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Any advice please on trying again with counselling

(17 Posts)
serialangstyposter Wed 20-Apr-16 13:09:55

I had an unsuccessful attempt at relationship counselling (by myself) a while ago. I posted about it then. I ditched it after 2 sessions.

With a bit of distance I can see some of the reasons I didn't get on with it. But the feeling that the one person I tried to be open with very clearly found me annoying has not gone - it feels like professional confirmation of being deeply flawed. And therefore have not plucked up courage to try again.

So I'm feeling a bit in limbo. My relationship and mental health are not at all good. I can't seem to get out of this. I have posted about various bits here on MN but obviously that's not really fixing anything.

I have an assessment with a mental health team (can't remember the official name) but I'm not sure how they can help as I'm massively put off engaging with strangers again. And the whole focus is now on my depression/anxiety. I'm guessing I'll be offered CBT, if anything.

If I was to try again to pay for counselling privately, what sort of counsellor am I looking for? I guess I'd want to deal with self esteem personally as well as relationship. As well as unhealthy mental health issues. Can this all be dealt with in one?

Counsellor info seems to mention the focus of their approach, eg, humanist, person centred etc. It's a bit confusing!

Guiltypleasures001 Wed 20-Apr-16 13:29:00

Hi serial

If you go on to the counselling directory and put in your area, it will bring up all the counsellors and psychotherapists in you area.

Each one will have a detailed list of what they can help with, their qualifications and even pictures, phone as many as you want or need, and ask questions over the phone. Some will offer a free assessment to see how well you get on in person.

Make sure and they will have this on their profile, that they are a member of a recognised if not accredited by the BACP or UKCP.

Most counsellors will be integrative, this means they are trained in and have access to all types of therapy, CBT person centred humanistic etc .

A counsellor who is trained in many theories. Will be able to Taylor their approach to the client, because one size does not fit all, and CBT is not in itself suitable for deeper psychological issues when used on its own, an integrative therapist would be able to use it in conjunction with more in depth work

So Google counselling directory and see what's on offer, or go to the BACP website and search on their find a therapist section

Good luck smile

serialangstyposter Wed 20-Apr-16 20:11:21

That's helpful thanks. Back to the BACP website. I've given up too easily. There are over 100 in a 5 mile radius! Ive wimped out of even making a single call. Thanks for the steer.

serialangstyposter Sat 23-Apr-16 20:23:01

Bumped for overthehill in case the advice is useful.

AmyAmoeba Sun 24-Apr-16 02:28:17

Over a lifetime I've seen eight counsellors with varying degrees of success and recently I've found one who really gets me. And the difference is incredible. I finally understand why counselling is recommended so much.

After an experience a bit like yours I just couldn't face anymore. I couldn't make myself vulnerable in that way and on balance it felt more damaging than helpful. I assumed that counselling just wasn't for me.

It was only when I had an issue that I simply couldn't white knuckle alone that I had to reach out and found someone amazing. But I can absolutely empathise with your reluctance to make those calls. When it works it really is worth it. I hope you find a good one soon.

serialangstyposter Sun 24-Apr-16 14:48:18

Thanks for the reply AmyAmoeba. I did nothing last week! I don't feel convinced at all so its encouraging to hear it can be useful.

AmyAmoeba Fri 29-Apr-16 00:29:13

I went nearly five years without and even when I cracked just arranged a single session because I couldn't face the thought of regular counselling at all. And even then I waited six months before going back. So take as much time as you need and trust your instincts.
I think it's a bit like dating. Opening up to someone who doesn't click with you is a lot like getting undressed and your partner not being turned on. You can't easily shrug it off and just move on to the next guy. It takes time to get over the hurt and humiliation before you're ready to risk unzipping anything with the next guy. Not a great analogy, sorry blush

dillydotty Fri 29-Apr-16 16:07:47

Find a counsellor you are comfortable with. My counsellor told me that if I didn't click with her I should not feel any guilt in saying so. She said it isnt taken personally. My counsellor worked for me but might be rubbish for someone else.

I think lots of people give up on counselling rather than trying someone else.

dillydotty Fri 29-Apr-16 16:10:17

I always thought counselling was a load of rubbish and refused to go until I couldn't cope with all of the issues I buried. I still don't 100% get how it worked but it did help massively.

serialangstyposter Fri 29-Apr-16 16:34:18

Thanks Amy and dilly. I have always thought counselling was indulgent and you should get in with things. Until now when I can't get on.

I have a little niggly worry that I am so needy I will be wanting a lovely counsellor for unhealthy reasons. I have to stop myself running to the GP because it is just so nice to have someone be kind and listen. It feels nice to be looked after. Off course counsellors will be used to needy clients I guess.

serialangstyposter Fri 29-Apr-16 16:36:10

I should add I am not young and should be well past attention seeking and needing looking after!

Gabby99 Fri 29-Apr-16 16:41:56

I would not have believed the power of psychotherapy before I tried it. My life has been transformed. I have lost 5 stone in 18 months and my alcohol intake is under control. I am in a much happier place. I feel life is with living now. I am living the therapy on a daily basis in between sessions.

I must add that it probably took me a few sessions before I knew my counsellor would be a good fit for me. If I had tried to determine that on the very first session, I probably would not have gone back. I think about my counsellor every day. I think about how we have worked together to get me to where I am today. We have built up an amazing relationship. Keep trying OP. It's so worth it.

dillydotty Fri 29-Apr-16 16:59:26

I'm not young either. It meant I had more years worth of crap buried. I has been called chenoboling. Burying anything toxic under a layer of cement so you don't need to deal with it. Until one day something happens that cracks the cement. All the toxic stuff that you buried starts seeping out at the same time.

Guiltypleasures001 Fri 29-Apr-16 17:08:06

Hi serial

I felt a little sad when you wrote I'm not young I should be well past being needy etc

We all have that little girl/boy part within us, it would be such a shame to not remember how to be silly and carefree even if for only a minute. The flip side is that we also have the needy want to be looked after part, there's nothing wrong with feeling like that.

Counselling can help you establish ways of looking after and nurturing yourself, being vulnerable to someone is incredibly hard and takes a lot of trust. A good therapist will know this, and it's one of the only places where you can be your true self without judgement.

I've known a few people who have seen 4 or 5 therapists before finding the right fit, when you click with a therapist you will know. smile

dillydotty Fri 29-Apr-16 17:15:44

My therapy taught me to see my child self as a third person and love little me. Now when I think of myself as a little girl I have nothing but sympathy and love for that poor little thing going through unimaginable crap but still soldiering on. I was an awesome little girl, not the needy attention seeker I was made out to be.

dillydotty Fri 29-Apr-16 17:18:40

You are allowed to be needy sometimes. I went through rape as a pre schooler but kept it all in. My sister labelled me as needy, no shit sherlock! she still has limited sympathy even now she knows the truth.

serialangstyposter Fri 29-Apr-16 17:50:54

Gabby that sounds very successful.

Thank you for responding again Guiltypleasures. I can see how talking to the right person could be completely different. I saw a mental health professional (of some sort) yesterday. Not for therapy, an assessment, but even talking in the assessment was an entirely different experience.

dillydotty I'm really sorry, that's terrible. It must have taken a lot to get to the position of talking about such experiences.
Even talking to the person yesterday who was lovely I found myself fishing around for the most acceptable things to say. I didn't even come close to the details.
I'm glad that counselling helped you. Thanks for posting.

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