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Thread: Therapist

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    Therapist

    How do you know when a therapist is a good fit for you?

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    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    When they actually make sense to you, help you and when you apply their advice to your daily life, it actually works!

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    The last therapist I had helped me with some tough times, but I felt as though I wasn't seeing improvement within myself. Mostly his advice was for me to leave a toxic relationship, exercise and be positive. which are great tips. However, I felt like we never got to the underlying problem that was causing me to act out or have breakdowns. I've since left him, and have found a new therapist. We're still in the getting to know each other phase, but I'm hoping this could really help me out so I'm trying to find a good fit to help me. Thanks for your advice!

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    Platinum Member Fudgie's Avatar
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    My therapist is very accepting of me (like when I pursued sterilization in my 20s. And she was happy for me when I got it done!) but also helps me identify harmful thought patterns and such like that. I trust her and I respect her advice and insight. She has helped me a lot.

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    Gold Member LikeWater's Avatar
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    In a word - comfortability. If you feel comfortable with them and are able to build the trust in them that's required for you to really reveal the reason you're there, then you've found a good relationship there. A good therapist should almost feel like a friend.

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    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by summablairr
    I felt like we never got to the underlying problem that was causing me to act out or have breakdowns.
    How did the therapist respond when you asked him to work on this with you?

    Tell your new therapist why you left your last one, and have a list of goals you'll want to attain. There's nothing wrong with leaving any therapist with whom you don't believe you can make any further progress. For a better experience with your new therapist, it helps to remember that she or he works for you, so you are in charge of driving your time with them to the issues you want to address.

    This doesn't mean that you must drive every session, but this is your time and money, so don't be passive. Ask for 'homework' in the form of research, tools and techniques that you can try out between visits, and then go in with a report on your progress. This will keep you accountable, and it will help you to learn what helps and what doesn't. Not everything works for everyone, so there's no 'failing' if you don't find something useful.

    Consider, too, that while exploring underlying issues can be helpful to a degree, they don't produce some eureka that fixes any current resistance to changing current behaviors.

    One method you can use on your own time for integrating your 'wounded child' self with your current desires for change is to adopt the role of a counseling adult who speaks with your child self as you think through the most painful events of your past. Chances are, your behaviors in the past were driven by the emotional reactions you picked up as a child that you never learned how to outgrow. So when you can walk through those moments as described by your emotional younger self, your adult mind can 'see' how those behaviors were driven by the unhealed part of yourself that you now own the intelligence to correct.

    As you do this, offer your younger self compassion, comfort and forgiveness for these moments in your past as you identify your emotional drivers. From the perspective of your adult counselor role, describe to yourself how you would better handle these moments today, and build confidence in your OWN ability to identify your triggers and come up with assertive ways that you can (and will) redirect your focus onto healthy coping methods as you move forward.

    Hashing the past is only useful to the degree that you're willing to change outcomes today. For instance, you can identify instances where you were powerless to escape certain interactions in your past--with parents or teachers or school peers--versus scenarios that you can choose to avoid today. This can help prevent you from recreating abusive dynamics because they are familiar. You can learn how to make better choices, because today you DO own the power to avoid abusive people instead of engaging them in a futile attempt to 'heal' your past by recreating it.

    When you can CONSCIOUSLY identify ways that you would have changed your past with what you know today, your can forgive your younger self for what you did not know then, and you can circumvent an UNconscious loop to keep recreating past harms.

    Head high, and I hope you'll let us know how things go.

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    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by summablairr
    The last therapist I had helped me with some tough times, but I felt as though I wasn't seeing improvement within myself. Mostly his advice was for me to leave a toxic relationship, exercise and be positive. which are great tips. However, I felt like we never got to the underlying problem that was causing me to act out or have breakdowns. I've since left him, and have found a new therapist. We're still in the getting to know each other phase, but I'm hoping this could really help me out so I'm trying to find a good fit to help me. Thanks for your advice!
    I'm curious - why do you think you act out or have breakdowns?
    Did you have a chance to look back and reflect on that relationship? Did you end up leaving that relationship?

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    This was excellent advice. No advice is not useful when you don't want to follow it.
    Originally Posted by summablairr
    Mostly his advice was for me to leave a toxic relationship, exercise and be positive.

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    Platinum Member smackie9's Avatar
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    How? When you start to see positive life changing progress. Not all therapists are the same. You are the one in the driver's seat to guide them, in what you want to work on/talk about. If things still feel flat, don't hesitate to find a new one. Maybe check their reviews online.

    Been online giving advice for years, and one thing I noticed, people who are already in therapy are coming here. That tells me they are unsatisfied with their progress...so I point out, why keep seeing them? Try someone else!

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    Gold Member LikeWater's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by smackie9
    How? When you start to see positive life changing progress. Not all therapists are the same. You are the one in the driver's seat to guide them, in what you want to work on/talk about. If things still feel flat, don't hesitate to find a new one. Maybe check their reviews online.

    Been online giving advice for years, and one thing I noticed, people who are already in therapy are coming here. That tells me they are unsatisfied with their progress...so I point out, why keep seeing them? Try someone else!
    That's a giant assumption to make, and it's not like therapy is a cure for mental or emotional weakness that we all feel at times. Most therapists also aren't available all the time, whereas this site is. People come here for other reasons too, some rarely in need of advice or to resolve buried issues, but simply to talk, vent, catch up with members, etc.

    Your logic here just isn't sound.

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