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I felt uncomfortable with my counselor yesterday. Need thoughts.
June 8, 2005
11:35 am
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2bstrong
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Hi everyone,

I started seeing a new counselor about six weeks ago. I did this so that my insurance would cover some of the therapy--up to 13 visits. She was concerned that the limited visits wouldn't be enough to achieve the results I was looking for. I told her it would be ok to continue after the 13 visits, and I would pay for them on my own after that.

I was suffering from severe depression for a couple of weeks and she suggested that I increase our visits to twice a week. I thought that would be ok just for a couple of weeks, and then I wanted to go back to once a week.

Well, she scheduled two sessions for this week, after I had said that starting this week, I wanted to go down to one visit.

At my session last night, I told her that I was cancelling my Thursday night session for various reasons. She told be that she was confused about my comittment to "our relationship", and didn't see how reducing the session to once a week was going to produce the results I was looking for in the healing process.

I actually got angry, and found myself explaining myself as to why I wanted to reduce our sessions.

Any thoughts on this?

2b

June 8, 2005
11:40 am
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lollipop3
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My suggestion would be....if you are not comfortable....find another one. I realize that they are there to make money, but if that is her only concern....you will suffer in the long run.

It seems to me that she is trying to make you feel guilty about your commitment to the "relationship".

Drop her like a dirty sack of laundry and find someone that would never use tatics like that.

Very unprofessional, in my opinion.

Lolli

June 8, 2005
11:41 am
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garfield9547
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This is not right. In therapy it should be the ONE place we you can express yourself. She did not handle this in a mature way. She put pressure on you. MAYBE she needs the money. I do not know if you have the guts to tell her. I am in therapy and suggested I go every 2 week. He told me out of experience that he thinks I need to go at least 1 a week, but that he respects the way I feel and booked me for every 2 week.
Without saying or asking anything

June 8, 2005
11:42 am
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garfield9547
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I agree with lollipop, get somebody else.

June 8, 2005
11:45 am
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revelation
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Hi 2b,

I agree with lollipop. I think once you are feeling uncomfortable, you need to find someone else. The fact that she is making you angry and the fact that she seems to be practically forcing you to see her...well, that would send me running for cover. People need to see therapists for a reason, and they are usually very vulnerable at the time, therein lies the risk. As a trained person she should be aware of your vulnerability and of your feelings at this moment, she has risked scaring you away....how good at her job can she be?

June 8, 2005
11:49 am
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lollipop3
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2b,

I would also like to add that my therapist told me about different programs in my area for people who don't have insurance, no job, etc....that offer counseling on a sliding scale and in some cases for free.

Perhaps, if money is a problem you could look into something like that in your area.

good luck,
Lolli

June 8, 2005
1:11 pm
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kathygy
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I don't see anything wrong with what your therapist said. It sounds to me that she was telling you what she felt was in your best interest to make gains in therapy. I do not understand why you felt so angry. I think it is very important for you to tell her how you feel, to talk about your anger at her. If she is a good therapist she will be glad you spoke up and will work with you about your feelings. I think it is a big mistake if you simply walk away without talking about your feelings with her.

June 8, 2005
1:18 pm
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exoticflower
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When you start to feel uncomfortable WITH your treatment I have heard that is the time to really stick with it, but to be made uncomfortable with money and time issues is not the same, has nothing to do with therapy. I feel like here we know you well enough to know that you are truly committed to your proccess, that you really want to work on you and get better. I think it is underhanded and manipulative to imply to someone who is serious about their healing isn't committed enough. I agree that it sounds very unprofessional, I would see if you can get a dr. somewhere else...maybe even one from a different practice all togeather, this may be someting that is encouraged at the practice you are with right now. Good luck, whatever you decide to do...though I wonder, have you found her to be beneficial to you beyond this matter? Could you work past this one matter, would it be worth it to you? The answer sounds like no from your tone, but I am sure you can feel better about whatever your decision if you know you have asked yourself all of these questions honestly first.

June 8, 2005
1:21 pm
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CAMER
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i can go either way on this one. I think your therapist was saying 2x per week for your interest, and maybe wanted you to get the results you
needed.....but as long as you specifically state only 1x per week, and she crosses that boundary of scheduling more, then there is a problem. I would ask yourself if you feel comfy on the results she is giving you and on your own well being.

June 8, 2005
1:38 pm
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lollipop3
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Kathy, I agree with you on the one hand that she should discuss her feelings with her therapist and see what happens from there.

However, from what she described....she explained to her therapist that money was an issue and this therapist....after hearing her reasons....questioned her "commitment" to the process!

That to me is a huge red flag. Just because someone has a license does not make them ethical and being as vulnerable as 2b is....it's not only unethical but can be dangerous to her well being.

I've been told by many in my search for a therapist, that if you feel that they do not have your best interest at heart...find another one.

I'm not saying...if they say something truthful that makes you have uncomfortable feelings, to run away and find someone that agrees with you....but this doesn't seem to be the case.

Lolli

June 8, 2005
2:49 pm
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2bstrong
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Thank you all for your thoughts and comments.

I did talk a bit about the frequency of the therapy with her last night. I told her I was fatigued, kind of like when you work out too much and your body tells you to cut back a bit. And that is how I truly feel. It is MY decision to continue counseling. I did not say that I wanted to quit, I said that I felt once a week was enough and comfortable for me, both mentally and financially. I really did leave feeling guilty--she made an issue of me breaching a comittment. My comittment in counseling is to myself, I am not there to make sure the counselor has a patient. I am there for me.

I am going to seek another counselor. I have already made an appointment with someone for next Wednesday. I am also going to share my thoughts with the provider network.

June 8, 2005
2:51 pm
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lollipop3
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2b,

As long as you are certain that you are not running away from painful "truths" , then I think you are doing the right thing.

The last place in the world you need to be made to feel guilty is with your therapist.

Good Luck,
Lolli

June 8, 2005
3:00 pm
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Amazed
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Hey guys just another view but where did the original post say anything about money??? Did we just assume that by having someone question the reduction in time that it's money related????

Could it have been that the therapist is trying to help meet the goals that were set in the beginning. I read this that the therapist was questioning their ability to help reach goals if the therapy was reduced by 50%. Lets say you had a plan for a cruise vacation. And in order to go you had to put $100 in the bank each week. If you decided to reduce it to $50 it would now take you two years to go on the cruise.

If you were going with a friend and they counted on you going you would have to back out.

Same here. If it takes you twice as long to get to your goal would you think the therapist was bad because you've now been going for two years vs. one??? What happens if they didn't question your decision, how would you feel then? Maybe ok, maybe not.

You should only visit with a therapist you feel comfortable with - but the only way they can help you is if you are OPEN AND HONEST with them. If you never tell them how you feel how can they help you???

I'm not advocating staying with a therapist you are unhappy with but be fair to them and give them a chance to answer your concerns. The advantage of a good therapist is to establish a good relationship - constantly changing doesn't allow this to happen. If they were good at one time and this is the issue that really concerns you about them - then I would urge you to call them and talk about what concerns you - so they might work out a better solution vs. you leaving.

June 8, 2005
3:02 pm
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kathygy
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You can always go therapist hoping when you hit a rough spot. I would urge you to confront your therapist and tell her exactly how you feel and what you want and need from her. If she is a good therapist she will want to work things through with you so that you feel comfortable. Therapists often learn to be better therapist from their clients. Just be sure you are not reacting out of anger.

June 8, 2005
3:04 pm
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2bstrong
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Lolli,

Thanks for all of your thoughts. I can honestly say that I am not running away from any truths, and perhaps this is the first time in my life that I have been brave enought to face some of the things that are painful in my life. I want to discover and change the unhealthy behaviors I have that may have led to the troubles in my relationships. I intend to stick with this for the long haul. I enjoy this journey of self-discovery.

This is a boundaries issue. I will recover at my own pace, not dictated by someone else. I want to do what is comfortable for me.

thanks, 2b

June 8, 2005
3:06 pm
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peacesoul
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2Be....it would be a pain to start with a new therapist, so next time you see her, see if she suggests this again. If she does, tell her you would like to heal at your own pace, not hers.

Personally, unless you are suicidal, there is NO reason to be in therapy twice a week.
I've been severely depressed in my life, suffered years of panic attacks (housebound for 7 months when I was 19) and no therapist told me twice a week was a necessity.
I was cured with once a week !

MY opinion, therapy twice a week, keeps you dependent on a therapist. The time in between sessions is JUST AS IMPORTANT as the time you see her/him.

Also standing your ground with her is a good way to assert your opinion and feelings cause they matter

June 8, 2005
3:07 pm
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peacesoul
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There 2be...we just posted almost the same opinion :- )

Great (crazy) minds huh?!..hahah

June 8, 2005
3:15 pm
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2bstrong
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Just another thought: at the beginning I had not even given thought to going twice a week, due to schedule arrangements, etc. And I did mention something about the financial aspect--she did say that we could work out a payment plan. I appreciated that. But that is not the issue, here.

I agree with you peacesoul--that the time between sessions is important. I told her last night that I am a hardworker--I don't just leave her office and forget about it til the next session. I use our discussions as journal starters, I buy books at the bookstore, I come here and try to learn and share. I know I have a long way to go, and that is ok with me.

Another thing that puzzled me was the length of time that she wanted to discuss "our relationship" hers and mine. Is this common?

Maybe I should assert again with her?

June 8, 2005
3:15 pm
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sewunique
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I have been told this in the past as well. And, I felt resentment from it. But I think it was two fold of why I felt that way.

One, I was not in control, and two the therapist thought she knew best. Maybe, but it was because I did not get what I wanted, (one time a week as to twice a week) and trying to be controlling of myself, although I had been there for her advice. Doesn't make sense, or does it?

Part of what I felt was trying to be in control. Part of it was that I did not feel comfortable with the counselor, so this little bit of her saying two sessions triggered anger in me, as you say you felt.

If you are not truly feeling comfortable with your sessions, you may think about another therapist. Sometimes it takes a few to get the right fit. There is nothing wrong with that. After all, you are paying for it and it is about your life you are sharing, so you should be able to feel good about the sessions and the outcome of it all and to grow from it.

It is a good feeling when this happens. Even bettter when your sessions become so that you are figuring out your own answers quickly and start to ask self reflective questions in session and out. Then you will be well on your way to good recovery.

'Course, just my two and half cents worth.

June 8, 2005
3:17 pm
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2bstrong
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hoo hoo, peacesoul! yes I so crazy!

June 8, 2005
3:22 pm
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sewunique
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You said;

"Another thing that puzzled me was the length of time that she wanted to discuss "our relationship" hers and mine. Is this common?

What is this about? RED Flags????

All I can tell you since you did not elaborate on this, is one experience I had.

I had a counselor that spent more time talking about her life than mine. I felt good at first; we had commonalities to share.

BUT, I felt 'robbed' of my session after a while. She spoke more about her life than mine!!!!! This is not what therapy is about, nor the purpose of it. I felt like I had begun to pay for her to be in therapy with ME.....with MY money!

Needless to say, others may have complained, no, not coda I. But, she was gone from that counseling place after about six months.

So there you have it.

June 8, 2005
3:23 pm
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peacesoul
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I meant to say crazy mind think alike..hahah

You know what, NO IT IS NOT NORMAL that she wants to discuss a patient/therapist relationship on your dime. That should be discussed "off the clock".

I say give her one more shot...but try the other therapist too, It can never hurt. I mean hell, we get 2nd opinions for physical ailments, why not our mental

June 8, 2005
3:32 pm
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lollipop3
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Amazed----

I'm not sure if I should be answering for her but....

2b said in her original post that her insurance company would only pay for 13 visits and then she would have to pay the full cost...therefore she only wanted to do twice a week during her time of severe depression and then go back to once a week.

At least that's the way I understood it.

Lolli

June 8, 2005
4:04 pm
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kathygy
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It is very common in therapy that the focus becomes about the relationship between therapist and client. I have found this over and over again. I think it is anormal part of the process because of transference. It is an excellent opportunity to learn how to have a healthy relationship depending on how healthy your therapist is. Issues are always bound to come up that need attention.

June 8, 2005
4:17 pm
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exoticflower
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I think that in this instance, your therapist is the one who made your relationship the focus, rather than outright saying 'I feel that you would be better off this way, let me explain', she was acusitory and passive agressive about it--traits I know I have problems with as a codependent...it is certainly the last thing I would want to see from the person helping me with it.

I think the bottom line is HOW uncomfortable one feels, and WHY. I hope you will feel comfortable with your new therapist, and that you feel like you have swiched over for the right reasons. I would hesitate to call changing therapists one time for a very soecific reason after putting much thought into it 'therapist hopping', though if you see a patern emerging, I would re-evaluate if I where you, definately. (((((((((2b))))))), glad you are doing what you feel is best.

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