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Is counselling supposed to make you feel worse?

(13 Posts)
burndownthedisco Fri 17-Feb-17 12:05:51

I've had 11 sessions. I feel a hell of a lot worse now than when I started. Not sure I'm doing the right thing.

NotJanine Fri 17-Feb-17 13:50:29

I thought you were going to say you'd had 1 session and I would have said yes, because it is more a fact finding session.

Do you feel that it is actually the counselling making you feel worse? Or are you just feeling worse anyhow? That may not be an easy question to answer

Do you want to share roughly what it is you are getting counselling for and what style of counselling it is?

Newtoday Fri 17-Feb-17 13:57:43

Sometimes it can, yes. Depends on the levels you may have to travel to to 'unlock' your issues.
I liken it to being called into the woods. They whisper at first. Then they shout! It's dark, but there's always treasure in darkness and nothing can harm you.
You may be tapping into feelings and locked experiences you gave rightly buried for many years, and so they have grown to be quite horrid under the surface. It takes a lot of courage to shine a light on them.

You may need to go slower or take a break. But you can do this and you deserve to do this!

Newtoday Fri 17-Feb-17 13:58:33

CAT therapy usually effective and takes c. 18 sessions, if you feel you'd like a different approach.

nigelforgotthepassword Fri 17-Feb-17 14:00:23

It took me a good six months of weekly therapy to not feel bloody awful after each one. Now we are slightly getting to the stage where I feel positive at the end of the sessions. I liked and trusted my therapist from the get go however-do you feel comfortable with yours?

burndownthedisco Fri 17-Feb-17 14:26:46

I think it's the counselling that's making me feel worse. Definitely.

I started the counselling feeling stressed but managing. Now I'm not coping and have been signed off work. This isn't good, I can't afford to feel this bad for an extended period of time. I need to get back to work, I have children who depend on me to be well.

The reason for the counselling is complicated and I don't want to go into details. It does relate to something that happened years ago, and something more recently. It is something I'd like to work through, but not at the expense of my current mental health, if this is possible!

I don't know what sort of counselling it is. I have the piece of paper bit it doesn't say.

AnxiousCarer Fri 17-Feb-17 17:45:06

Traditional councelling and psychology talking therapies can make things worse if you are dealing with trauma or PTSD.

I've found councelling helpful in the past, I went back to the same councellor recently for PTSD she told me that traditional councelling can make PTSD worse as talking about the traumatic event can retraumatise you. She felt out of her depth and refered me to a psychologist, who went down the talkibg therapy route and made things much worse. I then saw an nlp ( neurolinguistic programming ) therapist that I know who used something called Eye Movement Integration ( EMI ) which stopped my flashbacks and pannick attacks instantly. There is a similar treatment called EDMR which seems to be more mainstream.

I would say if you are actually feeling worse after each session then maybe try something different. I wish I'd gone straight to the nlp therapist and not persevered with the psychologist as seeing him was an awful experience. I'm sure there are lots of very good psychologists and this one came highly reccommend by a number of people, but in retrospect I should have looked for someone who specialised in trauma.

NotJanine Fri 17-Feb-17 17:54:04

Is it through the NHS or are you paying privately?

burndownthedisco Fri 17-Feb-17 19:40:42

It's privately notjanine.

I don't have PTSD anxiouscarer or I would look into that.

hiccupgirl Fri 17-Feb-17 22:22:52

I started seeing my counsellor over a year ago and it def made things much worse for quite a while. But I had avoided dealing with issues and trauma for 20+ years and reached the point where I was constantly anxious and having panic attacks, but felt nothing. So once I started trying to deal with it, I crashed massively about 2 months after starting. It's a lot better now - I am in a better place and deal with it better even after a tough session.

Do you feel you need to carry on - what will happen if you stop? I felt I had to even though it's hard and horrible sometimes because I am benefiting from it, and I was in such a shit place before that I know I need to sort things out.

Have you told your counsellor that it's making things worse? I did which really helped. The counsellor really took on board when I said how I was feeling and that I couldn't handle dealing with certain things at that point.

burndownthedisco Sun 19-Feb-17 10:03:24

Sorry only just got chance to come back to this.

I don't have PTSD but I have a history of severe mental illness with long hospital stays. I have been completely well for about 12 years.

We have been going over stuff from the past. I guess this is why I'm not feeling great.

I don't believe I can even feel ok about some of the stuff we're talking about. I honestly believe that, and I'm not sure what going over it is going to achieve.

My counsellor is really nice, I feel comfortable with her, and yet I feel angry with her confused

I'm just getting cold feet about it. I guess I'm looking for some reassurance that I'm doing the right thing.

NotJanine Sun 19-Feb-17 10:14:33

Is your counsellor reviewing how the work is going with you? Did you start with a plan of what you hoped to achieve and is progress being measured?

AnxiousCarer Sun 19-Feb-17 12:39:20

Ok not trauma related, wasn't sure from earlier posts. Interestingly I read something the other day that stated that a large number of people who experience psychosis are traumatised by the experience. I would imagine that any MI severe enough to require hospitalisation would be a very unpleasant experience.

I used to completely buy in to the "it has to get worse before it gets better" though prior to this experience. The psychologist told me that it was like opening up an infected wound to clean it out and I went along with it trying to stick it out and get through it, it was only when he told me that he wasn't sure he could help, after making things 10 times worse that I decided to change tack. He did it in a way that I felt it was my fault too. I wish I'd changed therapist so much earlier and saved myself months of pain. My new therapist (nlp) told me no things don't have to get worse to get better, and no you don't have to talk about these difficult things to be able to feel better about them, infact talking about them is likely to make you feel worse. For me changing to a different type of therapy was well worth it.

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