pot. The latter is the more pressing issue but I don't want to go to an addiction counselor per say, or even twelve step. That is too extreme I think. Is this the kind of thing that a psychologist is able effectively handle? This person's approach says eclectic and mentions stress management as a focus but not substance use or anything. I thought eclectic sounded this a good person to try and if so what exactly should I say brought me in there?

    One side note, when I have gone into therapists briefly (like my husbands and those other couple that I tried) I get extremely tired when they ask me questions. Normally I am full of energy. It's very weird but my point is that I think I need something short to say, no long stories. When I have gone in I've found it unusually difficult to articulate my thoughts clearly or accurately.

    If anyone has any ideas about this I appreciate it.

  2. #2

    What to say at first

    You might say something along the lines of: "I'm dissatisfied with the direction in which my life seems to be heading. I have problems with establishing lasting relationships, and with marijuana use. These are the issues I feel are most important to me at the moment."

  3. #3

    What to say at first

    Maybe it could be something like "Although many aspects of my life are going very well I am concerned about a couple of issues that I think I might have, like a really odd relationship arrangement and chronic smoking that I need to stop"....does that sound scary? I know if I go again for a third time it will most likely be my last attempt so I want to do a good job...then hopefully will the guy take it from there because I wouldn't really know where to go after that.

  4. #4

    What to say at first

    That sounds good to me, hon. I don't think it's scary at all. :)

  5. #5

    What to say at first

    I totally understand how that would be a weird situation to be in... I mean it's probably the most normal thing for everyone else but it does seem difficult to sum up in one or two sentences why you're there, what's wrong, and how you view those things... but I don't think that's really expected either though. I always worry about not making things sound 'too bad' or 'too good', but I guess in the end they can only work w/ what you give them. It's just a good question as a starting point and some people will open up more than others... I don't think there is a right or a wrong, just do what you're comfortable with... any good therapist should be able to take it from there. what you said doesn't sound scarry, it sounds like you have a pretty good idea of why you're wanting to go into therapy, which is a great start.

    it's difficult to trust a stranger in general, so it's not much different in this situation except that this is kind of their job, lol... they're trained to be there for you, listening to your concerns and working through them w/ you and the whole confidentiality thing should be some relief. also, if they ask you questions, remember you can ask questions too and you probably should. this way you're also less likely to feel like you're opening up 100% and getting nothing in return b/c you know nothing about them (approach, training, philosophy, expectations...). keep us posted on how things go?

  6. #6

    What to say at first

    it sounds like you have a pretty good idea of why you're wanting to go into therapy
    Thank you very much for saying that. I sincerely appreciate what you said and especially that comment. It is nice to know that I'm not the only one who feels weird about that. Sometimes it seems like most people here are so comfortable with therapists or in therapy and I'm just not at all. To me it feels like the most awkward thing in the entire world. You really encapsulated exactly how I feel though, that I don't want to sound too bad to treat or too good to have gone in there in the first place like there is no point in being there at all (I go through more or less the same thing with regular doctors too).

    Now that I have something figured out to say (thank you ThatLady) the hard part will be to actually say it if he asks me. I like your point, Eunoia, about asking questions too. I have gone in before with that intention, and then I always get really tired and decide that none of my questions were good or important enough to bother asking. I'm telling you I am therapeutically stunted or something=)
    If this try doesn't work I will unfortunately have to conclude that all of these therapy failures are my fault due to the fact that I am the only common denominator in these situations...
    Are both of you in therapy already?

  7. #7

    What to say at first

    I'm not in therapy, but have been in the past. It helped me tremendously! However, I can't say it was easy to take that initial go to a stranger with the intention of spilling my guts! That's just not in my repertoire of fun things to do! I managed, though, to do what needed to be done, and say what needed to be said, because I knew I wanted to find the very best "me" I could find. I was willing to do whatever it took, and I've not looked back since. The same can be said for my daughter, who is bipolar and still in therapy. We've come a long way, baby! :)

  8. #8

    What to say at first

    you're welcome. you're definitely not the only one who is trying to get 'aquanited' w/ the idea of therapy... I have never thought that there was anything wrong for someone else to go to therapy, but only lately have I come to realize that just maybe it would help me too... I actually have a thread about this, wether therapy is for everyone, in this forum... anyways, then I did go to a counselor but things didn't go too well and so I gave up after that until recently again. so I guess I've never really been in therapy for any of the things I should be in therapy for but hopefully in the new year I can try... I really do think it has a huge potential to be beneficial.... for anyone. I know you said this is the 3rd and last time you'll try but hun, if there's one thing I learned myself and from others it's that it takes a while for people to find the right match usually... I know it's frustrating but so is notgetting the help you want, right?

    all of your questions are important enough to ask. if they're on your mind it's worth asking... and it'll help you make an informed decision. The one time I did go I didn't ask anything about the guy until I had serious doubts about him, and all it took was a few questions.. now if I would have asked from the beginning on I probably would have saved myself a lot of frustration. so ask away! it isn't your fault... it's a difficult decision and process, but again it usually takes several trials for people to find the right meds and/or therapist, just like you would take your time to find a childcare provider, tutor, even doctor... well, most people would at least consider a few factors when making their decision.

  9. #9

    What to say at first

    Well, I have to say now that I am dissapointed because the psychologist never called back. I'm fairly sure that this was not my fault since I didn't say anything on the message but my name and number. It's been three days so it's not looking like he's going to call.
    I know you said this is the 3rd and last time you'll try but hun, if there's one thing I learned myself and from others it's that it takes a while for people to find the right match usually
    I do agree however I feel that is a bit oversimplified due to money, time and travel constraints. Right now I'm on winter break so I have a lot of extra time (which is driving me crazy) but when I'm in school and working it is difficult, to say the least, to make so much extra time, expecially when the endeavors are fruitless. I still haven't got the refund from LCSW who required that I pay him $75 up front even though he should have billed my insurance. He said that when he got that money he would refund my payment, but I never heard from him again. He is so long winded I'm considering forgoing the money just so I don't have to bother with it. I also had to pay $80 in copayments for the other doctor who decided that he couldn't treat me. It's not that this is a lot of money, but it feels like a big waste. I mean, I could have a cute new outfit for that much!
    I also tried to get a referral from my spouse's psych, but the doctor he referred me to was not accepting patients.
    but again it usually takes several trials
    I think one reason I'm feeling a little pressured is because I feel the matter that I wish to discuss is somewhat time sensitive and that I really need someone by February...that kind of why I'm all bent out of shape about this.

  10. #10

    What to say at first

    I don't see how that could have been your fault. Maybe give it another couple of days, this time around christmas and new year's is busy for anyone, but therapists have family and clients to juggle, maybe s/he went on vacation for a few days as this seems a suitable time of the year to do so. Maybe you could try calling again just to 'touch base' in the new year?

    I know that time and $ are always an issue, believe me I understand.. I have the same problems trying to find the time and $ but I've also come to realize that at some point, I will have to make that commitment and extra effort to the best of my ability, if this is what I really want... it must be frustrating though, that's for sure.. and all that $ adds up. I think you have every right to feel that this 'matter' is time sensitive, it's your life after all and you have to live it (what's in Feb?). That's why I'm saying though, don't give up.... it sounds like you really are trying and I wish things would be working out sooner, but hopefully they will soon. give that other therapist another couple of days to call you back, then go from there.

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