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To wonder if counselling or talk therapy is always effective?

(18 Posts)
Elanrode Thu 12-Jan-17 16:41:04

I'm asking not to be goady (obviously) but it does seem fairly standard advice - to access professional counselling and that it will work (and if it doesn't it was due to the wrong counsellor rather than the fact counselling isn't necessarily effective in some cases.)

Do you think this is always the case? I have had counselling and must admit I didn't find it enormously helpful.

harderandharder2breathe Thu 12-Jan-17 16:50:04

No not always. It works best if the person is able and willing to engage with it, and with trust in the counsellor.

Oblomova Thu 12-Jan-17 16:54:01

Not always - there are people who literally can't do it, because they've never learned to think about their feelings. I can think of several people, all male, I know well, who would be baffled and antagonised by counselling.

Though I think a more general problem is not being able to find a good counsellor, or just one that suits your needs.

Elanrode Thu 12-Jan-17 16:54:41

That still assumes that the problem lies with the person rather than the process, though. That's what I'm querying.

user892 Thu 12-Jan-17 16:57:36

There are so many different types / models of counselling and so many different approaches to them. It can be a challenge to find a good match but I think if someone wants help to change something then it's worth having a good look into it.

I can think of:- person centred / transactional analysis / existential therapy / psychoanalysis / cognitive behavioural therapy / hypnotherapy / gestalt therapy and probably more I've forgotten

user892 Thu 12-Jan-17 16:59:24

Did you have a clear outcome goal Elan?

user892 Thu 12-Jan-17 17:00:38

I found person centred (talking) therapy pretty wishy washy and useless. I needed something more practical and affirming. A mix of CBT and existentialism would have been grand.

FormerlyFrikadela01 Thu 12-Jan-17 17:05:13

In my experience (I'm a mental health nurse) the kind of talking therapies offered by the NHS are only effective for those with quite low level problems iyswim. The main issue is that to really make any sort of impact therapy needs to be over an extended period of time and the NHS just can't find that.

I've seen therapy (various approaches/models) work wonders in some of my patients however I work in forensics so we have people as inpatients for years at a time.
I also know someone who has been having regular weekly therapy for over 3 years and is only just getting to the crux of their problems.
It's a difficult process.l that I hope to one day learn more about.

yorkshapudding Thu 12-Jan-17 17:13:20

YANBU. Nothing is "always effective" because everyone is different and every situation is different.

EnthusiasmIsDisturbed Thu 12-Jan-17 17:14:28

No

In theory it should. There are many different types of therapy and I think for the majority of people once they do find what is right for them and a therapist they can work with.

For some people engaging in therapy just doesn't work for them but of course then there is something in why they are not engaging

CheerfulMuddler Thu 12-Jan-17 17:18:15

No - in fact some studies have shown them to be counterproductive in some (very specific) circumstances. As everyone else has said - it depends on the person, the counsellor and the problems you're trying to deal with.

Imaginosity Thu 12-Jan-17 17:24:40

For me anti depressants have cured my anxiety and depression

DoggyMadMum Thu 12-Jan-17 17:25:43

I have been very lucky in the fact I have had fantastic private counselling and it changed my life - I do get quite evangelical about it! Although over the years I have tried a number of different counsellors either through work or who happen to be local and have found them pointless and a waste of time. I now have a fantastic counsellor who although is nearly an hour away is worth the travel as she is super qualified and we get on well personally - def worth her weight in gold. When people complain it didn't work for them then I tend to assume they got a dud counsellor rather than it would never work for them.

Orangecake123 Thu 12-Jan-17 17:34:44

I've just recently started with a new therapist- ( it's session 5) and for the first time I honestly feel like I am making progress and dealing with issues that should have been dealt with a long time ago. Over the years I've seen two other therapists. The first I saw for perhaps maybe 6 sessions and the second was for just an assessment. I stopped early with the first because I didn't feel that he was helping. The second I knew just wasn't right for me after I left. I think the process is very much dependent on whether or not you can connect with your therapist. But also their level of experience with dealing with your particular issue. Don't be afraid of asking them questions.

HunterofStars Thu 12-Jan-17 17:44:47

I was very lucky as I had a wonderful counsellor who I was very engaged with and I did make some amazing progress and certainly worth her weight in gold. It has certainly changed my life for the better.

I think some people (not all, but some) get an idea that counselling is a quick fix to all their problems and expect all their problems to be cured in one session, which doesn't work like that. It takes a while and it does really depend on the person and the counsellor, as well as the therapy involved as there are so many types of therapy out there.

HunterofStars Thu 12-Jan-17 17:46:21

I was very lucky as I had a wonderful counsellor who I was very engaged with and I did make some amazing progress and certainly worth her weight in gold. It has certainly changed my life for the better.

I think some people (not all, but some) get an idea that counselling is a quick fix to all their problems and expect all their problems to be cured in one session, which doesn't work like that. It takes a while and it does really depend on the person and the counsellor, as well as the therapy involved as there are so many types of therapy out there.

sparkleploof Thu 12-Jan-17 17:55:08

I'm training in the field at the moment and would have to say that it depends on a few things. Firstly and most importantly, the relationship with the counsellor, if that isn't established then there is little chance of effective therapy. Secondly, is the correct model being used?
I would have to assume if someone was in the position of receiving counselling they would be willing and receptive.
Obviously I think counselling can be fantastic but the conditions need to be right.

Gingerbreadmam Thu 12-Jan-17 17:58:34

I have found it depends on the counsellor.

After ds was stillborn i accessed one through nhs. Dp and i were in a bad way as he has just lost his dm too. The counsellor seemed to focus in on what a tough life dp had had and felt sorry for him i felt and was more interested in relationship counselling.

Similarly i saw another counsellor who was fantastic however she had experienced some similar things to me and was intent on sticking my dp in the same box as her ex which was frustrating for me.

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