Post # 16
I have been to individual counselling and marriage counselling.
I have had exceptional therapists and I have had therapists who I wouldn’t hesitate to call incompetent and dangerous.
I am quick to encourage individual counselling, provided the therapist is highly skilled and makes you feel comfortable and safe. My experience is that clinical psychologists are worth the extra money, although I also briefly saw a pastoral counsellor with a background in trauma counselling who was very good.
I am far more reluctant to suggest marriage counselling and think it is frequently a reflexive suggestion because it sounds like a good idea, not because it actually is.
The very worst therapy I’ve had was when I went with my abusive ex-husband. They failed to see the abuse, failed to call it what it was, participated in his gaslighting and psychological abuse of me, and worked from the position that I needed to “own my part” and love him more. Unfortunately, I know from my domestic abuse survivors support group that that is the norm, not the exception. For all the talk about domestic abuse, many therapists don’t recognize it when it’s right in front of them and become a proxy for the abusive spouse.
The very best therapy I’ve had is when I went on my own to a clinical psychologist who specialized in domestic abuse and trauma disorders. She correctly identified the abuse, diagnosed me with PTSD secondary to domestic abuse, and helped me start to function again.
Post # 17
I personally have never gone, however I have many friends who go to therapy regularly and they are changed for the better. I’ve seen them grow through their therapy sessions which is why I recommend it on here. There are certain situations where therapy is a necessity to overcome underlying issues. Trauma, sometimes breakups, inability to move on being a few of those situations.
Post # 18
I have been to individual counseling a few times during grad school and postgrad training. My programs were really big on making sure people had resources to help with stress, etc. The sessions were confidential and paid for through the program, so they were very easily accessible. I felt very fortunate to have that option available. Only once did I not mesh well with the counselor, and I think she didn’t realize I just needed a quick tune up rather than a long therapeutic relationship with her.
Post # 19
I’ve seen psychologists myself on and off since I was a teen. It has helped me immensely!! If you don’t gel with one, try another. Not all counselors and psychologists are created equal.
Post # 20
Interesting thread, I don’t feel therapy is as prevalent over here in the UK – though it definitely is a thing, I only know people who have mental health issues who attend (though I guess you may not be shouting about it if you do go…). I assume it’s different to the image in my head of lying on a couch and working out how your parents screwed you up?
Post # 21
I was sent to a child psychologist when I was in elementary school. I actually didn’t fully understand why I was there and it wasn’t until years later that I learned that my teachers kept telling my parents there was something wrong with me. But the psychologist said I was fine and once they pulled me out of that school I never had another teacher who brought up any concerns to my parents. And the during college I took advantage of the fact that I had free access to therapy had a few session sporadically when I was having trouble dealing with some issues (pretty much either stress or weight issues). I always found it helpful.
I’ve never gone consistently over a period of time though.
Post # 22
I was in therapy at 18/19 to help me deal with my mother’s mental illness. I found it incredibly helpful to speak with someone who understood mental illness (as most people in my life – outside of my immediate family – have no experience with it) and who was separate from the situation. She also helped me to understand a lot of my own actions and how they linked back to me struggling to deal with my mum’s diagnosis (I hadn’t seen them as linked at all).
My mum has recently had another episode (she is currently hospitalised because of it). As the first episode in more than 6 years, it has brought a lot of things back to the surface that I thought I had dealt with as well as a lot of new things that have never affected me before. I plan to go back to my therapist in the next few months (when things with my mum have settled down and I have a bit more time to actually attend an appointment) to help me deal with these things.
I don’t recommend therapy, individual/couples/family/whatever, to everyone but I do think it can be helpful for some people in some situations. Darling Husband would not find any sort of therapy useful, although I may try to get him to come along with me once this time around so that he can gain a little more insight into my feelings surrounding my mum (I have a really hard time verabalising it and I know he wants to help but doesn’t know how to).
Post # 23
We go weekly to family therapy- one week my 13 year old goes and the next week my husband and I go. We address a variety of issues in being a blended family. I like our current therapist. I have previously been to some therapists who sucked though. I find they either “get” you or they don’t.
Post # 24
I’m sorry bee. Stay strong, and don’t forget to take care of yourself, too.
Post # 25
jimonabee89 : I have seen a clinical psychologist and a psychiatrist for OCD, anxiety and depression. I consider ‘therapy’ to be different in that it’s for people without a diagnosed mental illness who need assistance with an issue like grief, relationship counselling, self esteem, overcoming non PTSD trauma, etc. I think both therapy and psychological/psychiatric treatment can be incredibly useful.
Post # 26
I disagree, I see a psychiatrist for GAD but behavior therapy is how I got my life on track. It usually goes hand in hand with seeing a psychiatrist. Medication together with therapy has been proven to be the most successful.
Post # 27
I’ve been, and I am grateful for the insight and tools it has given me.
An abject refusal to therapy under any circumstances, to me, was a dealbreaker when I was dating. There are some thing you can’t figure out on your own. Put your ego and preconceptions away, thank you.
TBH I think posting on a forum is not all that different than seeking therapy. The nice thing about therapists, though, is that they’re professionally trained.
Post # 28
jimonabee89 : Therapy saved my relationship. I see no negatives to therapy and widely suggest it on the bee and in real life.
Post # 29
Sansa85 : Thank you, it’s not something I hugely advertise IRL but it’s great being able to come to the Bee for support at times (even just to take my mind off things). All words of support are very much appreciated!