New therapist, don't know what to do! Any SW/therapy savvy bees with insight??

posted 1 year ago in Wellness
  • poll: Should I keep seeing her??
    Yes, keep going and see how it goes; exercise caution and take her advice with a grain of salt. : (2 votes)
    10 %
    Yes, she's competent, don't worry! : (19 votes)
    90 %
    No, don't go to her anymore. Keep looking. : (0 votes)
  • Post # 2
    470 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2019

    I don’t agree with the fact that someone who has never been married can’t give good marriage advice. There are plenty of therapists who have never been married or who don’t have kids, etc. – does that mean they should not give advice to married people, or to parents? If they aren’t alcoholics, does that mean they should not give advice to alcoholics? They are trained, even if they don’t have personal experience with a particular subject. So I wouldn’t focus on the “her not being married” part of it, at least 🙂 I think you should continue seeing her and see how it goes, since you liked her a lot. New therapists have to cut their teeth somewhere.

    Post # 3
    4059 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Ultimately it’s your call.

    But therapy is about getting different perspectives and coping tools to help you be the best version of yourself. Someone who has had the exact same life experience as you, may not necessarily be the right person to provide that, as they may not have a different perspective than you. Do you want someone who may challenge you to see and do things differently, or someone who will give you advice you like to hear? Because the latter is what your friends are for, so save your  money.

    Post # 4
    1505 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

    Frankly, she’s not there to give you “advice.”  She’s there to guide you and help you to discover the root of your own problems, and then to show you how you can manage your issues yourself.  A therapist is not there to give you answers.

    I think you might be self-sabotoging here.  You obviously don’t have to stay with a therapist you don’t like, but you seem to have bounced around a lot already.  Are you looking for a way to avoid talking about your real issues because you’re scared?  I say give her a chance.  As you said, she’s trained and capable.  Her age or status doesn’t have anything to do with anything.

    Edited to add: My therapist is actually divorced.  But she’s wonderful and I feel completely comfortable asking her for advice as FH and I get closer to marriage.  Her opinions and guidance are in no way colored by her own personal experiences.  She’s incredibly wise and I’ve never cared about the fact that she has a failed marriage.

    Post # 5
    923 posts
    Busy bee

    Ok, let me say one thing first, as a psychologist of 14 years: your therapist is not there to give you advice. That’s not what a therapist is for. A therapist is there to use their clinical skills, honed through education and experience (which, yes, you get a lot in grad school) in order to help you find your own answers and path. 

    I’ll also say this: there are long time therapists I know who I wouldn’t trust to watch my dog for me. Then there are relatively newer therapists who I think are excellent. 

    I cant speak for SW, but as a psychologist, I had one year of supervised practicum, a supervised year long internship, 3 years of supervised therapy patients in the university clinic, then supervision in my licensure year. To this day, if I have a tough case, I seek out peer consultation. 

    Judge this therapist on her own merits, not her age or when she graduated. 

    Post # 7
    10704 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: City, State

    mlacake29 :  

    As someone who has worked many years in the mental field, and logged in a lot of miles on both sides of couch, I will tell you a little of what I have observed.

    Your anxiety has surfaced to interfere with your choosing a therapist. In the grand scheme of things, where the woman went to school is of no consequence. Most (I can’t speak for all) states require a minimum of 200 hours of providing therapy under supervision by an experienced instructor. That would be to get licensed as a marriage and family therapist, social worker, or whatever titles they use in your area.

    So, you won’t be her first customer.

    Try to let go of the notion that the quality of the therapist should be pegged to the severity of the illness.

    I have known a PhD psychologist and published author with twenty years experience lay waste to an abuse victim, taking the abuser’s side. His advise was so bad, so irresponsible, that the victim could have been seriously injured or killed.

    I know a licensed Marriage and Family therapist who couldn’t be faithful to his wife if the fate of civilization rested on it.

    Way back many years ago when I worked a Hotline, I interacted with counselors just out of college and our in-house training who literally saved the lives of suicidal people.

    I’ve had a number of therapists, some good, some not so much.  I never thought about where they went to school.  Not even when I was in grad school.

    My last therapist is hands down, the best.  She’s an LCSW, which matters a lot to the insurance company.  She got me through a horrific divorce. We worked together for five years, until I moved away.

    Right from the jump, we just vibed well.  Our styles are similar and we were a good personality match.

    I could not even begin to guess where she went to school.


    Post # 10
    1505 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

    mlacake29 :  Your OP mentions 4 counselors total over the last year or so, so that’s I suppose what I was referring to.  But all the better if that’s not the case. =)

    Post # 13
    7778 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2010

     I’m 41, divorced and now remarried with 3 kids. My therapist that I’ve been seeing for 2 years is younger than I am, never been married with no kids. I don’t think that the therapist needs to have the same experiences as me to be effective. I think some people just have “it”- being able to be a good listening ear, provide perspective and a little clarity. And some people just do not have it at all. I would give this therapist another session or two to see how you feel about it.

    Post # 14
    340 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I can appreciate that you might prefer a more seasoned therapist, but relationship status shouldn’t matter. Why? Because generally speaking, your therapist shouldn’t be giving you life advice based on their own lived experience. They might comiserate to build rapport, but their job is not to say “this worked for me”. Rather it’s to provide tools and prompt reflection which help you to make your own choices. In short, the point of therapy isn’t to “lead you down a path” it is to help you blaze your own. 


    Post # 15
    10651 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: January 2011

    I saw a therapist for a phobia, I’m fairly certain she’s younger than me just based on graduation dates.  She worked in a group where if she could get some help from more experienced therapists.  I was also informed before scheduling an appointment that sometimes another therapist might be present – with my consent and with prior notiication.  That never happened.

    I found her to be really helpful and it didn’t take too many appointments to make significant progress.  I had been dealing with the situation that brought about my phobia and facing it multiple times a week for years and I saw her for about 2 months.  Looking at my email (this was a while ago now) I think I had 5 appointments, with the last one only being a half slot.

    I’m a bit surprised people say they don’t really give advice.  Maybe it was because of the type of therapy I was doing, it was all advice about how to do exposures.

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