• Quote of the Day
    "Don't let what you can't do interfere with what you can do."
    John Wooden, posted by David Baxter

oversight

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I am very curious about what kind of therapy I've experienced. I have not seen this type of treatment listed as a therapy type. I have had two experiences. The first occurred during college when I went to the student health center because I was having a bit of trouble concentrating on homework. They had me make an appointment with a psychology intern to interview me in order to determine who to refer me to. After waiting 2 1/2 weeks for my appointment, he interviewed me intensely during the hour and mentioned that he could be my therapist. I was rather shocked, since I did not want a trainee and I didn't really like him. At the end of the interview he said he needed more information and that I should make another appointment, and he had me sign a waiver so they could use my information.

The second interview 1 1/2 weeks later was the disturbing part. He would ask a question, and as I was answering it he would interrupt to change what he meant or redefine the question. He repeated this over and over. I asked him if he had the referral, he said yes, but just a few more questions. He kept it up and I got more frustrated and he suggested that he could be my therapist. Again, I did not answer because my answer would have been an overwhelming "What, with you are you nuts?" but I didn't say anything.

I was already stressed out about my school issues, I had cooperated with 20 minutes of his disrespectful questioning style and I decided to walk out the door at in five minutes whether or not I had the referral in hand. The question/change question interrogation continued, which I now recognize as authoritarian/submission play to make me submit based on my confusion and exhaustion.

At the time I was just going to leave because this "wasn't what I needed" and I was feeling threatened. As I made firm eye contact with the door and began to rise he gave me the referral. Again he suggested that he be my therapist. I asked him why he didn't give the release to me at the beginning of the hour and he said "Because you didn't sign the release." That was confusing but I headed for the door. When I got there he opened it but stood in it so I had to squeeze by him and by his outstretched arm, which I felt violated my personal space. After leaving I recalled that I did sign the release. I was so irritated by his manipulation tactics that I didn't consider using the referral because I was now paranoid about therapists for three months.

Forward about 2 years and I went back for another referral. This time a different psychology person gave me a list of about eight therapists in the community. I made an appointment with one. I typed up a page listing my brief history because I thought it might save a little time. I went and soon discovered that it was a two hour appointment. He did not read the page, but criticized me for making it, dropped it on the floor in front of himself said it was worthless, and went on a tirade about privacy issues and state law about what he can not tell other people about me, etc.

He would not let me speak until after he was through with endless minutia delivered in an authoritative voice (lecturing). He made it clear that he was in charge by saying so. He continued to talk at me rarely letting me speak. At one point he said that we all do what we have to in our culture so we can fit in. He tried to get me to agree that I wear the clothes I do because of my gender, and if I were the opposite gender I would have to wear other clothes. I immediately recognized this as a tactic to get me into an agreement mode, which he would use and expand until I was agreeing with just about anything without my own executive oversight. I would not agree, because this is America and if I were the opposite gender I would still be wearing jeans and a T-shirt.

I left after it ended, but went back a minute later to retrieve my paper because I decided I definitely wasn't returning.

Both of these "therapists" made me feel like I was going crazy. If I was not as knowledgeable, I might have been sucked in by the feeling they manufactured in me, which said maybe there was something wrong with me and I should continue to see them. But that feeling I recognized as manipulation in the present, not my real issues. They didn't fit my model of therapy, rather they seemed to operate using indoctrination. Many other people would not be as wise.

What kind of treatment was this? Does this style fit a recognised treatment method?
 
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this is not therapy, this is abuse in my mind. in therapy the client is treated with compassion and respect. you are not supposed to be made felt badly, defensive, threatened, or any of that. therapy is meant to be a safe place where you can constructively work at your issues, and trust in the client-therapist relationship is crucial for therapy to be successful.
 

ThatLady

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Sounds like you may have stumbled on a couple of bad apples. When looking for a therapist, it's always a good idea to talk to your family doctor, or get a recommendation from a good friend or collegue. That way, you have someone's word that this person you're going to see is a professional who's competent to do his/her job. I also think it's important that the therapist be a member in good standing of the controlling organization for their field (ie American Psychiatric Association).
 

David Baxter

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No, it is not like any therapy I've ever heard of. It sounds more like a combination of inexperience and narcissism to me.

Please be assured that not all therapists are like those two. Indeed, no competent therapist would behave that way.
 

oversight

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Well, there is more. A long time before these events my dysfunctional parents took me to a hypno-therapist because they wanted me to be a completely compliant, non complaining work slave on their newly purchased farm. By work, I mean all of my time that I wasn't in school, on the school bus, or the 7 hours sleep I got each night, was forced, often supervised labor. The hypno-therapist was a behavioralist type, his only concern was my outward behavior. He did not believe in internal conflicts, but apparently "new rules replace old rules", as if by brute force. I only remembered what happened in these earlier sessions recently, about the covert hypnosis taking place.

As a result of his manipulation of my subconscious processes during my vulnerable early teen years, I did become the complaint work slave, and my parents got so much more freedom to abuse, intimidate and humiliate me while I was that slave. Also as a effect, I was effectively cut of from forming any other relationships with normal people such as school mates.

One of the memories I have of hypnosis is, when coming out of it, him asking me if I can keep a secret from myself. I remember I simply did not comprehend, because I was still in a trance. Also, during these sessions I was gripping the chair arm so tightly during hypnosis that my arm became sore and exhausted. I now consciously remember the feeling during that was like watching myself be morbidly dissected and altered and being powerless to intervene. Because I did not have conscious memory of the hypnosis, I continued to go back to that therapist even after I left the parents because I thought my difficulties were due to the parents. This therapist then held his grip on me for 14 more years.

During the later periods his treatment often consisted of rapid, twisted questioning and trying to connect my hurried answers to what I had said, for example 20 minutes ago and trying to get me to iron out the inconsistencies. The point of this was to put me in a double bind. If I decided to change what I meant to make it consistent with what I just said, he would disagree and accuse me of denial. If I tried to think about it and explain why my answer was different in this situation, I would have to remember what he originally said which was his opportunity to confuse me and try to make me doubt my memory. His goal was to wear me down so I couldn't explain to make me doubt my own thinking, to put me in a state of shock so I would logically have to accept his answers. He was always confusing me, debating my "logic" with me and then "suggesting an alternative". He told me my problem was "you aren't having your feelings", then try to get me to give him a clue, where upon he would give a quick intellectual analysis of my perception as if it where a pathological problem and say, "may I suggest an alternative way of thinking?" Despite the fact that this was several years since the first hypnosis sessions and I was very defensive against trance, I would leave each session in a dissociated state. As I said, I had not yet recalled the hypnosis. When I finally broke away, one of his last comments was "You don't have any personality. Try to be someone."

My life path has certainly been difficult since then, and I've discovered that therapists are not trained to deal with cases who have been indoctrinated by therapists.

Now, regarding my recent experiences, the first therapist was an intern, and he was very determined and aggressive in his treatment behavior from the start. He was an INTERN, but he seem to really know what he was doing.

The second therapist was nearing retirement. Both of these were involved through the university student health center

Given the background, it seems rather unlikely that I "stumbled on a couple of bad apples". Either there are a lot of bad apples, or there is a pattern regarding what happened to me. If in the latter case, if you are not "in the loop" so to speak, you may honestly not have an answer. However, I am past the point of accepting sympathy as an answer.
 
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oversight, i think you need to find a competent therapist. are you located in the US or canada? if in canada, you can take a look at these following links to see if an individual is a certified licensed therapist:

Deciding to See a Psychologist

How Can I Tell if Someone is Regulated?

if you are located in the US, or any other country for that matter, i am sure you must be able to find a similar listing.

best of luck.
 

Halo

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Oversight,

I just wanted to let you know that I have had my own share of bad, incompetent therapists in the recent past and my only suggestion to you would be to continue on your search until you find a match that works for you. I did and finally found a good match. It takes time and patience but being persistent is the key. Don't give up getting the help that you want based on a couple of bad experiences with people that shouldn't be calling themselves professionals.

Wishing you luck :)
 

oversight

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Perhaps someone else here may be able to answer my original question, perhaps this is the wrong place to look for an answer. However, I am really shocked to receive advice that I should seek therapy as a result of asking my question and describing more background. Did I say a BAD thing?

In my previous I replied to David to add information regarding my original question. I did not expect a different person to tell me to seek therapy. Will a therapist answer my question? One inner message I receive from this advice is that I had better keep this information low profile if I want to avoid receiving more stigmatizing advice suggesting that I need mental help. The other message I receive from your advice is that I have made myself unwelcome at this forum and I should take the hint and leave. Unless you actually have a diagnosis.

If I went to a therapist, I would be asked why I was seeking therapy. At that point my only answer would be to say that someone who I don't know on the Internet told me to. Have you diagnosed me? Would you mind telling me what I should tell the therapist?

Otherwise looks like if you can't answer the question, have the person with the question get therapy!
 

foghlaim

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Hi Oversight,,

Did I say a BAD thing?
quick anwer. No.

The other message I receive from your advice is that I have made myself unwelcome at this forum and I should take the hint and leave. Unless you actually have a diagnosis
I can't see where in any of the post's where you have gotten this message.

There are many members here who do not have or need a diagnosis.. that doesn't mean that they cannot post a question here and or offer suggestions\advice to anyone else. We are all here to get and or offer support to each other. All advice or sugestions are posted with the best of well intentions and to be taken as such and as is said here on other threads.. to be taken "under advisement". Only you can decide if you NEED therapy.

your Original Question
What kind of treatment was this? Does this style fit a recognised treatment method?
I believe was answered by the posts #'s 2, 3, and 4. In so far as ppl here, both professional and regular members have been able to ans, based on their experiences.

You certainly have had a cpl of bad experiences... which appear to have left you with some questions. I'm glad you posted your questions here as your post may help you find your answers and also help others who maybe has had similar experiences.

good luck in your search :)
 
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oversight, i am sorry if our replies made you feel unwelcome or that you said a bad thing. that was not our intent at all, this forum is about providing support to one another, and advice based on our own experiences.

the reason i suggested you find a therapist is because you said the following:

However, I am past the point of accepting sympathy as an answer.
i took that to be that you didnt want the answer to be, "we're sorry you've gone through this, and you've just run into a couple of bad apples". i took that to be: "i want a solution." to that effect i tried to give you the best advice i could come up with.

the original question has been answered, this was not proper therapy in any way, shape or form.

as to why i advised you to seek help, you've basically described your parents abusing you, and having forced you to go to a hypno therapist who said things to you like "can you keep a secret from yourself". i almost get the feeling you have been manipulated, maybe brainwashed, in some way or form. whatever has happened to you, i think it was abuse. and in that light, i thought it would be helpful to you to seek help to undo the damage of your past.

i apologize if i have offended you or made you feel like you're mentally incompetent. that was not the implication at all. we all here have had our share of problems that couldn't be sorted out on our own. in my case i became depressed, and it spun out of control and i became suicidal. i could have died. without therapy and anti-depressants i am not so sure i'd be here today. i am very thankful the profession of psychology exists, as sometimes problems we face in life are too overhwhelming or difficult to solve on our own. getting help with, in my case, depression, does not at all mean i was mentally incompetent.
 
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oversight, i re-read what you posted and also want to comment on the following:

One inner message I receive from this advice is that I had better keep this information low profile if I want to avoid receiving more stigmatizing advice suggesting that I need mental help.
this is purely your interpretation. the last thing i want to add to in this world is the stigma that surrounds the idea of seeing a therapist. the stigma is what makes people NOT get help. i myself was very embarrassed when i first went, and it was hard to overcome that. i now know there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, and i also wish i had gone much, much sooner. therapy has been incredibly helpful in my life and to be honest, i feel that every single person out there could benefit from therapy, even if you've had a wonderful childhood and you have no major problems. we all have our issues and problems, and therapy is a good way to change our perspectives on life. there is a lot of wisdom i have received from my therapist that i think everyone could benefit from.

i guess i have been with this forum long enough that i forget that most people may see it as an attack when it is suggested they see a therapist. we all here accept the idea of seeking help as a Good Thing, something you can only benefit from. i apologize for losing sight of this, that it might be interpreted differently.

i hope this clarifies things a bit more for you on where i was coming from, and i hope you still do feel welcome here. we welcome anyone here on the forum and are here to be supportive. :)
 

David Baxter

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Let me echo the comments of others here, oversight. Your original post asked whether this sort of behavior on the part of a therapist was "normal" or common, and clearly the answer is "no".

I think like others I assumed you must have had a reason for seeking therapy, although I understand now that originally the motivation was more from your parents (or entirely from your parents) rather than from you. Nonetheless, it's not an unreasonable leap to assume that you were still concerned or distressed enough about some of your experiences to be looking for help resolving them -- that's why people were encouraging you to persist in finding a therapist who was not like the previous ones and reassuring you that good therapists do indeed exist.

Also, many people who seek counseling or psychotherapy are not mentally ill by any sense of the word, but rather ordinary people seeking help with certain issues in their lives. Indeed, for the average therapist in private practice, I daresay most of the clients would fit into this category. Thus, for people to suggest psychotherapy to you or to anyone else is not at all necessarily to suggest that you are mentally ill.

Finally, to your question, "Did I say a bad thing?", no... not at all. You raised an important point -- there ARE poorly trained or insensitive therapists out there -- but as the responses of other Psychlinks members have said, there are also many good and competent therapists out there.

Otherwise looks like if you can't answer the question, have the person with the question get therapy!
I have at least two reactions to this. First, I also thought your question (or primary questions) had been answered. If that is incorrect, perhaps you could help us with some further clarification. Second, one of the reasons you tend to get this sort of response (i.e., consider therapy or counseling) on any forum like this one is that no-one can glean all of the relevant information about you, your history and experiences, your family background, and your current circumstances from a few forum posts, not even from relatively lengthy forum posts. My psychotherapy sessions last an hour and in the initial two or three sessions I typically ask a lot of questions about current symptoms/feelings and personal and family history, and I do this before starting to draw any conclusions about diagnosis, goals for therapy, or the best approaches to therapy. This forum can provide some advice and support but it most definitely is NOT a substitute for direct face-to-face contact with a therapist or counselor.
 

oversight

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I am not seeking help with an issue in my life. I am seeking information about the behavior of therapists, and yes, part of my question had been answered.

The answer is that the therapists where not behaving in an appropriate or competent manner. However, I still have considerable doubt that I am getting an honest answer, because of my experience with some of these therapists has been to assure me in a very upfront way that they aren't doing X, and to distract me from that awareness, while then powerfully continuing to do X.

A telling clue about therapists' honesty is that near the end of the 14 year period with the first one, who by the way made a big thing about honesty, (saying that adults are always honest, combined with his perceived need in me to be a grownup as a ploy to make me be completely open) at one point he replied, "I just want to see if I could slip something under the rug".

However, I regained a valuable memory as a result of the two replies suggesting I get therapy. So this forum has been a valuable resource for me.

The dysfunctional parents took me to the therapist, while it was very clear to me that they were the ones who needed therapy. I didn't need therapy, THEY DID. Part of me was relieved to be able to speak to an adult outside of the parents, but part of me saw this as yet another unjustified punishment, and that they had tricked a person from the supposedly normal-people outside to do this unjustified punishment treatment whereby I would be "fixed". I felt a lot of deception must have gone on and that I had been placed on the wrong side of the credibility line.

I thought maybe I could get this first therapist to understand that it was really the parents. Of course he did act caring, and regarding my concerns he said, "but I am on your side". Which was very sneaky trick because while technically it was not a lie and it tricked me into thinking he understood the situation.

In cases when its the sadistic/narcissistic/borderline parents who are the problem, and the therapist initially thinks he will give the so called "patient" some coping devices. But when these don't work because of the extreme situation, the approach slides into full personality modification, covert hypnosis or cognitive behavioral therapy, which results in internal conflicts. The unfamiliar distress the patient newly finds himself used to justify the patient's presence in therapy, "you are here for a reason" - because now the victim can be presented with evidence that there is mental problem. The patient himself has become the means to the end, which is to place blame on himself, the child victim. The blame is insidious, in that it is about having the wrong perceptions, or thought behavior, or emotional responses regarding the reality of the abuse situation.

The "get therapy" advice from the members in forum has reminded me of these earlier perceptions, and the anger at the parents for sending me to therapy. And that this anger was controlled, muted and used as another "symptom" to justify treatment by the therapist.

As far as the two therapists that I tried to see since then, other than the 1) incompetent therapist theory, I consider that 2) I am in a controlled experiment and they are trying to pull me back into a controlled brainwashed state, as if indoctrinating back into a cult. Because that is what it seemed like. There are documented cases of cooperative experimentation without consent on groups of persons from the general population, both here in the US and in Canada. Another possibility 3), they know my history and are trying to invoke a transference reaction with the intent to heal. To that end, I wrote to the second of these therapists, the older one, recently after seeing him. I told him why I thought his therapy was valuable to me but he did not reply.

I recently spoke to a neighbor from that time and I described what was happening to me then because he would have remembered me acting blank, emotionless and acting like a scared animal. He then commented that, "It's really sad what parents can do to their children and then lie about it." He declined to tell me what the lie was.

Regarding my last post, It was important that you receive my interpretation of "see a therapist". I did not give you a socialized communication, one controlled for general consumption because I wanted you to know the actual effect. Since I did recover something of value from it, I feel a little guilty for causing so much to be written as a result.

Sometimes I consider that if caveman had therapists, we would all still be living in caves in the woods because therapists would have always taught cavemen "to accept what we cannot change", and other types of similar advice. So the automatic response from a therapist can help or hinder.
 

David Baxter

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oversight said:
I am not seeking help with an issue in my life. I am seeking information about the behavior of therapists, and yes, part of my question had been answered.
I'm sorry but I'm still confused about what part of your question has NOT been answered.
 

ThatLady

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If it's the behavior of therapists we're talking about here, I guess I'd have to say that therapists are people. There are good people and less-than-good people, just as there are good therapists and less-than-good therapists. We meet both types during our lifetimes. Sometimes, we can't tell the difference right away. That would be especially true for a child, I'd think. In the case of a therapist, a lot of damage could be done to a child who was taken to a therapist who was not qualified to treat that child.

Personally, I'm of the belief that no child should be "taken" to a therapist. All children should be accompanied to the therapist, as it's usually the whole family that needs help. The family dynamic is messed up and all family members need to learn to react differently to problem situations if their methods of doing so are resulting in problems for the child. If your parents just "took" you to get "fixed", you were done a disservice by all concerned. I can agree with you there.

Having said that, I must also point out that the disservice is now a part of your past. It's not in the here and now. If it has left wounds, those wounds can create all kinds of feelings - anger, distrust, insecurity, sadness - you name it. They can interfere with your efforts to live a happy, productive life. I think that's why several of us suggested you look into therapy. You had some very traumatic experiences, and a good therapist can help a person put the trauma of the past behind them so that the now can be made better and the future can be molded into what that person wants for his life.

I'm not sure how old you are now, or how far behind you these events are. I'm unable to determine from your posts how much these events have influenced your current state of satisfaction with yourself and your life. If you're happy and secure today, then these events are not impacting your life in a negative way. They can be put where they belong - behind you. If they are causing you problems still, that's when a good therapist can help. Having had therapy myself, and having a daughter who is bipolar, I've met a few inadequate therapists. I've also met one of the most helpful, caring, and effective therapists anyone could ask for.

Just as you'll meet great people with whom you can form lasting friendships, you'll meet your share of lemons. The same is true of therapists.
 

Halo

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Just as you'll meet great people with whom you can form lasting friendships, you'll meet your share of lemons. The same is true of therapists.

Well said TL....I like the way you put that :)
 

oversight

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I will reply first David's query regarding what part of my question has not been answered.

"What kind of treatment was this? Does this style fit a recognized treatment method?" The answer to my question in this forum is Bad treatment and it is not recognized treatment.

Before posting I had decided if I had received this answer I would silently disagree and leave. However, David's reply, "Indeed, no competent therapist would behave that way." Didn't fit with having two in a row, both acting similar and powerfully motivated toward me. Presented with this conflict, I went on to disclose more, but without admitting that the answer was unsatisfactory in the hope that I might get more information about why I was getting similar treatment from two consecutive therapists, one the intern, the other older. I do not accept the answer that I had a coincidental experience. I am convinced that I was targeted with some sort of treatment script in both cases, and I am mainly concerned with finding out what that script was.

Since then I have tried seeing some therapists. However, therapists by their commonality with the first therapists ask the same particular questions and make similar replies to my statements. And a question can seem like a statement because a statement can be formed as a question. A statement can re-tramatize me because I am not strong enough to have an transference reaction to these perceived statements. I tell them that they are restarting the false personality that was trained in me by the first therapist but this seems to be an invisible statement to them.

I also feel that they want to avoid experiencing the effect of the first therapist and so tend to attempt to "solve" my experience in a clinical intellectual way as if it where a math problem. This certainly re-tramatizes me, again, because the first therapist did the same thing with the extremely strong emotions I was experiencing under my parents on the work farm.

That is why seeing a "competent therapist" is not the answer, even one who is competent for most people. It has to be a therapist skilled in dealing with patents abused by therapists. Otherwise I get hooked into staying through the dependency on the therapist, who has since evoked the false personality, who is also supporting the evolution of the false personality by giving it therapy rather than giving me therapy to overthrow it.

I eventually leave the therapist and although I may have gained some skills, I take months to recover the self from the new and improved even more socialized false personality. In contrast, when online I have some anonymity, I am not in a room with four walls owned by someone else who makes the rules. I can let days pass to let the truth surface, where in a personal visit the false personality has immediate control and takes center stage during the hour.

Also, the doing of my own research has been extremely valuable in de-linking self-knowledge from the control of a therapist. I have been impressed by the quality and insight of some of the work produced in recent years, probably because it breaks the deadening statements that I have heard previous therapists say and discloses my truth.

However, it is still a very dangerous idea to "see" a therapist at this time. Based on my experience with these recent therapists, I learned that if I am looking for a therapist and I state the area of skill or knowledge I am looking for in a therapist, I would never hear, "Hmm, I am not really an expert in that, may I refer you?". If I could judge better their skills, it would help me avoid the situation I described above, but unfortunately therapists handle the initial session like a first date.
 

David Baxter

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David's reply, "Indeed, no competent therapist would behave that way." Didn't fit with having two in a row, both acting similar and powerfully motivated toward me. Presented with this conflict, I went on to disclose more, but without admitting that the answer was unsatisfactory in the hope that I might get more information about why I was getting similar treatment from two consecutive therapists, one the intern, the other older. I do not accept the answer that I had a coincidental experience. I am convinced that I was targeted with some sort of treatment script in both cases, and I am mainly concerned with finding out what that script was.
There is no such "treatment script", at least not in any legitimate therapy. I have been a therapist for almost 30 years and, assuming what you have described here is objectively accurate, I do not know of any competent legitimate therapist who would do the things you describe.

Since then I have tried seeing some therapists. However, therapists by their commonality with the first therapists ask the same particular questions...
That's true. There is a commonality in the initial questions therapists will ask. That's how they learn enough about you to determine what the issues are that are to be addressed.

Based on my experience with these recent therapists, I learned that if I am looking for a therapist and I state the area of skill or knowledge I am looking for in a therapist, I would never hear, "Hmm, I am not really an expert in that, may I refer you?". If I could judge better their skills, it would help me avoid the situation I described above, but unfortunately therapists handle the initial session like a first date.
Again, that is contrary to the rules of ethical practice. I frequently tell clients who are looking for specific approaches or treatment for issues where I have no expertise that I don't offer that service - often, I'll suggest specific psychologists who DO treat those issues.

May I ask what sort of therapists you have been dealing with previously? Understand that anyone can call himself/herself a "therapist", but not all therapists have equivalent training and many are not licensed by a regulatory college or other regulatory body. I would strongly suggest that you look for a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist.
 

ThatLady

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Another thing of note is that the first two therapists you mention, the intern and the older therapist, were from the same group, were they not? They were affiliated with your school's assistance program, if I remember correctly. Rather than what you experienced being some kind of therapy "script", it may have been that the second therapist was working from the information he had concerning the initial therapist's findings.

Have the therapists you've seen since been from this same group?
 
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the other thought that came to mind after thatlady's response is that maybe the intern had been trained by the older therapist, and thus was using the same techniques. have you seen any other therapists besides these two? if so, did it feel like the same approach again?
 

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