Therapists: Did they help you or ruin your life? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 64 Old 02-13-2005, 10:28 PM
 
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I am a psychologist and had lots of psychotherapy myself. I have to come to the conclusion that, overall, the mental health system in this country is severely flawed. As to whether individual outpatient psychotherapy is helpful or harmful, I think one's experience totally depends upon the spiritual/emotional/mental state of the therapist. Therapy is only as good as the therapist. It is true, I believe even documented by research, that persons who enter into one of the "mental health" professions often do so as a way to heal themselves, although this desire may not be in their conscious awareness. That said, therapists who take their work seriously and work on themselves by being in their own personal therapy and an ongoing supervision/consultation relationship (where the therapist consults with a more senior therapist on a regular basis for difficulties encountered when working with clients) can often be or become very good therapists, because they've "been there." On the other hand, therapists who have narcissistic or sociopathic traits-and they are out there-usually think they don't need therapy or supervision.

It is important to keep in mind that there are many ways to become a therapist. I worked for an online university that granted PhD's in psychology and they accepted everyone who applied! Even traditional universities, which are more difficult to get into, rarely "kick" out a student. In my program (which was accredited by the American Psychological Association) a student had a sexual relationship with one of her clients and essentially nothing happened to her. She's out there practicing today (and living with her client).

As someone else said, like in any profession, there are some great practitioners and some incompetents. Unfortunately, psychology is no different-even though people's hearts and souls are on the line!
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#62 of 64 Old 02-13-2005, 11:11 PM
 
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I have done both individual counseling and couple (pre-marital) counseling, and have found it very helpful. However, it was only helpful with certain counselors - I had one that specialized in "co-dependency" and diagnosed me as such in one visit based on observations that I didn't believe even applied to my life. I quit seeing her immediately.

My favorite was a woman who never offered advice, but simply listened to what I said and helped me dissect it. She was able to see things in what I told her (like the fact that I was emotionally detaching from some things) that I couldn't see at first, and she helped me look at things in new ways. I've always felt she helped me.

The couples counseling I liked was the same way. He helped DH and I look at how we approached things and what different expectations we had brought into our relationship without realizing it.

Best of luck, mother_sunshine. I hope you find what works best for you.
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#63 of 64 Old 02-13-2005, 11:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahariz
I am a psychologist and had lots of psychotherapy myself. I have to come to the conclusion that, overall, the mental health system in this country is severely flawed. As to whether individual outpatient psychotherapy is helpful or harmful, I think one's experience totally depends upon the spiritual/emotional/mental state of the therapist. Therapy is only as good as the therapist. It is true, I believe even documented by research, that persons who enter into one of the "mental health" professions often do so as a way to heal themselves, although this desire may not be in their conscious awareness. That said, therapists who take their work seriously and work on themselves by being in their own personal therapy and an ongoing supervision/consultation relationship (where the therapist consults with a more senior therapist on a regular basis for difficulties encountered when working with clients) can often be or become very good therapists, because they've "been there." On the other hand, therapists who have narcissistic or sociopathic traits-and they are out there-usually think they don't need therapy or supervision.

It is important to keep in mind that there are many ways to become a therapist. I worked for an online university that granted PhD's in psychology and they accepted everyone who applied! Even traditional universities, which are more difficult to get into, rarely "kick" out a student. In my program (which was accredited by the American Psychological Association) a student had a sexual relationship with one of her clients and essentially nothing happened to her. She's out there practicing today (and living with her client).

As someone else said, like in any profession, there are some great practitioners and some incompetents. Unfortunately, psychology is no different-even though people's hearts and souls are on the line!

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#64 of 64 Old 02-19-2005, 06:27 PM
 
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I had a very good experience, I had a therapist who didn't tell me what to do or what I wanted out of life, just listened and asked some powerful questions. He never told me what he thought I should do. In fact he told me not to even think in terms of "should" as it was a negative and limiting POV. He simply gave me tools, showed me how to use them and when. He gave me the ability to figure things out, showed me how to see all my choices. Didn't figure them out for me, although I am quite sure he could have shot off the answers to my problems in ten seconds. He got me to figure it out on my own.

I saw another who wasn't so good. Made me feel shame, suggested actions that went against my values. I never went back to her.

I see it like this: They work for me. If I feel weird in any way (other than the usual pain of psychological growth, lol) they're fired. They are only human. Not above you, not below you.
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