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What happens at your counseling sessions?

(12 Posts)
KeepMeCalm13 Thu 14-Nov-13 11:27:32

I started counseling on November 5th for depression. Mainly to try to find out what is causing me to be depressed as there are no historical factors in my life to have caused it.

At my first appointment I was in the room 40 minutes. The man had me fill in a Self Assessment Questionnaire and then gave me a diary sheet that I have to fill in daily.

He then made me a telephone appointment for the 11th, which lasted 10 minutes. He asked me to do the self assessment questionnaire again beforehand so I reeled off my scores, and told him I hadn't filled in the diary every day as some days I didn't know what to write as I was feeling reasonably ok. He said to still fill it in.

My next appointment is on the 26th and I'm yet to fill in the diary since I have no clue what to write.

Is this how the counseling will be then? Me just filling in self assessment questionnaires and the diary? As I can't see how that is going to help me. I was expecting him to talk to me and get me to open up about things, using his questions to work out what causes the depression. He said he has spoke to his supervisor who is baffled by me!

Hermione123 Thu 14-Nov-13 12:58:35

I can sort of see it could be ok for a first appt, but not as a plan for your counselling, usually after the first session they tell you what the treatment plan will be, not that I have vast experience of it but I've been for two sets over a nbr of yrs. tell him directly that the diary and questionnaire aren't enough and ask what your treatment plan is. If he tells you they are all 'baffled' ask to speak to his supervisor yourself, and if that person is also not helpful, ask them to refer you to someone else. Goodluck op!

Pinkandwhite Thu 14-Nov-13 13:02:38

Hi keepmecalm,

No, that really isn't how counselling should be. It is totally unprofessional and unacceptable that your counsellor told you his supervisor is 'baffled' by you. I can also understand why you don't find filling in the assessments and diary helpful. Counselling can be incredibly beneficial if there is trust between you and the counsellor and you feel you are working together to explore and resolve whatever brought you into counselling in the first place.

Is it NHS counselling?

fruitandnutti Fri 15-Nov-13 12:44:09

I've probably had about 8 or so counselors over the years. only 2 of them were any good the rest were a waste of time, and one was very damaging and totally unprofessional.

personally, I think there are a lot of rubbish counselors and I think a lot of them are after the $$$ (I've had at least 2 where this was fairly blatant).

i would try and be as upfront / blunt as you can with this person about what you think you would / would not find helpful. personally if it was me i would be looking to change cousnellors. I've never had to fill in diary / check lists.

i should say though that i have a fairly negative view of counselors - i am sure there are a lot of people out there who can be a lot more positive about counseling, so perhaps they can comment to give a more balanced view on this thread!

Pinkandwhite Fri 15-Nov-13 14:57:41

I agree with fruit - there are a lot of rubbish counsellors out there but there are also some amazing ones who can help you make big, very positive changes. You need to look at their qualifications. Ideally you want someone who is UKCP qualified:

http://members.psychotherapy.org.uk/find-a-therapist/

That is a qualification that takes 5 years to achieve. It is the highest standard of qualification you can get as a counsellor. It is an expensive and time consuming training which therefore makes it far less likely that those individuals who just want to make money will bother with it.

I also saw someone excellent from here:

http://www.hypno-psychotherapy.net/directory2

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 15-Nov-13 15:00:38

How did you find this counsellor OP and what type of counseling does he claim to do?

HoopHopes Fri 15-Nov-13 19:24:44

A he mood diary is often used to get a picture of patterns etc. important to out down when have good days etc.

Many counsellors or psych's do not ask questions as they use a model of working that does not, a psychodynamic approach; they believe asking questions is leading and frames the sessions

KeepMeCalm13 Fri 15-Nov-13 19:48:57

Sorry I forgot that I had asked this.

I was referred to him through my GP. It's a company called Healthy Minds. I presume its through NHS as I'm not paying anything. I'm not keen on him tbh as he says "erm" a lot as though he has no idea what he is doing. He's only a few years older than me too (I'm mid 20s) and I'd prefer somebody older with more experience.

I'll see what happens over the next few weeks.

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 15-Nov-13 21:14:31

Do that OP and if you are still unhappy or confused request a different counsellor. Did he tell you what qualifications he had or the name of his supervisor?

BigArea Fri 15-Nov-13 21:36:42

Definitely request a change - he doesn't sound much cop. Your description of what you anticipated and counselling session would include is about right.

If you can find the right therapist, counselling can be amazingly helpful for depression.

HoopHopes Fri 15-Nov-13 22:20:35

I would tell him next session that you are not finding the sessions useful; I say this because counselling is limited in NHS so if you keep seeing him then want someone else you may find you have had your allotted number of sessions. All NHS counselling is time limited. But that is just what I would do.

Often the reason they get you to fill out all these questionnaires is to compare your 'before, during and after' state if mind so to speak. The results can then be used to show how good the service is or isn't which might then be used to decide whether the service continues or gets more money by the commissioners. Harsh, but that's the business side if things.

On a more positive note, it sounds like you're having a cognitive behavioural therapy approach which is particularly good for treating depression. Do stick with it to see if it helps, but also do speak up if you don't like some aspects if it.

I agree with the previous poster who said it was completely unprofessional to mention the supervisor saying you we're baffling. It sounds like it's knocked your confidence in them and you're feeling a bit unsure about whether your can be helped.

I have private psychoanalytic psychotherapy and it is bloody hard work and painful but it has also been very enlightening and ultimately very useful.

I hope you can find something that works for you.

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