Post # 1
Here on the B Board, struggling Bees are often advised to seek therapy. Overall, that’s the wise and compassionate suggestion. But, unfortunately, there are bad therapists. And when we’re at our most emotionally vulnerable, it can be especially difficult to navigate. It becomes to easy to surrender to the therapist as the final arbiter of what you ”should” be doing.
I have had personal experience with this. One psychologist was bad to the point of putting me in genuine danger. His awfulness was thoroughly validated for me years later by other professionals. Another who spent every single session arguing with me about politics. The issue was not around her lack of judgment, boundaries, and competence. It was why was I putting up with this shit?
This article struck me as useful; the author is not anti therapy. She is anti bad therapists.
Post # 2
sassy411 : I saw one therapist who told me to just take my medication. That was the last time I saw her.
Now I’ve been with a therapist for two years who completely changed my life.
There are bad therapists out there, people need to know this so they don’t give up if their first experience is with a dud.
Post # 3
- Wedding: May 2016 - City, State
I’m searching for another therapist at the moment.I haven’t had any therapy for four years but I had two bad experiences.
The first, a Psychotherapist, clock-watched and would interrupt me no matter what I was saying to say “you’ve got six minutes left” etc. I know they have other patients but it was really annoying. She also was convinced there was one thing in my childhood that was one trigger for the insomnia I’ve had since I was 19 but there were loads of things. My childhood was pretty crappy but she’d ask the same question over and over, basically because she’d forgotten she’d asked me before. She didn’t seem to believe my responses either; not in the dig deeper for hidden meaning way but not actually believing certain things were said or had happened.
The second I went to for CBT and she basically gave up on me because I wouldn’t role play different friends and family members. She wanted me to mimic their voice, posture, mannerisms etc where as I was just happy to tell her what they had said. She told me that unless I committed to six sessions (paid in advance) with extensive role play then she didn’t think we’d get anywhere. That was that.
I don’t want someone to welcome me with a hug but both therapists were very cold, almost as if I was interrupting their day. Is this common or will I find someone who puts me at ease?
Post # 4
I’m so sorry you had that experience. That sounds awful.
Therapy has been hugely beneficial to me in dealing with clinical depression and anxiety. I saw a therapist for many years and tried many styles of therapy. I will say that I went to one therapist as a teenager that was AWFUL and was gaslighting (my parents were abusive). I never went back after that first session and it took me years after that to seek out therapy again, but I’m glad that I did because I found someone who really helped me. To answer a PP, not all therapists are cold – I have had two in the past that I saw long-term and they were extremely empathetic and kind, and made me feel like I was the priority during those sessions. I never once felt like I was not completely heard and supported with those therapists. They were psychologists, which is more highly regulated than a “therapist” or “counsellor” title (psychologists require a PhD, not a master’s), so that may have something to do with it.
I’m in the process now of finding an EMDR therapist to help me deal with the cPTSD that I have from childhood abuse. I have heard that EMDR is much more effective than traditional “talk therapy” for cPTSD, so I’m hoping for the best!
Post # 5
OMG, retraumatized by your therapist, that is awful. I am terribly sorry.
EMDR can be very effective. Just one caveat: everything hinges on the skill of the therapist and done improperly, can actually be harmful. So, use great care in choosing your therapist. Best would probably be a referral from someone you trust.
The best trauma recovery work I have been able to get done in all of my many years has been via ketamine infusion treatments. Especially when having a therapist sit with me during the infusion. It’s been amazing. We have been able to tunnel so deep, so fast, and clean out so much debris.
Many thanks to our own Pantsapocalypse for being my ketamine muse.
Post # 6
Thank you so much for your insight here. I’m being very careful about who I choose, looking into how they are tailoring the EMDR specifically to cPTSD, as it is not the exact same process as for PTSD. I have narrowed it down to two, but I will be speaking to them both before deciding if I want to move forward with either. I still have a psychologist and doctor, but I want someone who specializes in EMDR specifically for childhood trauma.
I had a very rebellious adolescence and used ketamine regularly during that period because it helped me process the abuse I experienced. It was not for a “high” but actually enabled me to reflect on and process a lot of the trauma at that time. I am absolutely NOT recommending that people go out and do drugs recreationally or self-medicate, as it is risky behaviour. The responsible thing is obviously to consult a health professional (I was young and irresponsible at that time). But it is interesting to me that the research is now showing that it is beneficial for the exact thing I was using it for.
Post # 7
Yes, ketamine is proving itself effective for depression and PTSD, as well as chronic pain, in study after study. The doses used therapeutically are much, much lower than those typically ingested as a street or party drug. And it’s a pure product, delivered at a controlled rate. It’s just enough to produce a comfortable, mild dissociated state.
It’s been around for 50 years; it’s quite safe.
The overall effectiveness is around 70%. However, with PTSD, the success rate is more like 95%.
Post # 8
I had one session with a therapist when my parents split up in 2000, I was still in school so it was offered through the school services. Maybe it’s because I was a teenager, but I thought a therapist was supposed to help me understand what i’m feeling and after I told him the situation he merely said “well I bet that felt a bit shit” I think he thought swearing would help him get down with the kids and build a rapport, but I wasn’t impressed deemed him unprofessional and refused to go again. Also I knew I felt like shit, how else was I going to feel. I didn’t need him to tell me that
Post # 9
How many infusions did it take for you / how often / etc? I am not sure what the process is in Canada for finding a professional to administer and who is experienced with cPTSD.
Post # 10
- Wedding: June 2017 - A vineyard
For me if I don’t like a therapist I find a new one. I’m not going to stick around and let somebody condescend to me. I’m really bad at sharing feelings and probably a bad therapy patient but I find if I like the person it’s easier for me to deal with going. I’ve been lucky that my last 3 have been great. But I’ve had at least one that I hated and it put me off going except for mandatory family therapy because of my brothers and my mother (yeaaaaars of DFS in our lives for different reasons ) I had to not quite be forced into private therapy but sort of close when I was 21/22 and have pretty much gone ever since. I am not looking forward to restarting the process with someone new if we move in a few months.
Post # 11
My original intent was to get rid of a torturous neuropathic itch. We thought it could work similarly to the way it does with neuropathic pain. I ended up with soooooooo much more than I could have imagined.
In my case we did six, two hour infusions, on consecutive days. Very tiring. I’ve had a couple of two hour boosters since.
That is not necessarily a typical protocol. Many people get three or four forty minute infusions spread out over a number of days.
My first session, I did alone. Five with Dh sitting with me and the last two with a clinic affiliated licensed therapist. Whoa. I wish I’d done that sooner. Incredibly powerful.
I also had 30 minutes of acupuncture right before ketamine, so I was super relaxed.
Don’t know where you are in Canada, but here is a link to a clinic in Ontario that has some information on how it works. There is also the Ketamine Advocacy Network, which’s has mountains of information, but is several years out of date. Ketamine’s popularity has gone supersonic. New clinics are constantly opening.
Post # 12
I’ve seen a few therapists, but one of them stands out way out past the rest in a good way. I still continue to see her even though I have moved and it is quite a commute for me to do so, but I found her services to be that worth it compared to others. I never had a super terrible experience with the others, but they were just generally unhelpful. I was seeking out CBT therapists specifically too as that style was successful for me in the past. I think if I didn’t have the one I liked so much for comparison it would be harder for me to realize the other ones weren’t worth the time/money.
Post # 13
- Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise
The outcome of therapy is SO dependent on the client/therapist relationship. And it’s a frustrating irony that when you are at your most vulnerable, it’s REALLY HARD to keep pushing forward to find a good fit if the first attempt doesn’t work out.
I had one therapist I really disliked. I was dealing with severe depression but was limited by the medicaid I was on as far as who I could go see. The person they paired me with was pretty abrasive. I remember she did a depression inventory, and made fun of me for the score I got (it was kind of absurdly high) then proceeded to tell me that since I was “so good at intellectualizing my emotions” and didn’t have the “right affect” she didn’t really think I was depressed.
Then there was the time I went to see a dude who listened to everything I had to say and what I was struggling with and said “Well, I think you understand all the things you need to know. You’re very well educated about mental health. I really don’t think I can help you.”
Which, I mean… thanks for admitting that I guess, but really?
After years of looking I finally found someone awesome who was a perfect balance of compassion and accountability. I liked her so much that after we closed our relationship, I sent both my daughter and another really good friend of mine to see her.
I did also undergo some EMDR and would just say that nothing else I have ever done therepeutically has been more effective at helping me move past trauma. It was not in itself sufficient to address all of the things I was trying to cope with, but it absolutely allowed me to finally release some deeply entrenched pain and the unhealthy patterns it has spawned.
Post # 14
Agree with finding the right fit.
But on another note, hubby and I have been to couple’s therapy twice (both for a few months at a time).
First time DID NOT WORK. Therapist wasn’t wonderful, but wasn’t terrible. But even more so, we were not really in the right mindset of working on “us” together, it was more because we were having issues and therapy seemed to be the thing to do, but it wasn’t because we were ready to go in there, completely open, and ready to make changes individually and together.
second time the therapist was better, but it was a game changer in general because we were both in the right mindset of being on a team and making changes within ourselves to make it work vs. “this is what I want, he doesn’t understand” (and vice versa)
so when people ask if they should go to couple’s therapy, I always say it can work, but you BOTH have to be 110% ready to make changes individually and together, if just one person is willing to do it, or you’re going because you feel unheard but don’t want to change, it won’t work. You both have to WANT to be different and willing to do the work.
Post # 15
Thank you for answering all my questions! I am in Ontario, so this is helpful. 🙂