Advanced search think that a psychotherapist should not say...

(80 Posts)
echobutnobunnymen Tue 21-Jul-09 22:46:20

'Perhaps there is something in you that can't take help'....when I have waited over a year for an appointment with her.. well an appointment with anyone the desperate hope that I will be helped to stop having suicidal thoughts.

'Well we all have personality disorders'....when I say that I am not sure about group therapy with people with personality disorders, as a lifetime of people with PDs are the reason I am in this mess in the first place.

'Well the best thing to think is 'water off a duck's back' ' ......about my abusive family and husband.

'Well what do you expect? You are going through a divorce and you have three teenagers?'...

'We all have to look within ourselves to see what part we play in our personalities...'

'Labels aren't helpful'

There's more ...but my question is...

Is it usual for a psychotherapist to blame a victim? As that is how I feel after having a half-hour session with this woman today.

What do psychotherapists actually do?

All advice gratefully received and if I am being unreasonable in expecting actual help to improve my mental state then I am happy to be told so.

And does three days a week intensive basket weaving cure anything?


TrinityRhinoHasASillyStepson Tue 21-Jul-09 22:49:26

I dont think anything she has said is 'blanimg the victim'

I dont mean to sound harsh

How long have you been seeing her?
very important to know this

The first thing you write is about a subconcious thing she is talking about
she is not saying you dont want help

definitely need to know what you are suffering and how long you have been seeing this person

hester Tue 21-Jul-09 22:51:24

Oh blimey, my sympathies. I'm far from being an expert - I'm sure someone better qualified will come along soon - but I have just two comments:

First is that the match between you and your psychotherapist is an important one. If you feel this woman isn't right for you, is there an option to switch to someone else?

But having said that, I had long-term treatment with a psychiatrist who used to say the most OUTRAGEOUS things to me, and at the time I hated her, but actually there was a method to her madness and we ended up working together very effectively.

YOu must be feeling very despondent, having waited so long for this session. Is it worth having one more appointment with her then, if you still feel the same, saying to her, "I'm worried about how well we will work together" and explaining your concerns?

TrinityRhinoHasASillyStepson Tue 21-Jul-09 22:51:50

gruop therapy with people with ersonality disorders will be a good thing

there pd's will not affect your support/therapy

they will not abuse/affect you

they will just need help as you need help

If you are sure you need/want to change your thiking thoughts then you should jump at it

you cant take away suicidal thoughts and change nothing else imo

Tiredmumno1 Tue 21-Jul-09 22:54:07

Hi, i have no clue in this sort of thing, i just hate having to talk about problems to strangers, its not a bad thing obviously, if you need help, its nice to know help is there. But i dont agree with her making you feel this way, in fact i am disgusted she is not trying to make you feel better about yourself. Theres lots of people around here to be a shoulder to cry on too.

daisy5678 Tue 21-Jul-09 22:54:18

First of all, sorry it was crap and that you're feeling so down.

My family has a lot of experience with various types of therapies, either as the one doing it or the one receiving it (most are in the latter category). I will say that counselling and psychotherapy are ones I would avoid, given that they are less 'professional' types of therapy than psychologists or psychiatrists and by that I mean the training that they go through. I think a lot of what you've quoted above sounds very dodgy and yet not surprising from a psychotherapist.

YANBU to expect some actual help, but I think maybe look for it in a different place - psychiatrist or psychologist who has had some intensive training and will hopefully be more experienced.

Don't think that anyone in this field will be 'blaming' anyone, but neither will they see you as a 'victim', and they probably won't encourage you to think of yourself in this way either. If you're hoping that therapy will validate you blaming others, it probably won't do that either. It's not about sitting there and getting sympathy for the past; it's about looking at the past with a view to moving on from it and the future being less shit. As I hope your next therapy session is. Good luck - and go and see your GP to ask to be referred to someone else.

echobutnobunnymen Tue 21-Jul-09 22:55:49

I have been seeing her for precisely one half-hour this afternoon, during which she looked at the clock the whole time.

Why will group therapy with PDs help me?

This is a genuine question.

SecretNinjaChipmunk Tue 21-Jul-09 22:57:08

i think hester makes a valid point, maybe you need more than one session to see how she works and how it might help? can you talk to her about this next time you see her? tell her your concerns about the apparent lack of sympathy and get her to explain where she is going with it all?
good luck with it and i hope you get the answers you need.

no idea about basket weaving though.........i imagine it could be quite therapeutic as something to concentrate on

morningsun Tue 21-Jul-09 22:57:09

Psychotherapists vary a lot and a lot depends on their intuition,intelligence,empathy,communication skills,kindness~in short a lot of things that can't be taught!
She shouldn't block you imo~if you feel you have a certain problem/have been affected by certain things,that's your right and you basically know best.
Psychotherapist is a loose title and basic counselling courses are just that~basic.
I tried counselling once but really felt the guy didn't have a clue~if I ever wanted to see someone again/had the need I would only see a clinical psychologist as their training is in depth and they have proper clinical experience.

Don't let her patronise you

echobutnobunnymen Tue 21-Jul-09 22:59:06

I absolutely do not want anyone to validate me blaming others. I want some help to become a normal person with a normal life.

I don't see myself as a victim, although I am one actually. I don't want sympathy...I want help!!

SecretNinjaChipmunk Tue 21-Jul-09 22:59:29

on seeing the messages posted since i read the fist lot, then ask to be referred! givemesleep speaks sense also.

TrinityRhinoHasASillyStepson Tue 21-Jul-09 22:59:45

well why wouldn't it? (not being funny)

tbh if you dont get on with her, if there is more than just thinking what she said wasn't very supportive then ask for someone else
you didn't mention in your op that she clock watched the whole time (that isn't right)

but if you are ready to get better then you need to jump in with both feet and maybe hear some tough stuff about yourself

I hope you find the support that really helps you

I would give her another couple of goes tbh

I would also contact you social services and ask for a CPN

And I would give group therapy a go

If it doesn't help then never mind but I dont think it will do any harm

morningsun Tue 21-Jul-09 23:06:52

Just to add I just remembered I had one session with a private psychotherapist for 50 mins~she also looked at the clock a lot and went on about the "process"lol a lot.

She completely had a delusions about being some sort of "professional" when she also ddidn't have a bleedin clue either.

I came out absolutely gob smacked ,thinking about all the people I'd cared for over the years in medicine,always until the job was sorted,yet this woman didn't even have basic kindness to offer~ and made this big thing about 50 mins being some magic time.

Really,it's not your fault,it's her's.

jeminthepark Tue 21-Jul-09 23:08:48

I think a label of victim in itself is unhelpful for recovery.

echobutnobunnymen Tue 21-Jul-09 23:08:49

Trinity...please elaborate on why I would be helped by group therapy with people with personality disorders?

I am suicidal BECAUSE OF people with personality disorders.

Why would a psychotherapist be combative during a first session with someone obviously desperate for help?

These are genuine questions.

echobutnobunnymen Tue 21-Jul-09 23:10:44

jemin....I have said that I do not consider my self a 'victim', although I am one!!!

It was a turn of phrase.

morningsun Tue 21-Jul-09 23:11:39

I just think combative is wrong and shows she is inflexible and can't think outside the box~and probably a bit self important

thumbwitch Tue 21-Jul-09 23:15:31

Training makes a big difference - and sometimes people apply their training inappropriately - for e.g. I knew of someone who had trained for dealing with drug/alcohol abuse, which can be quite harsh in method - and she applied this inappropriately to people who were in emotional trauma states. VERY wrong.

She sounds distinctly lacking in empathy; but also as though she thinks you need a jolly good bracing talk - do you think you might come across as a wilting victim "poor me" type? You don't sound like you do from your posts, but is there any possibility that you do?

A year is a long time to wait to see someone - have you been referred to this one or is it a private arrangement?

TrinityRhinoHasASillyStepson Tue 21-Jul-09 23:15:54

I dont think she was being combative

I have no experience of group therapy but I dont think it would be group therapy for just people with PD's

so group therapy is group therapy...maybe and it may help

the thing about wrong thoughts in your head, they need to be challenged and often watching someone else have their wrong thoughts challenged can help you

my counsellor and my psychologist have both reduced me to tears at points (seemed to be attacking me) but totally fucking right and have been amazing

cannot thank them enough

also, I dont want to upset you but you keep saying that you are suicidal BECAUSE of other people

let that go
dont keep blaming
look inside
decide to be the one who choses how your life goes

GIvePeasAChance Tue 21-Jul-09 23:16:33

Just change your therapist right away and do not go back.

It does not matter what sort of therapy you go for ( CBT, psychotherapy, person centred etc)........the MOST and ONLY important thing is whether you have a trusting and open relationship with your therapist. You don't and therefore it will not work.

hester Tue 21-Jul-09 23:19:09

echo, in answer to your last question: I'm just guessing here but I think my psychiatrist was very combative with me because she sussed me out quite cleverly. I was being treated for long term anorexia, and had long ago decided I was cleverer than anybody who could treat me, and her bantering style and outrageous assertions (e.g. "Maybe you shoudl have a baby", or "Maybe you need to welcome Jesus into your heart") kind of jolted me out of my smugness and forced me to participate in the process, if only to argue with her. By engaging me we were then able to start getting somewhere.

Now, I'm not saying this is what's going on with your psychotherapist. I have dealt with a few psychotherapists, and some of them have been unbelievably crap. It is impossible for us to know whether your shrink is crap, or whether she is making you feel uncomfortable because she has very accurately identified your complacencies and areas of denial. So everything I say is just a suggestion. The only advice I can offer with confidence is this: breathe, sleep on it, spend the next few days reflecting on whether some of her assertions might just have had a point/be useful for you to learn from, and whether you think there is potential to build from where you are. If you decide that no, she really is crap, please DON'T just not go back. See her, tell her you're struggling with her style, ask her what she is trying to achieve when she says these things, see if there is room for going forward or if not discuss what your other options are. But please make sure you avail yourself of some help.

Good luck.

morningsun Tue 21-Jul-09 23:22:07

It sounds as if you have met her hoping she can explain the thought processes,trauma etc that have brought you to where you currently are and then help you find an understanding and a path through it~but she hasn't got those skills and that is very disapponting.
Find someone highly trained with a wealth of clinical experience.

echobutnobunnymen Tue 21-Jul-09 23:31:56

The woman herself said that the other people in the group all have PDs.

I am NOT blaming, I am just trying to find some help for the first time in my life. I have struggled along and made a life for myself and my children . I know I am very damaged and want to improve that.

I didn't say that I am suicidal because of other people. I said that I am suicidal because of a lifetime of people with PDs.

This is NHS, I have no money!

So am I to expect to be made to feel that if I change myself everything will be wonderful? This is the first time in my life I have ever asked for help, despite being abused as a child.

How can a child ask for help? This woman today made a comment that was suggesting that I was in the wrong for not asking for help as a child. When I was a child there was no help!

I am genuinely asking for knowledgable people here to tell me what should happen.

When I asked the woman if any of the people with PDs ever changed she came out with the 'we all have PDs' comment.

It's all very confusing.

DandyLioness Tue 21-Jul-09 23:33:45

Message withdrawn

Thelongroadhome Tue 21-Jul-09 23:36:41

Sorry you are feeling bad, from that point your session has not been successful.
I think if you really dont feel that this person understood your unhappiness then you need to see someone else as you are unlikely to progress seeing them. If you find you have similar issues with someone else then you may have to consider why this is but if not then hopefully you will be in a better position to respond to the therapy sessions. There are many different therapies and therapists and some of it is about finding what suits you. I am wondering if you are seeing someone privately or on NHS?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now