• Quote of the Day
    "Worrying is like a rocking chair: It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere."
    Van Wilder, posted by Daniel

gooblax

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What is a good reason? Is wanting to talk with the counselor not reason enough?
A good reason would be like:
  • I'm having problem xyz with my psych so will see the counselor to help me work on that, and/or to help me deal with my feelings about the problem until I can resolve it.
  • My psych is unavailable for some reason and I need help with something before he'll be available.
  • My psych is simply not helping with a certain thing and I need to see if someone else will be more helpful.
  • I'm too nervous/ashamed/insert-word-here to bring up something with my psych and want to try talking about it with someone where the relationship is less important and complicated.
Would you have been ok with seeing a client just because they sort of missed you, even though they already had a primary therapist?
Maybe it would help to balance need/want/intuition (on the one hand) and reason (on the other), giving more weight to the former.
The only valid thing I can think of talking to the counselor about is the minor difficulties I've been having with getting my psych onto the same page about preempting some of the bigger problems we might have (i.e. that I suspect that the more I want support from him, the less likely I am to be able to get it, and variations of that). Psych's only counterpoint is that it's an assumption that I'm making, but he never has any comeback when I mention that it's an assumption backed by evidence.
 

Daniel

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So you are getting enough of what you want from therapy?
 
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David Baxter

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A good reason would be like:
  • I'm having problem xyz with my psych so will see the counselor to help me work on that, and/or to help me deal with my feelings about the problem until I can resolve it.
  • My psych is unavailable for some reason and I need help with something before he'll be available.
  • My psych is simply not helping with a certain thing and I need to see if someone else will be more helpful.
  • I'm too nervous/ashamed/insert-word-here to bring up something with my psych and want to try talking about it with someone where the relationship is less important and complicated.
Would you have been ok with seeing a client just because they sort of missed you, even though they already had a primary therapist?

The only valid thing I can think of talking to the counselor about is the minor difficulties I've been having with getting my psych onto the same page about preempting some of the bigger problems we might have (i.e. that I suspect that the more I want support from him, the less likely I am to be able to get it, and variations of that). Psych's only counterpoint is that it's an assumption that I'm making, but he never has any comeback when I mention that it's an assumption backed by evidence.
I would have been okay with seeing a client no matter what the reason was. I don't think that questioning the client's motives for wanting an appointment is appropriate or helpful. The fact that they want a session is reason enough.
 

gooblax

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The client could be overly dependent on something that they're getting out of sessions though, like maybe wanting too much external validation.
 

Daniel

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The way I see it, we are social animals, and one of my favorite terms in psychology is "social facilitation." Even the tough-guy (macho) Navy SEALs do better in a group and rely on each other. You could even argue that's part of the reason they joined.

(And the most stoic prisoner of war I read about would think about his wife back home in order to stay sane when he was in the "Hanoi Hilton." And another big deal for him was communicating with his buddies in the next cell using morse code. So what got him through the most was other people.)
 
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Daniel

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Many/most therapists need to be more client-centered, IMHO. You can do the same thing for you and be more Gooblax-centered :)

Whatever you do, don't be therapist centered. They are not even real doctors :D (that's a joke from the show Mom).
 
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David Baxter

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The client could be overly dependent on something that they're getting out of sessions though, like maybe wanting too much external validation.
Define "overly" dependent. I would suggest that most people in therapy or counseling are dependent on their therapists to an extent while they are working on whatever personal or life issues brought them to therapy. That's not a negative at all. If it were easy for them to do on their own, presumably they wouldn't have sought out therapy to begin with.
 

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"An organizing theme of the book is that humans are fundamentally social beings. Even parts of our life that we tend to think of as personal, such as identity, cognition, and emotion, are conditioned and structured by a web of intersecting social relationships. By acknowledging the limits of individual effort and control, we gain insight into our own lives and the lives of others. We also achieve a more informative outlook on enduring social problems and we begin the process of developing a sociological perspective."
 

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Being a CEO is a metaphor I like. They have assistants, drivers, cooks, etc. And most people would be jealous of such interdependence.
 

gooblax

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I dunno, it seems disgusting. CEOs don't emotionally need their staff for things so to me it doesn't fit.

But it's OK, I remembered how I felt gross and misunderstood during some of the conversations with the counselor so that removed my interest in seeing him again for now.

On the topic of Daniel's pet peeves, now my psych is only one bill behind again. For almost a week he was two bills behind and that was starting to get uncomfortable so I'm glad he finally got around to sorting out one of them.
 

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BTW, about pet peeves, after I experienced an unusual trigger last week (a friend of a friend almost died), I was very close to seeing two therapists concurrently (since my current therapist is "only" available twice a week). But the potential second therapist already irritated me too much by taking too long to reply to logistical e-mails :)
 
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gooblax

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BTW, about pet peeves, after I experienced an unusual trigger last week (a friend of a friend almost died), I was very close to seeing two therapists concurrently (since my current therapist is "only" available twice a week). But the potential second therapist already irritated me too much by taking too long to reply to logistical e-mails :)
Yikes about the friend of a friend, I hope they're ok. And annoying about the potential therapist. I hope you managed to discuss the trigger with your current therapist.

I think right now I'm easily upsettable due to hormonal factors (which tbh are only going to get worse as this week progresses). Yesterday and (more frequently) today making myself upset thinking about a particular issue (related to my psych, of course) and I've added a second issue by reading a thread on a different forum (even by the title I knew it would be triggering, so I held off from reading it last night but couldn't help myself today).
 

gooblax

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Continuing my on-and-off sook about "why wasn't I worth helping" and "why are everyone else's feelings more important than mine".
 

David Baxter

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Continuing my on-and-off sook about "why wasn't I worth helping" and "why are everyone else's feelings more important than mine".
You were and they're not.

Anyone who told you differently was wrong.

And if you're the one who told yourself that, you were wrong.
 

gooblax

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I've been telling myself that for as long as I remember. Likely as a result of the many childhood "stop feeling sorry for yourself"'s ect. But I'm sad/mad about psych not being able to ask the right questions or say the right things back in 2008/9 to let me know that he did think my feelings were important enough. Instead, I couldn't communicate that that was a big problem and would often come away from the sessions feeling like it was only reinforcing the unimportance.

It seems ridiculous for me to get upset thinking about this almost any time I read about someone else asking for help about how they're feeling and then getting the help they wanted.

Somehow I have to try and convince myself that psych didn't help because he didn't have the right skills to help me (ie. someone who couldn't talk about the problems because of my particular set of thought patterns, and my particular set of triggers that I couldn't tell him about) rather than because he didn't care... But I get caught on the thought that surely my 'stuff' isn't that unusual that someone couldn't figure out what was needed, surely it couldn't have been that hard with a tiny bit of effort or thought. The whole "not ready" argument is a cop out. If someone else was having suicidal ideation every day, was practicing a technique so they'd get it right when it was time, was that irritable and empty and angry and sad... they might not be ready for certain types of conversations but they need something (even if they can't say that they "need" it and go into a kind of shame spiral about wanting it).
 

gooblax

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Great, and now my project is going to go to shit because I couldn't successfully communicate an issue at a meeting despite multiple attempts. I tried to raise it, the chief engineer had a different idea in their head and must have responded based on that instead, so then their answer was propagated by others whenever I tried to raise it again. I kept trying and every time I tried to mention that I needed this done as part of the assessment that someone else would be doing. I should've written the damn thing down so they couldn't hand wave it away until the last minute when suddenly it can't be solved.
 

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Somehow I have to try and convince myself that psych didn't help because he didn't have the right skills to help me (ie. someone who couldn't talk about the problems because of my particular set of thought patterns, and my particular set of triggers that I couldn't tell him about) rather than because he didn't care...

Personally, I would say most therapists I have had were helpful but not particularly so. Part of that is because most therapists are not particularly skilled in treating OCD and so are more likely to exude a Dr. Phil vibe or even "clinical pessimism." I think if I had been in group therapy with others dealing with mental rumination, that would have helped if things went south in individual therapy. For various reasons, most people still do not get enough of the right-for-them treatment(s), even in the mental health system.

My current therapist hasn't irritated me yet :) So I finally found a "good fit" again, including with the therapist skills I need. The last time I had such a good fit with a therapist was in 2012, though for the last 10 years I have not been seeing a therapist for the most part. And the pandemic has been the best thing for me getting group support with Zoom and going to therapy more often.

There's also the thinking in the neurodiversity movement that, unfortunately, it still takes people years and years -- sometimes decades -- to find their fit/tribe due to introversion, social anxiety, ADD, OCD, autism, etc. So the goal is to shorten the process by helping society to be more inclusive.
 
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David Baxter

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Not all therapists are created equal and some are just plain incompetent. The really sad part is that for someone like you their incompetence served to reinforce your fear that your concerns were not real or not important enough and that you as an individual were not important.

That should never have happened. :mad:
 

gooblax

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Maybe it seems like incompetence but I just can't see it that way. He's too important to me for me to think that.
 

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