Finally a good therapist
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05-05-2017, 10:17 AM
Finally a good therapist
At least I hope that it's a good one.

Recently I decided to give therapy a last shot after it hasn't worked on me before. I thought maybe with a different approach...

So today I went.

I had contacted a mental health clinic and they had a therapist call me back. I kindly explained that I prefer a male therapist. Same day, 2 hours later, one called me back. That's the one I met.

I was positively surprised at his approach,

So here is what my last therapies were (which I then stopped going to) before the one today
1. Very young therapist. Telling me everything I already know and what I already went through on my own. Phrases like "Well you know you did nothing wrong because..." Gave me a diagnose.
2. Older, opinionated, never looking at me, writing down everything word for word instead of talking. Telling me that my body won't ever be perfect (and I hadn't even mentioned my body, which I was fairly happy with at the time.) took the first guy's diagnose at face value and that was it.
3. Took the first guy's diagnose at face value. When I said "I think I have been misdiagnosed, please let's start over" she got apologetic and made a point of explaining to me that there is nothing wrong with me. Other than that, she didn't really do anything but ask me to take my hat off.

Today's therapist.
Him "Hi how are you doing?"
Me "Well fine, a bit nervous"
He proceeds explaining to me what is happening in the brain and why people get nervous.
It was a small assessment, checking family history, any medication or illness I have, why I am there, some goals. He made a few notes but overall it was actually a conversation.
I filled out a small questionnaire with basic information like age and so on. For gender I ticked male and female because I have no clue if they refer to a physical fact or gender identity.
He respectfully didn't even mention that at all.
In the end I asked him if he is ok with transgender topic. He said that absolutely yes and that he did work with transgender people and LGBT before.

So over all I am feeling cautiously confident.

Just felt like sharing that.

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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17-05-2017, 03:10 PM
RE: Finally a good therapist
So last week during therapy, my therapist noticed that every time he asks me how I feel about something, I say "I don't know" so he told me not to say that phrase.
Just I really usually don't know. I have this neutral default mood. So yea, I don't know.

My homework for this week (until Friday) is to have a journal. Write in it things I think about or feel about etc. And it should be something deep in me not something I would tell my coworker of lunch.

Now I am scared to go to therapy because he will probably want to talk about this stuff with me. And well... I did my homework but I am a broken person and I really don't want to rip open some wounds.

... wouldn't it be so nice to just be normal? So much easier.

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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17-05-2017, 05:15 PM
Finally a good therapist
(17-05-2017 03:10 PM)Leerob Wrote:  ... wouldn't it be so nice to just be normal? So much easier.

I quit believing in normal years ago. As long as you are happy and able to make your life work out then normal doesn't mean anything.

Hopefully you get somewhere this time.
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17-05-2017, 05:35 PM
RE: Finally a good therapist
I know opening the wounds is going to be hard and scary, but think of it this way, you've got to open them and clean them out so they can heal properly. Happiness and your definition of "normal" is right around the corner for you, you just got to go through the rough patch first. I know easier said than done, but you can do it and you'll make it through. Hug
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17-05-2017, 05:52 PM
RE: Finally a good therapist
(17-05-2017 03:10 PM)Leerob Wrote:  Now I am scared to go to therapy because he will probably want to talk about this stuff with me. And well... I did my homework but I am a broken person and I really don't want to rip open some wounds.

This is something that you should tell him.

---
Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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17-05-2017, 06:08 PM
RE: Finally a good therapist
Wow that's awesome!

It's not easy to rip open wounds but sometimes the fact that you can start to rip them open is a positive sign that you're feeling comfortable in dealing with them.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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18-05-2017, 11:50 AM
RE: Finally a good therapist
Thanks everybody for the nice words.

Had a bit of a crash last night when I wrote that journal. I will be talking to him about it tomorrow at the session.

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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18-05-2017, 01:07 PM
RE: Finally a good therapist
It can be hard to find a good therapist, especially one comfortable and knowledgeable with trans issues. I'm glad you've found a good one! I just started with a new one, too, and she's pretty great so far.

Best of luck to you, I hope it keeps working for you!
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19-05-2017, 02:33 AM
RE: Finally a good therapist
It is hard to trust somebody with your most intimate and private feelings. Especially when you've had bad experiences with psychologists before. I'm sure if you tell him that, he will help you deal with it and guide you to a place where you feel comfortable talking about these things.
I told my current psychologist that I've not had any effect of psychology sessions before and have lost faith in them. She understood completely and took it with a smile and a hope that we could get something good out our work together. She wanted to work together with me, not "work at me". One of the small things she did was that she never wanted us to sit with a table between us. She helped me a lot and I got really good effect of it. I think it's important to find a psychologist you click with and feel like you could get along with in general.
Unfortunately you eventually have to deal with the tough things to get anywhere. But remember that his job is to not be judgmental, he has seen all sorts of messed up people and is able to see what lies behind the mess. At least assuming it's a decent psychologist. It's also always helped me to remind myself that this is a person that I will never have to interact with out in "normal life", he is not allowed to tell anybody about anything I say and I can stop seeing him if he starts being judgmental or otherwise negative about what I say. It's a "safe person".

I hope you get a lot of good out of working with this guy!

Hug

"I believe that while not all people are essentially good, most are trying" - Adam Savage
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19-05-2017, 08:02 AM
RE: Finally a good therapist
So I have just come home from my session ... well an hour ago but yea.

I feel that he has a very good sense of when it is starting to get too much or overwhelming and then he moves the conversation or shifts it a little. Just so it is not as difficult anymore. Maybe move to something connected but easier for that moment. Very dynamic and very sensitive.

One nice thing in therapy today was, when he asked about my marriage and I explained how my husband is my one absolute safe space and I am his. I explained how our relationship is (no petty shit, no lies, no secrets, honesty, etc). My therapist smiled and told me that just from hearing this he feels warm and well inside.
We talked about a lot of harder things today too. So it was certainly a bit draining but he is pretty damn good at what he is doing. He was surprised and at some point sadly surprised at some things, like that I had been suicidal since childhood or how mentally draining my work is (safety team for one of the big social media sites). But whenever it was getting too hard, or even close to too hard, he moved the conversation a little bit.

So yea, I might have finally found a good therapist.

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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