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Old 06-07-2011, 07:38 PM   #1
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Can't figure out therapist

I had two hospitalizations last year following recovering very traumatic memories on my own (not in therapy) that retraumatized me. I was this a therapist at my mental health clinic for 8 months who got me out of crisis but offered no useful help really on how to recover and heal from what I remembered that involved witnessing violence. I remembered other very disturbing things that I never shared with my therapist. Something told me not to, and things ended badly with her because she got mad at me for something I suggested to her and abruptly terminated with me in a very unprofssional manner. I was placed with a new therapist who is a nice man but I feel is lazy. I am also diagnosed bipolar which he knows more about. He told me upfront he knows little about PTSD. He is constantly telling me I have to "move on" and I think this is because he is not qualified to help me with the memories that made me so sick last year. He has told me I will not be talking to him about certain things, and I haven't. yesterday I told him that I needed to discuss some of the troubling things I have remembered last year and he told me I processed that with my old therapist. I told him I processed nothing, and that from what I know from past therapy with an MD who specialized in ptsd is that the way to recover is to process what has been recalled, make sense of it, talk about it, in ORDER to be ABLE to move on. He told me I can talk to him about my memories next week when there is more time. I have had a day to think about this. I do not want to discuss my traumatic memories with him. I do not think he will help me, or perhaps even believe me. I am stuck at a non profit clinic that is not top of the line help. In the past I have had the insurance to get better therapy from specialists. Am I expecting too much? He tells me I am doing well and to volunteer to spend time doing other things than thinking about negative things. ***? I am not doing well. I will not do well until I can be witnessed regarding the things I need to talk about. I have only been with him for 3 months. Do you think I should ask for another therapist who knows about PTSD. My last therapist is the clinic's PTSD "expert". She has a masters degree and she gave bad advice and I told my psych nurse recently that the clinic may one day have to do risk management because of her. I told my nurse that because of the past ptsd therapy I had with an expert for 9 years I believe this is why I was relatively unharmed by this ptsd therapist's behavior and technique. I told her that I felt she would in the future hurt other people who may not realize it until years later. The nurse listened to me. The therapist I have now has a masters degree but after appts with him I usually feel frustrated and upset that I cannot afford a better place to get help. Do you have any suggestions? My psych nurse is a wonderful person. I told her that I felt I am not getting the right help for my ptsd and she told me to be honest with my present therapist and that it would be a growing process for him. I get the impression from most of the therapists there that nobody really wants to "grow." They see people, write their chart note, and go home for the day. I asked to read my chart to see what has been written about me by the previous therapist. My nurse told me its not a good idea to do that right now, as she's leaving for a few months. I'm not really confused about all this. How can I politely tell my therapist that I need help for ptsd and I don't think he can provide it?

 
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:25 PM   #2
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Re: Can't figure out therapist

I called a therapist at my clinic who I thought might help better with PTSD and she told me she could take me as a client so I left a message for my present therapist, who left me a message back telling me "we can talk about your concerns." If he gives me a hard time I guess I will have to talk to his supervisor. This is the first time in 9 years that I have asked to be switched. I will think of me first and continue to try to heal. I have considered switching clinics. I am happy with my decision and think I handled it right. I did not report the therapist to his supervisor and will talk to him personally. We'll see what happens when I see him again in 2 weeks.

 
Old 06-10-2011, 01:39 AM   #3
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Re: Can't figure out therapist

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellie1962 View Post
I called a therapist at my clinic who I thought might help better with PTSD and she told me she could take me as a client so I left a message for my present therapist, who left me a message back telling me "we can talk about your concerns." If he gives me a hard time I guess I will have to talk to his supervisor. This is the first time in 9 years that I have asked to be switched. I will think of me first and continue to try to heal. I have considered switching clinics. I am happy with my decision and think I handled it right. I did not report the therapist to his supervisor and will talk to him personally. We'll see what happens when I see him again in 2 weeks.
Hello Ellie,

Good news indeed.

When do you begin seeing this new therapist?

Does she specialize in PTSD or trauma-related issues?

I tend to view this as the first time in 9 years you decided to look out for you;through proper channels and all.

You should be pleased with yourself for the move forward suggests growth and a desire for more out of life.

One thing's not quite clear; are you going to see both therapists?

Respectfully,
Phoenix
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:38 AM   #4
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Re: Can't figure out therapist

Hi Phoenix,

I would like to be switched over to the new therapist right away but that's not how the clinic works. My present therapist left me a message telling me "we can talk about your concerns." I didn't really like this, I wold have rather had a message saying that's fine, I understand, I'll do the paperwork. I am not inclined to baby him or tell him I had talked to my psych nurse before him and told her I did not feel I was getting the proper help for PTSD from him. I was a victim of "politics" at this clinic previous to him with another therapist who did things wrong concerning my health and termination of therapy, and I have a feeling I am going to be speaking to his supervisor. I think he is going to tell me I can't switch. I think all therapists have egos. This was the excellent thing about being in therapy with a psychiatrist who had had her own analysis....she brought none of her own ego into therapy with me because she knew who SHE was and had no countertransference.

No, I will not see the 2 therapists at the same time. I never have seen 2 therapists at the same time.

I wrote to the psychiatrist who diagnosed my ptsd years ago. Considering the substandard therapy I have received the past 2 years I felt I needed to thank her for her expert care all those years ago. Unfortunatley, my finances do not permit me to have treatment with an MD. We sometimes don't know what we had until we don't have it anymore eh?

 
Old 06-10-2011, 11:05 AM   #5
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Re: Can't figure out therapist

I hear you Ellie,

Are you certain that the new therapist will better suit your needs? (just asking)

I would hate for you to make a decision based in part on your annoyances regarding your present therapist and clinic protocol.

With respect to therapists,i'm not sure I would define it as ego;rather a confidence of sorts.

Realize you are going to share your most private thoughts to that person.

I,for one,would like to get a sense that he/she knows what they're talking about;hence,the confidence.

Maybe the new therapist will be able to contact the diagnosing psychiatrist,to help make the transition easier.

Respectfully,
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:29 PM   #6
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Re: Can't figure out therapist

I'm sure the therapist I called to help me can help better than the present one. She does a group to help trauma survivors that I am in. My therapist admitted to me he knows little about ptsd when we started. I asked for a male therapist because I think men have stronger stomachs. I needed to talk to him about some violent things, and I never did. He once asked me if I was sure my flashbacks wasn't me dreaming. He ignores that I have symptoms of this anxiety disorder and has no useful therapuedic advice for me regarding what I have already shared with him. Being told to "move on" every week isn't helping my nightmares, my insomnia, my exhaustion, my overall anxiety. I'm trying to take care of a transition without hurting his feelings, because I like him and he really seems to be a good guy. it's not so much I feel annoyed with him as I feel that the last time I wanted help so bad from a therapist who is tauted as the clinic's ptsd expert that I talked about all sorts of things and never realized I never really got any help other than she got me out of crisis, which I was grateful for and told her so. I need to be able to go over what I have remembered of my past that has retraumatized me and be able to put it into narrative, and be witnessed by somebody who understands ptsd better. My present therapist knows more about affective disorders. I think he would be better helping people who suffer with symptoms of that. I do not. PTSD has been a problem for me for 20 years now. Off and on I have flashback floodiing which disables me. There are people who study this and know how to help. Because I am in group with the therapist I asked to see me who does know about trauma recovery, I picked her. If it doesn't work out, than I guess I'll deal with it. I'm not going to continue to beg in therapy to talk about the bad stuff. Sometimes I think the therapist just doesn't want to hear it. My memories are certainly not dreams. I'm not mad at him for asking me that but it certainly told me a lot. I look forward to talking to him about how I feel. As a professional I expect him to transfer me over to the other therapist without hard feelings. I did get confidential advice on how to handle this from someone in the profession. I think a lot of people just call a supervisor and ask for a new therapist. We agreed when we started that termination would be talked about. I have to wait 2 weeks but oh well. It's fine.

 
Old 06-11-2011, 12:19 AM   #7
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Re: Can't figure out therapist

Well said...well put...well done....

Thanks for the clarification.

Please keep us updated,if or when you feel up to it.

Respectfully,
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Old 09-05-2011, 05:46 AM   #8
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Re: Can't figure out therapist

Ellie,

Just wondering how you've been doing as of late.

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