Wednesday, January 23, 2013

To Therapy or NOT To Therapy

So I'm at a crossroads with the whole therapy thing.

I went really gung-ho at first and got some great insights but now I feel like I've plateaued.

Talking a lot of stuff out has helped me realize WHY I feel the way I do about a lot of things.  But so far, I have had no real insight into what to do to help me STOP feeling the way I do.

I mean I get that it's not a fast process and I really do understand.  But 3-4 months into this and I'd like to be able to say that I'm making some changes in my life.

This whole issue got compounded starting about 2 weeks ago when I attempted to re-schedule one of my appointments because I was dealing with a huge meeting at work and I was afraid that I wouldn't be done in time to make my 5:30pm appoint (which would have resulted in me having to leave the office right at 5:00pm in order to make).

I emailed my therapist the day before explaining the scenario and basically said that I'd rather try to re-schedule than stress about not making it on time or worse yet, not making it on time.

That morning I got a snarky reply about how it was best to not reschedule appointments unless it was an EMERGENCY.  And it was unfortunate that my work was resulting in me not being able to have my other needs met.  Then resulted in a jab about how she requires 24 hours notice for all cancellations. 

Btw....my email request had gone out at about 5:43pm. When by her rules TECHNICALLY it should have gone out by 5:30pm.  Really? 

Now I may be totally blowing this out of proportion but I was left feeling very uncomfortable about the whole thing.  Yes it was unfortunate that my job was resulting in me having to shift an appointment.  But the reality is, that I have a job that's not always 9-5 and sometimes it's difficult managing weekly appointments. 

I apologized for not giving her a FULL 24 hours notice but given the circumstances did that extra 13 minutes really make or break the deal?  And can I mention that she works till 8pm and it took her till after 10am the following day to reply to my message?

Bottom line is yes, it was unfortunate that I had to cancel the appointment.  But I didn't appreciate being made to feel guilty about doing so.  It's not like I'm constantly changing appointments.  And the reality is that weekly appointments are sometimes difficult to manage.

But honestly I'm feeling a little uncomfortable about the whole thing now. 

I've been considering taking a break to mentally re-group for a while and now I'm pretty convinced that I may possibly need a different therapist.  I may have gone as far as I can go with this particular path and like working out, I need to up my intensity ;)

Because in the grand scheme of things, therapy shouldn't be adding to my stress.  And an uncomfortable relationship with your therapist is probably never a good thing.

Thoughts? Recommendations?  Am I just batshit crazy?

Cheers,

Ash

18 comments:

  1. Well ya know how I feel about it. If I were you, I would just feel like she was more interested in her bottom line than being an understanding therapist/human being - which isn't so great for the client/therapist relationship. I still say look elsewhere. YOU are NOT crazy.

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    1. LOL. Little crazy. Just a little ;)

      We've talked about this, the whole thing just made me very uncomfortable and the fact that she was not very understanding about the whole thing just kinda turned me off.

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  2. I would be turned off by this as well. Also, if you don't feel like you're progressing with this particular therapist, I'd say it's time to move on. Take a break if that's what you feel you need, then re-group and try someone new!

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    1. I feel like she's not going in the same direction as I am. I took a 3 week break before Christmas because I couldn't afford Christmas + $140 a week for therapy. Honestly, I was relieved to not be going which makes me think I really do need to seek another path.

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  3. This makes me angry. One of my biggest stressors and reasons for seeking help was work drama. Having to explain to a bunch of busybodies why I had to leave early resulted in a lot of awkward conversations about how very not pregnant I was, and I wasn't ABOUT to tell them I was seeing a shrink. My therapist was very understanding and tried to work with me to figure out appointment times. I appreciate that your therapist's time is important, but I'd consider seeing someone else. Especially since you aren't feeling like you're making progress.

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    1. Yeah that's a huge deal for me too. My job is not 9-5 by any means and yes, it was unfortunate I had to cancel but that's the reality I'm forced to deal with at the moment. And adding to the stress I was already dealing with because of work, was not appreciated.

      Ironically when I went to re-schedule she tried to give me an 8:30pm appointment and there was more flack because I declined. I basically said, I get up at 6am, be at the office for 8am, an 8:30-9:30pm appointment gets me home past 10pm and I'd prefer to not do that.

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  4. Thanks everyone. Looks like the general consensus is that I should consider trying someone new. I'm not looking forward to starting the process over again but honestly, this whole experience feels like its tainted the relationship. Add on to that, that I feel like she's not understanding what I want to accomplish mean's I'm probably at the end of the road with her.

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  5. Seems to me that a reboot of the process would be refreshing.
    Bringing the new therapist up to speed... hearing yourself language your issues from the ground up... damn, now I want to get a new therapist. And I like mine.

    You're absolutely right that your relationship with your therapist should alleviate stress, not exacerbate it.

    For what it's worth, I say go for a new plateau.

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    1. I've thought the same thing. Starting with someone new won't be a full re-start because I can already express my learnings with my current therapist.

      When she finally agreed to re-schedule and suggested a super late appointment (see above comments for the details) I actually felt sick saying no. Like I was anticipating her scolding me for not making it work. That's probably a good indication that I need to make a change.

      Thanks for the input!

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  6. My two cents is also to try someone new. I was very skeptical about therapy (I used to think it was for crazy people until I realized I was one of them, ha!) but I have found it immensely helpful. Also, one of my good friends is a therapist, and I cannot imagine her ever being snarky to someone who cancelled with 23 hours and 47 minute notice.

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    1. LOL I never considered therapy before either. I figured you had to be obviously depressed or something to need to go. But I realized, newsflash, I was depressed and had anxiety and had insomnia and in general was a bit of a mess.

      I think trying someone new would be a good next step. In the long run, I think our styles are just too different.

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  7. Ash--

    Everyone's right. You need a better therapist, someone who is a lot more compassionate and aware of the realities of your life.

    Can I make a suggestion to help you implement changes? Find someone who does Cognitive Behavior work. I was working with one to get my through my divorce and it makes a HUGE difference because it's about saying, "Okay, this is what I need to change. Now, how do I do that?"

    Good luck!

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    1. Hi Susan,
      Thanks for the recommendation because that's exactly what I think I need. Step one was figuring out why I felt the way I did. Step two is getting over it. I know it's not an 1+2=3 kinda process but I need to feel like I'm actively doing something to get better.

      I'm glad the process worked for you!

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  8. Definitely try someone new. Your current therapist sounds like someone who is not really understanding or your life or your issues. I think that if you feel uncomfortable at any point with any doc, you should most certainly find a new one. If you can't be completely comfortable with your doc/therapist, then you will never be able to open up to them with the stuff they need to know.

    I loved my therapist in college. It was like chatting with an old friend. She was great.

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    1. Agreed. I was a bit uncomfortable before but now I have this thought it my head that she's somehow judging my decisions and I don't like how it feels. Time to shop around.

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  9. It took me a couple of tries to find a therapist that worked for me, but once I did it was amazingly different--I never felt uncomfortable just being myself. She knew when to be a little harsh and when to back off (it also helped that she was willing to equate everything with zombies or vampires or tell me a funny story about her dogs when necessary). The last time I had to cancel an appointment with her, I woke up sick and couldn't give 24 hours notice. She called me later that day just to check up.
    I hope you find someone that you can have an equally beneficial connection with.

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    1. I guess I thought I was lucky because I liked the first therapist I ever went to, but to me this fees like a break in trust and I'm not looking forward to having the disucssion with her tomorrow at what will potentially be our last session.

      Fingers crossed!

      Thanks.!

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  10. I say run and find another therapist! If she made you feel uncomfortable and got upset for canceling an appointment, she's not concerned about you, but about the money she is not going to receive because you canceled. You shouldn't feel stressed out about going to see a therapist, it should be the other way around.

    My first therapist turned out to be a total jerk. She made me feel like crap, but in the end she ended up looking like ass in front of her secretary and the rest of the people who were waiting to see a therapist. I received a letter from the top therapist there to come back. I said no thank you! The therapist I see now is nice and because we are comfortable with each other she tells me what's a no no and what's ok in terms of rescheduling or canceling. Still, if I cancel she doesn't make me feel like crap about it.

    I also was seeing a psychiatric at the same time I was seeing my current therapist at the same clinic, but stopped because he snapped at me more than once. It got to the point where I would get anxious every time I had to see him. Finally, I decided to go cold turkey on the meds and stopped seeing him. No meds for me for now. Good luck with everything!

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