I had a counselor who would snap at me "are you having a flashback. Because it looks like you are. Your eyes are getting real big". She would say that on a session basis and it was like a knife shredding into my heart....because of the junk that she would make up. I would just be talking about how terrible some family member treated me and that although I felt numbed and traumatized while it happened ...I was in the counseling so that I could get closure about that. It was almost if she thought I was making things up and she would alternate between "there is nothing wrong with you" and "are you having a flashback" ......never did I get help for my problem.
I am just wondering if that is what ALL counselors do? Because I surely didn't feel she was empathic, compassionate or helpful at all.
Hello, I am in a good counselor's right now, and she is very nice. Did you have a bad first impression of yours? I had one before, and I didn't like her after a few sessions, so I chose a new one. It all depends on the counselor that you choose, and you should always make sure that you are comfortable with that counselor before you do the really serious talking, and sort of interview them with a basic overview of your problem, and what they think would be best. I hope this advice helps you.
I have PTSD/anxiety/panic disorder-and have been in treatment for the past 2 years..
I started w/ the most wonderful female therapist-unfortunately she left the hospital i go to-and had to switch drs..
She was my absoulute Rock..i loved her-she has really helped me-
I cried for weeks-losing her..
She refered me to a new dr...i was hesitant-but went to the appt..
Incrediable!Another amazing therapist-
Do not settle for anything but the best-i lucked out-(for once in my life-lol)..
but have been in therapy at other times in my life-and they just plain sucked.
There is a huge differance-and u will know-cos-when you hook up w/ the right person-the communication-revelations..flow like water..
Keep looking-ask around-get referals-just don't spend your time/$$$-w/out the right fit..
Check out the book-Feel Good-by Dr.David Burns..(cognitive behavioral therapy)..excellent!
I have read plenty of books on Cognitive Behavior treatment....and many that surpass Dr. Burns introduction to cb therapy. I have also read books on humanistic and object relations therapy. I am a person that has had plenty of achievments and good things happen to me. And I believed that the two counselors I wasted almost 2 years on DID not want to believe that I had any successes or achievements. Whenever I talked about how people mistreated me there was always excuses from the counselors explaining WHY people do those things in highly vague and condoning terms and in a tone "oh well what can you do about it? nothing of course" The cycle would go back and forth non-stop excusing other people's behavior and then "Well you have very low self esteem so you seem to magnify those negative experiences" AND "you have very low self-esteem but you seem to be working very hard at it there is nothing else that you can do".
Whenever I would bring up certain topics that would take a deep breath look the other way and remain silent. Other times flat out changing the topic. Other time redirecting a current problem to making it be about my FAMILY. Then they would say that I need to appreciate my family. I kept saying "Yeah right reinforce their narcissitic and self ish beliefs and behavior yeah right"....my family are the people WHO needed to work on themselves too instead of non-stop blaming me. I am a person who never has done drugs/or been in any criminal circumstances or even had a driving traffic tickets/never been in court or a mental institution that would make it understandable for my parents to blame and attack me with their words, actions, behaviors, and projections etc. There was no reason for counselors or parents to believe that I was a bad person doinng bad thing and playing innocent perfect me being hurt by everybody else...there was NO evidences what so ever. None. Yes it seems like they enjoyed imagining stories about WHY I act the way I do or say the things....they are the ones that distorted their thoughts and beliefs about what I was saying etc.
Mustang Sally please give me more feedback I am interested in what you have to say. And the others here as welll.
Last edited by wannabehotguy; 12-04-2004 at 01:28 PM.
sorry for the delay in my reply, but I have a fairly hectic homelife and can't always hop on the computer for one of my epic writing episodes .. 3 kids, hubby, FIL and MIL doesn't leave alot of time during the day. But I digress ... and will try and assist as best I can here.
Please remember, I am a student!!
Whenever I would bring up certain topics that would take a deep breath look the other way and remain silent. Other times flat out changing the topic.
Me as a person, I bounce around topics when chatting. Some say it's the Gemini in me (LOL) ... but counsellors are taught to watch for this behaviour because it could be a part of 'denial' ... avoiding the subject at hand, so they will try and keep you on the original story to get it all. Now the sad part there is if this is the case, then they are not truly listening to you to try and get to know you. I assume (bad thing to do) but they are busy, they have a certain amount of people to 'get through' in a day, and time retraints win. Unfortunately, it happens, it happens with your local GP, your dentist, your chiropractor .. everybody runs out of time and does there best in the limited time they have.
Just from your short story here, I believe you are the type of person who has been able to step out of the 'cycle' look at it, shudder and think "Nope, I'm gonna be better than that" .. and that is FANTASTIC!! It's a hard thing to do to stop a 'cycle', most people find it very difficult to change what SHOULD be a learnt behaviour .. usually only very strong minded people can succeed, and so stand up and take a bow .. because you HAVE !
IMHOm, You still may seek approval from your family (which is why when they say nasty things you feel hurt and let down) but that is only natural. However you do not have to reward their behaviour by making yourself feel bad! They are responsible for themselves. You can do something about it, you can hold your head high and reward yourself with the knowledge that YOU are a quality human being who HAS achieved good things DESPITE what you have been told. Now I don't know what they are saying to you nor can I hear their tones, however, if I was in my own counselling practice, I would ask for a family session!! Even a mediator ... get your parents together with you with an OUTSIDE person and discuss the issues at hand. If the truth can come out, then everybody will know where they stand and you will know what your next step is.
Oh .. another thing that's being pointed out to us in our studies is the need for the client to find their own solutions. Counsellors are not there to GIVE the answers .. however, we do guide and advise and offer opinions if the need arises, we are NOT to give the answer (it would be too easy if we could LOL).
I hope this helps you a little .. and please give me some feedback on how you get on.
What do you mean by giving out the answers? I have never believed there is an answer that a counselor can just give out to solve the problems. It would have been awesome to hear advice such as "Well it sounds like your father doesn't respect you or care about you and possibly you don't want to be near him any more because he is dangerous to your well being. What do you think about avoiding your father?" NEVER was that ever brought up. I was always told "Life is not always fair and you have to deal with it" by two counselors. I even felt guilty in the counseling session for talking about how abusive my dad was towards me. No change started until a sweet and caring counselor began using cognitive behavior techniques to guide me through some trauma and confusing times (now did she give me the answers??? no of course not she guided me and was highly supportive of my opinions and ideas) she was a great lady and I totally respect her forever.
And I don't agree with your comments on subject changing for my circumstance. I am also a student specializing in behavior change at a University. I believe counseling is to hear the complete truth which might last about 10 minutes or even 75% of the sesesion. The time was there and alloted and given and set up for me at that appointment time to get the pressure off my shoulders chest. I believe I spoke about 30 seconds to a minute about a traumatic intrusive memory or certain bothersome situations in which I was engulged in a relationship with a highly annoying passive aggressive narcissist or the fact that I felt invisible and not acknoledged by friends....and then the topic would be changed or silence would be applied. I felt hurt about what was happening to me and then to have a counselor who is supposed provide guidence and provide healing techniques did not do that. Who said that I wanted the answers?? Is it so wrong to say "Hey you have be more aggressive it sounds like your a push over lettting those people take advantage of you. Those people sound passive agressive and dangerous to your health. They aRe eliciting anger and frustration and you can't express it because they dismiss your feelings with silence...but yet your friends are aloud to dump on you. You see how that is a clue for you to avoid them or escape their mind games" instead Silence and changing the subject, sighing loudly and impatiently, making huge eyes (as if "Oh boy this client is annoying")...are thing that sooo did not help and it made me more irate at the counselor. It seems like the two counselors are passive agressive. That is what counseling is for to HELP the person feel better even if it is an indirect way the outcome is for the client to feel better not worse. I am also a student at a University but I am studying as a behavior specialist (in other words I am not ignorant about the behavior change profession) ....which I have learned more from my classes than most of the worthless garbage counseling that I had.
Last edited by wannabehotguy; 12-20-2004 at 02:37 PM.
I'm glad that you disagree with me, and you have obviously grown by gaining knowledge and educating yourself into the who's, why's and wherefores.
However, you did ask for my opinion, and I did say I was only a student. I am not, and will not profess to being a professional.. yet .. I was just chattering on, as I do.
When I was typing, I was generalising as well as chatting to you. Just airing things out. It is human nature to 'fix' things, and all I was doing was explaining that however easy that is, it's not counselling. Some people go to counsellors expecting an answer to fix their problem. I'm sorry if you thought I directed it to you personally. This is the trouble with the written word, you can't hear the inflections in my voice, nor can you see my body language.
So .. I shall keep my humble opinions to myself until I have studied further and do become a professional.
You sound incredibly angry and frustrated (and justifably so from what you have told me) and I hope you eventually find happiness and peace, because we all deserve it.
Yes and thank you. Your opinion was a generalization OK that certainly makes a lot of sense now. You helped me a lot in your prior post though...about therapists imagining stories about the client..etc. ThAT really helped. And your right I am frustrated and angry. I just felt like I had to express inferiority in order to get any type of response from the therapist. It was a tedius and tiresome circumstance. It was like a ping pong response "There is nothing wrong with you." to "You have very little self esteem. You need to keep working on it" to "There is nothing else that you can do". They were like broken records repeating themselves over and over again. I just read a book on obsessive compulsive passive aggressives and they are known to repeat the same questions and comments over and over again until they notice that it is driving the victim nuts. Hopefully you can learn something from my experience and it will help you to be a great counselor someday. Thank you and I'd love to hear more of your feedback....
P.S. Also I've heard several counselors say they "Don't like giving the answers to their clients" and I have read it several counseling books not to give the clients the answers....but What exactly does that mean and is it really harmful to the client to gives answers every now and then when it means saving their self esteem from denigrating???
Last edited by wannabehotguy; 12-23-2004 at 11:29 AM.
It's cool.... as I said, I do understand your frustration .. the whole point is that you feel invisible and nobody is LISTENING, I mean REALLY REALLY listening !!!!
Some counsellors have been in the game too long or just simply shouldn't be a counsellor, because they have their own unresolved issues and something you say can set them off .. in this case, the time YOU booked with them becomes a counselling session for THEM .. bit sucky ... (understatement)
Me as a person, if I see someone floundering in decision making try and simplify the solution. See, sometimes an outsider can SEE the answer, but the client is too caught up with the confusion and ultimatums etc .. if I see that happening, I try and bring it down to TWO solutions they can choose from. If they're REALLY caught up, I try and 'hint' but sometimes, just sometimes, people NEED to hear a solution. The mistake is doing it to EVERYBODY ALL THE TIME .. (not shouting, just emphasising LOL)to make it easier on yourself. That's when it's harmful when the counsellor HAS to give the answer all the time to all the people. I do believe, (IMHO) that once in a 'blue moon' won't hurt - especially if the client is beyond decision making and needs an 'out' NOW! (I keep editing this, because it just doesn't sound right .. LOL .. I'll get it eventually)
Are ya with me? I wish I could sit down with you and hash this out!!!! Experience for me, and a fresh outlook for you !!!!
Keep writing .. I DO want to hear what you have to say ...
Hugs (And Season's Greetings)
Last edited by mustang_sally; 12-23-2004 at 11:07 PM.