therapy

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eh, serious topic.

has anybody here been to a therapist? what is it like? have you seen any benefits? (you don't have to go into detail about why). mental health isn't uncommon to bring up on this forum, so I felt it wouldn't be a bad idea to discuss something that generally helps with mental health.

my doctor has always pushed me into the idea. i've always declined. perhaps it just feels like a foreign concept to me. yet I do think it would be beneficial...so next time, I think i might take her offer. i'm quite an anxious individual.

the closest thing I can recall was our school offering free consulting after a shooting. (it was a letter home with the designated area if you needed someone to speak with). i never took it up. but some kids were shaken and benefited from the service provided.

but yeah, I don't think there should be a stigma around therapy either. hopefully as time goes on that will continue to drop.
 
I’m still in contact with my therapist from high school. I don’t have much to say on the topic aside from that I think it can be beneficial for anyone. Having someone to talk to is very important.

I also saw somewhere that May is Mental Health Awareness month. I think that’s great. Mental health is just as important as physical health!
 
This is going to be pretty personal, heavy, and long so fair warning if you plan on reading my answer.
I’ve been through several therapists since I was ten. I’ve lost count on how many I’ve had, but if I had to guess I’ve worked with six or seven. The first five I didn't make any progress with since they didn’t know all my conditions. The tips they gave weren’t useful and I was still a depressed, anxious mess 24/7. At the time they knew I had generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, a condition that gave me delusions and psychosis for a long time, and a very specific, obscure condition that gives auditory and visual hallucinations (it was not schizophrenia)

Then I was diagnosed with complex, or long term PTSD by a psychiatrist when I was in crisis (this was right around when I took a break from these forums). The frequent and intense verbally abusive bullying by a few dozen students along with their uploading my image online without my consent and their stalking of all my forum accounts and spreading what I say around made me paranoid. I could no longer go on school campuses without tensing up and looking around frantically. Anyone pointing their phone at me made me terrified. I couldn’t be in the county that gave me my trauma without my mental health slipping for more than a few days.

I did intensive CBT group therapy for a month and got myself somewhat back to where I was before the crisis despite the process being very triggering and mentally straining. Hearing other people in the group talk about their trauma or existential crisis was very upsetting. I had frequent flashbacks during the therapy and everyone in the group could tell I had PTSD.

My mom searched for a therapist for a few weeks and managed to find one that took my lousy insurance and seemed certified. We started trauma based therapy every week. Over time I seemed less intense when I got in the office and my paranoia surrounding still being stalked went away. By the start of this year my therapist said I looked much better and that my PTSD symptoms were below the level needed to be diagnosed. The condition is not gone obviously. It never will. I’m still hyper-vigilant in public and my triggers still put me on edge when they appear. However, my quality of life has gone up and I can handle my mental health day by day much better. I still have a long way to go and it’s a lifelong process.

Now I’m working with a different therapist since I moved several months ago and I’m optimistic. Like my last therapist she’s direct and honest, but kind. She has much more experience under her belt and she’s more knowledgeable on autism. I see myself doing better with her in the future.

Therapy is only useful if you know what you have, what you need to work on, and you have a good fit with your therapist. You may need to go through a few therapists before finding one whose approach helps you. If you don’t know what needs work on and actively participate on working on it with the advice your therapist has nothing will change. I didn’t know one of the conditions I had and was bad about doing the homework given to me by the earlier therapists I had. Once I found someone whose approach I like, knew my condition, and started doing the homework I benefited greatly. The right therapy can be life changing and I can’t recommend it enough.
 
ive been to several therapists. didnt like my first one, LOVED my second one but he left the practice to go back to school for something else.
what is it like?
depends! there's several types of therapy but i assume you just mean regular talk therapy. it can go lots of different ways depending on your therapist, sometimes they wanna do something specific like targeting a certain issue, sometimes they're more laid back and want you to talk freely, or even sometimes its very interactive with things like workbooks and "homework." i often found the "homework" worked for me. it challenged me to do something good for myself.
have you seen any benefits?
yep! lots of benefit. a therapist, ideally, is someone who's not going to necessarily be... biased. they want you to get better, and they'll do that with the means they see fit. that could be honesty, it could be sincerity, it could be earnest care. to me, i find the benefit when a therapist doesn't try to "coddle" me or tell me that everything i do is great- the best is when they challenge me. im getting upset about something? okay, why didnt i do something about it? what COULD i have done? why DO i let the bad relationships stay in my life, why do i let them bother me, what about them bothers me, etc. its taught me to be more... rational, i guess? less "in my feelings" right in the moment.
I don't think there should be a stigma around therapy either.
you're right! there shouldn't be! really, SO many people could benefit from a therapist, even if all they want to do is complain about work or grieve something "temporary." talk therapy doesn't work for everyone, i get it, but i sincerely believe everyone should try it. if it doesn't work, then thats okay, but i think many people who are against it will find it benefits them at least in some way.
 
I've been to a few. Some were really good and some I didn't care for. I think therapists are pretty beneficial and are at least worth trying out. They don't have to be long term, but they can be if you feel it's appropriate. Having someone from the outside looking in can give a perspective you may not have noticed or thought of for certain things. And since they are trained they can help guide you with certain things in effective ways and they may know of tools and techniques you may not be aware of or have access to otherwise.
 
I've been to a couple counselors. I really didn't bond with the first one I had. The last one I went to was very good. She was very kind, understanding and also provided good ways of coping and changing my way of thinking.

I was originally very against it because I didn't think it would help. I take a very long time to process and be aware of feelings/triggers etc so I learnt that I have to be ready and know what I'm going about before I start. Thinking about going back to the same counselor, but once again I need to write down/process things before I even begin.
 
I hate that there is so much stigma surrounding therapy. It can do a lot of good if you know what you're looking to achieve through it.

I get free CBT through my workplace for help managing ADHD.
 
Yeah. It definitely helped, especially just having someone to talk to, but also a lot of the stuff you can just do on your own.
I've been reading a self help book about a topic that seemed to relate to me and honestly having those things in mind I can definitely spot the things I do wrong and try to do better. I feel like finding a suitable therapist for you is a lot of work and honestly I don't really like the fishing for the right topic I experienced. I went to my therapist for like two years and we never went into my childhood trauma. The answer is to let go but there's not really a way to do that you know? Move forward and hope that the new people don't act like the old ones.

I've been reading the Nice Guy Syndrome because it was recommended in some post somewhere I could relate to. It's aimed towards men and makes that very clear with some questionable statements, but overall it's still something worth checking out if you relate to the following. It's about how people, well men, use being nice as a form of manipulation. You do something uber nice to someone and then get mad if you don't get that niceness back. You feel like you are owed that kindness. I definitely relate to that. I threw a friend a birthday party and bought her $100 worth of gifts. Obviously very nice on paper, but she didn't ask for that birthday party and we never discussed a budget for what our gifts should be. She's probably not comfortable spending more than $20 on a birthday gift. And yet I'm mad that nobody throws me a birthday party or buys me amazing gifts. But I shouldn't expect that out of nowhere and I shouldn't try to manipulate others into giving me these things. I really struggle with this a lot, basically forcing others to be my friend by being super and unreasonably nice. Honestly writing all this really makes me want to finish the book because I haven't gotten to the solution yet. If anyone relates, the following chapters are titled "Learn to please the only person that matters (yourself)" and then there's a lot about being a man and getting what you want from women. The book is from 2000 apparently.

The thing about therapy is that you have to do the work either way. Nobody can do it for you. A therapist can be really useful in giving you tasks to help you become a better person, but personally I find self help books and online discussions pretty helpful as well. Either way you have to be your own cheerleader and raise yourself as well. I'll probably go back to my therapist once I'm done studying and need help navigating a new aspect of my life, but I also feel like I have to learn to take care of myself by myself too? I feel like starting a journal tbh.
 
i've had cognitive behavioral therapy three times. once in a group, twice solo. it didn't help. makes sense, since i generally don't have an internal monologue, and the main focus of CBT is targeting "negative" thought processes and countering/changing them, but it's a little hard to do that if you don't even have thought processes. i've also heard that CBT doesn't work well for a lot of autistic people in general anyway, so that's probably a factor, too. i've never had talk therapy, but i don't think that would help for similar reasons. i've considered EMDR therapy. i'm not sure how i'll react to it though, and now that i have a job, i'd have to make sure it's scheduled on fridays so i could have the weekend to recover, which would probably be hard to do since you don't get much room to pick and choose on the NHS, so i've been hesitant to suggest it to my doctor. might bring it up next time i see her.
 
Therapy is awesome. It's like talking to a friend about your feelings except they might have the answer or ways to help you find the answer. I've been! Mine was over the phone because I just couldn't handle being in person and having someone's eyes on me but it was really nice. I'd tell her all sorts of embarrassing things and issues and was always 100% honest. If you lie, it's only hurting yourself and your healing progress. She helped me think of different things about the issues I had that I would've never thought to think about and I still use those thinking methods today. It also helps if you click with your therapist. If you're finding that they're not helpful or your personalities don't match, then find another that you do vibe with! It's totally worth going and feel free to do phone call sessions if you don't want to go in person like I didn't want to.
 
Thank you for all the answers. Hopefully sooner for me than later. Quite honestly also requires swallowing some of my own pride. I've never been one to ask for help.

My anxiety has been worse lately. particularly health wise. I've caught myself frequently worrying about something happening or sudden health events. Enough to give myself shortness of breath.

I'm going to make my annual appointment next week. Will take things from there.
 
As well as a year of therapy when I was a kid, I’ve been going to therapy for the last decade now. That sounds really bad and like it hasn’t helped my problems enough, but if that were the case, I would have stopped going. There were stretches I stopped going, but it was often because my therapist was unavailable.



For context however, I very much have no friends locally. If I did, maybe I would be past therapy. I have pretty severe emotional neglect from my family and isolated external circumstances. A therapist cannot fix these and only in the last few years has more practical help become available for me. To keep it brief, I’m someone who’s caught in the system. I haven’t kept it a secret on this forum how long I’ve been chasing disability support.

As a child I had the misfortune of going to a pretty bad therapist but the two since have been excellent. I believe with therapy you need to put in too and be willing to engage with suggestions and introspection to better understand and explain yourself, search for solutions. That in itself is a valuable life skill for me and one I developed over my years of isolation and therapy.

It was an outlet for me to be able to think and it’s still my safe space. The location I go to for therapy is more of a hometown than my actual hometown. It’s pretty invaluable to me. I wish I could have gotten a bit more practical out of therapy, certainly, but overwhelmingly my family isolated and kept me from any practical suggestions my therapy did give. Even when spoken to… they’re a roadblock.

Really the shortcomings of my experience with therapy have very little to do with those sessions. I can’t fault my therapists for not knowing all the perfect solutions or every option I could have looked into. Frankly they saved my life. When my last therapist left, they told me that they felt as close to me as they could with any patient and we both cried, so I think that says all it needs to.

Wish everyone here the best.
 
I have had both positive and negative experiences with therapy, but I would still recommend it to anyone. It can be very helpful and there really shouldn't be a stigma around it.

My negative experience was 100% due to the therapist my dad chose for family counseling. He was extremely biased towards my dad's point of view and that's a big no-no. Any therapist should approach family or relationship issues as a mediator and remain neutral in everything. Their goal is to help you reach a place of peace, not take sides.

I tried therapy again not too long ago for personal depression and anxiety issues. It went much better this time. I searched for a place with great reviews that I felt good about based on their website. I really clicked with my therapist and she helped me a lot. Like others have said, you have to be honest, open to trying different solutions, and willing to put in the work. The therapist's first suggestions weren't necessarily the right ones for me, but by trying them and giving her feedback, we were eventually able to zero in on the changes I needed to make in my life. Even if nothing had worked, the support I felt from having a nonjudgmental person listen to my troubles and express compassion would have still been worth it.

I've since "graduated" from therapy, which doesn't mean that my issues are gone, but that I now have the tools and skills to deal with them on my own. However, I know the door is always open if I want to return to therapy in the future.
 
I have had both positive and negative experiences with therapy, but I would still recommend it to anyone. It can be very helpful and there really shouldn't be a stigma around it.

My negative experience was 100% due to the therapist my dad chose for family counseling. He was extremely biased towards my dad's point of view and that's a big no-no. Any therapist should approach family or relationship issues as a mediator and remain neutral in everything. Their goal is to help you reach a place of peace, not take sides.

I tried therapy again not too long ago for personal depression and anxiety issues. It went much better this time. I searched for a place with great reviews that I felt good about based on their website. I really clicked with my therapist and she helped me a lot. Like others have said, you have to be honest, open to trying different solutions, and willing to put in the work. The therapist's first suggestions weren't necessarily the right ones for me, but by trying them and giving her feedback, we were eventually able to zero in on the changes I needed to make in my life. Even if nothing had worked, the support I felt from having a nonjudgmental person listen to my troubles and express compassion would have still been worth it.

I've since "graduated" from therapy, which doesn't mean that my issues are gone, but that I now have the tools and skills to deal with them on my own. However, I know the door is always open if I want to return to therapy in the future.

Thanks. This information is quite valuable.

Yeah, I think it's easy to conjure in my head that therapy is a magical problem solver. I have a prescription for anxiety, but I admit it doesn't help with learning how to deal with the problem on my own. It helps for sure, but it doesn't teach me anything or grant me techniques or advice that I could use. Lest I ever forget though that therapy is a two sided coin that both parties are involved in.

My reaction to the school shooting was delayed. For a year I didn't feel like it impacted me much. But my anxiety had gotten quickly worsened the following spring. Yet I still didn't know how to ask for help. I was having these panic attacks while being clueless on who I could turn towards.

Mental health was a foreign concept to me, and then I was suddenly diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder and being told about medications. It was all too overwhelming. I wasn't ready to consider a therapist.

But I think that time has finally come for me.
 
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