I just joined a website for health issues. I am in the eczema group. a chronic skin condition. they responded to my post with an ad for eczema medication. something I'm already on... what the hell...? An AD?? A commercial?
I'm so glad that hidden hurt has real people to respond to people's situations with real information for people problems !!
I agree Jeannie..we are very lucky that this website exists and really does a great job at supporting people. I tried to join a different DV website..don't remember where or how I found it and they charge to join. I didn't want to have to pay.
If you ever wish for more professional and 24/7 support, most national DV hotlines now offer 24/hours chat support as well where you can check in with licensed mental health professionals/trained DV advocates in the field.
Janine, I have an appt, next week, July 12, 18. I am seeing a therapist up in town. I'll see how it goes. I have been to therapy on/off over the years. I usually ended up feeling humiliated at putting my trust in this or that professional. Instead of helping me.. the stuff they told me to do. One therapist told me to sell my house and move to the ghetto where it is slightly cheaper in housing cost. But, higher in heating costs. And, not safe to walk out the door. Another therapist yawned the moment I opened my mouth. This was the therapist where I really felt like a test specimen. While I was waiting for her to come into room. The loud phone would ring. I would jump outta my skin. That phone would ring during the appt. she would pick up the phone and say it is nothing. Also, there was a two-way mirror on one wall. Another therapist glared at me when I talked about stuff she didn't want to hear. She was ok, if I mentioned a flower bloomed, but don't mention real problems.
'Yeah, I am really ready for this therapy appt. next week. I bet she will not like me. I will walk in suspicious. I will bait her, just to see what she says. I refuse to go into blah, blah, blah about my whole life story before I know if this person is worth my trust to know this info.
I don't quite trust those DV hotlines either. I have called them. Some of these people who answer the phone. I remember calling after my ex-boyfriend Jim wrote me a letter in the mail and he called me a few days later. I called the DV hotline, a woman answered the phone. I briefly said what happened. This woman loudly exclaimed I'm SO sorry to hear this. That must really hurt !!! I was floored. I paused and said Huh?
Hi Jeannie, one thought about counselors..good ones don't give you advice. They need to let you lead the session. It is ok to go in and say "I don't trust anyone, including counselors". Or "I am skeptical about how this is going to go". Telling the counselor upfront how you are feeling is a good thing. It is being honest and it tells them where you are at that moment. BUT..also, if you are comfortable, perhaps give them a chance. You may just hit gold and find one that you can work with.
I too had a counselor who yawned, one even fell asleep. That was terrible. I had one who was blind once and I found her to be very difficult to work with because I couldn't make good eye contact and that is something I needed. There are TONS of counselors out there. Finding the right fit is hard sometimes. I got lucky with the one I am seeing now. She was at my local DV center and she offered me 1:1 counseling when she saw me struggle in the support group. I am a healthcare professional. I have been on the other side running support groups, so being in one was really difficult. I have done very well with 1:1 counselling. She is patient, she lets me lead the discussion, but she also knows when to ask me questions to make me think. I usually end up crying because they are questions and thoughts that are easier to avoid. BUT I learn about me and I grow, and I heal. I have been on and off 3 times now and she never tells me I can't come back.
Also, maybe think about what is it you are looking for in a counselor? Do you want someone who has the answers? Or someone who asks thought provoking questions that help you look at things that are difficult to consider? Do you want someone to tell you what is best and what you should or shouldn't do? A good counselor (in my opinion) isn't there to give you the answers. They are there to help guide you to the answers that feel right for you. If they are telling you what you should do or what is best for you? They are not doing a good job.
They should also start with a "contract" or agreement with you. Like "Ok, how long should we meet? How often? " And if it is a brand new counselor, perhaps ask," what do you need to know about me? or do you want to hear my whole story or just where I am right now? Some will take a social history.
So, whatever works for you is what matters. And if it doesn't sound good or right, then say "it doesn't feel right what you are saying or why are you saying that? or I don't understand what you mean?" It is ok to question.
Therapy is about YOU. It is to help you move forward. If you have a goal in mind, then tell him/her. "This is what I want to accomplish, I want to figure out why I don't trust people, or I have been feeling ...and I want to try and get past that feeling" "Or I am stuck, Stuff has come back to the surface and I want to try and get past it".
Good luck, I really hope it goes well for you Jeannie!
Karen, many years ago I had a good therapist. He would throw in his one liners and he was spot on. For instance: I attended a family wedding and brought my children along. My sister-in-law was in the receiving line. As we made our way down the receiving line my sister-in-law was next for me to greet. The moment I walked up to her, she turned around to talk to the person next to her, leaving me standing there. My kids were tugging at my skirt cause they had to go potty. I stood there waiting for my sister-in-law to acknowledge me in receiving line. She just kept on talking to person next to her. My kids were more persistent at tugging at my sleeve cause they were ready to pee their pants. Finally I stepped out of the receiving line to take my kids to bathroom. My sister-in-law threw up her arms in protest, and acted like I was being rude to her.
My therapist said; You were there, She wasn't. He explained that she held up the receiving line, that she was rude. He said I was in the right. She was wrong. Anyway, this therapist was assigned to administrative . duties eventually and he was no longer a therapist. The other therapists that I had would have asked me how I feel about that, and I never would have figured out what my sister-in-law was up to.
I want good feedback from a therapist. Tell me if I am crazy, or are they crazy. Don't tell me to figure it out on my own. Thank you Karen. That appt. is tomorrow and now I know what to say to her. Thank you !!!
Hey Jeannie, how are you doing? How was your therapy visit? I agree, figuring it out on our own is hard, counselors should be able to help us sort through all the junk in our heads and hearts and figure stuff out. Glad you did have a good one. They are out there, kinda frustrating that they took the good therapist and put them to administrative stuff. That figures, the good ones always get asked to do more!
Karen, since I made my appt. a month in advance I forgot it was a meet & greet. My first session she said she has to do a two-hour psych-eval. Her office is a hot box. She said she is still getting heat in her office (in summer) No fans in room. I have asthma. After this long psych-eval. She asked if I ever wished I had went into the military. I said yes. (I wish I went when I was 18) she said. Now let me tell you who I really am !! She said she was in navy for X-amount of years. She did this long titled named job in navy for X-amount of years. And she expects me to be straight up !! And, She doesn't take Crap !! She went OFF on me. On and on she pounded me. Then she was pounding rapid questions at me about drug use. On and on it went. My insurance got billed for 3 hours.
Hey Jeannie, I am disturbed too and if I was you, I wouldn't go back.
This is one of those times when listening to that inner voice that says "RUN" and "DON'T LOOK BACK"..is a good thing. I don't know what kind of credentials this counselor has, but she doesn't sound like what you need. If you are not feeling comfortable, don't go back.
My concern here is she is not going to foster a trusting relationship with you, you are not going to feel safe to reveal anything about yourself and there is a really good possibility that this counselor will "trigger" you and you will continue to feel abused. It will traumatize you. Honestly, if this is not working, I wouldn't even give her another chance to be better. Chances are, she will not.
Hey Jeannie, you have every right to request a different therapist. You are the "customer" in a sense and deserve to receive services from someone that works well with you.
Perhaps give yourself time to think about it and maybe search around for other options? I also wonder if this counselor has a "supervisor" or someone who is above her? It may pay at some point to write a letter of your experience? There may be several complaints against this woman for her tactics or "skills" for counseling. There may be 10 people ahead of you who have requested a different counselor. I can't see how she is helpful to anyone.
I think possibly on this forum, Janine has posted a website on how to find a good counselor. Having that good fit is really important.
I go to my local DV center and have a counselor there that I am working with. I know, in my area, there are other DV options /centers for counselling. Maybe there is someone nearby? Crossing my fingers that the right fit comes along. I know it is so discouraging when it doesn't work for us!
Karen, I was so upset by that therapist pounding me with questions about drug use, that one week after my appt. I called the clinic, I left a voice message with the therapist, I said I will voluntarily do a drug test. I said she can name the day and time, and place, and I'll be there. I said Lets take this off the table. I haven't heard from her. That appt. with her set me back into the victim mode. I thought I was doing better, and she destroyed it in 3 hours. My asthma was aggravated by sitting in her hot box office for 3 hours. I struggled for air for a week. My voice was weak for lack of air. This was compounded by days of hot, humid temps. in the 90's. And, I was so rattled that I was tongue-tied for over a week. I couldn't talk straight !! I was talking like a drunken sailor. It was terrible! I couldn't control it !!! Then gradually my voice came back.
I have an appt. with her on Aug 15. I plan to go at this appt. to tell her off. I want her to know the damage she did. If she wants to fight me. I'll get up her nose. Cause her nose is the only thing I could see. Her chair was higher than my chair. She had her nose up in the air. So when she was staring me down, raising her voice, glaring at me. All I could see was mean slited eyes and her nostrils.
Hey Jeannie, I am not surprised she triggered you as much as she did. It is horrible all she said to you. I believe you were/are doing very well too, but we get triggered and sometimes it doesn't take much for something to set us back. Our brains don't know the difference between a trigger that happened a week ago or 3 years ago. It still reacts the way it remembers. That is why it takes victims/survivors so long sometimes to get past being triggered. I am 4-5 years away from the abuse in my life and I am still getting triggered..so much that I just recently started back to see my therapist at my local DV center. I have been triggered a lot in many different situations, so I felt I needed support to get past some of the hurt that I was pushed right back into.
I am glad your voice is back and your breathing is better!
I only have one concern and this is strictly my opinion. If I was in this situation, I would not go back to this counselor. My reasoning is, there is a very good possibility that she will trigger you again. I know you want to tell her off and you have every reason that is good to do this. AND I would give her feedback, but I am not sure meeting with her, face to face is going to be a good thing, It is like going back to the abuser and telling him or her off. We think and feel that we are strong and very willing and able to go up against someone like that, but I know for me, some triggers are just still too fresh and I would crumble against someone like her.
For me, I would find a supervisor and request they be with you or bring a friend, someone you trust to support you if you feel like it would help to have a "witness". I am just trying to think of ways it would help to empower you, without you getting kicked in the stomach. I would suggest maybe writing a letter to her and bring it with you and read it?
Going 1 on 1 with this therapist..the last thing you want is for her to go at it again. What you don't want is her getting the advantage and try to bring you down, like telling you you are the problem, or you are over thinking or misunderstood her, or she will deny that which she said. She could twist this all around and you will be triggered again , kind of like talking to another abuser.
Calling a supervisor of hers may be a great place to start? The therapist may not be affected by what you have to say, I suspect she is the bully, and blows off anyone who bullies her. I don't know, but my gut tells me this therapist could do more damage to you than what you would get from telling her off.
And don't get me wrong Jeannie..you are strong and wise and very capable of standing up to her, but I know for me, when I have wanted to tell someone off who triggered me, it never goes well. I have to find another way to give my feedback. For me, a supervisor is the best option. They are a neutral party and who knows, maybe there are many complaints against this therapist and yours would be the one that broke the camel's back as the saying goes.
She should know the damage she did, but so should her supervisor..that is where she can be hurt most. Also, may find a website or something where you can give a review of your experience..you are the consumer and posting a review about a therapist who does a horrible job, that would hurt her more. She may very well be a narcissist or abusive. And she needs to be reported to some authority figure.
Going No Contact works here. I know when I am triggered (and I have been at my job), I know telling that individual off will only make me worse and not give the satisfaction I am seeking. I have to find another way.
Will be thinking of you on the 15th..I am hoping everything goes the way you want it.
Karen, I was venting my anger & frustration. I was victimized again. I go for help, and I get beat-up. And, yes the bullies always get away with it. After reading your post, maybe I better back down. This therapist is employed by Health & Human Services, which is big out here. They have their hand in a lot of programs for low income, as I am low income, maybe I better just walk away from this situation. At this point I am done with seeing any therapist ever again. If nothing else for reasons of my asthma, I cannot go back to her hot-box office. I know this is a paranoid thought but I listed asthma on my paperwork in waiting room and she already received my paperwork about 35-40 minutes before she called me into her office. Did she purposely block off the air to her office? I know this is a crazy thought, but I used to take my son to this same building for a therapist, and the psychcriatrist for his ADHd, and every room in building had AC. But, somehow my therapist who claims to have 30 + years of experience says her office is still heated in summer. No fans in her office. So they run the furnace for her office, and run the AC for rest of the building? Add in how right before she laid into me she asked me if I ever wanted to be in military. I said yes (but when I was 18) Was this her permission to put me in boot camp? crazy thoughts going through my head.
Did she purposely trigger my asthma to wear me down? crazy thought
I told my daughter about this therapist and the hot stuffy room. My daughter asked if she is overweight. I said yes, why? My daughter said some women believe that sweating it off will help them lose weight.
Hey Jeannie..very good idea about this therapist doing this on purpose. Whatever she did? She wanted control and she took it! She very well could have done all with some hidden agenda in mind.
I don't think you are paranoid at all. Your gut is telling you that something was very wrong in this situation and you are now making a change There is nothing wrong with listening to that inner voice. It may have been a mistake on her part? But, she obviously wasn't trying to make you comfortable or at ease and that speaks volumes to me of a therapist who is more concerned about herself than her clients.
You not going back to her makes complete sense and is very understandable. It there a local Domestic Violence center nearby? I go to one near my home (aobut a 25 minute drive) and my counseling is for free. I am just wondering if, when you are ready, to try again and see if there is a different option available?
Being low income or not..you deserve quality care from a quality, decent type therapist who upholds the values and ethics of her profession. There are good ones out there, sometimes it may take going through a lot of bad ones to find the right one.
Very sorry this happened. The last thing we need is being traumatized by those who are supposed to help us and give us a "safe" environment to heal!