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Forums / Treatments, health professionals and therapies / Therapy as a "crutch" and what that might mean

Topic: Therapy as a "crutch" and what that might mean

7 posts, 0 answered
  1. WokingOnIt
    WokingOnIt avatar
    29 posts
    14 February 2020
    Hello All.

    What does the idea of "using therapy (or a therapist) as a crutch" mean to you? Is it a always a bad thing?

    My therapist has said this to me multiple times - that he doesn't want to and can't be a crutch, and I have been pondering the meaning of that.
    I can see his point (I think - I still need to ask him to clarify exactly what his point is) but after all, a crutch is mighty handy when you have a broken leg and it is healing but you still need to get around.

    I fully intend to have a proper conversation with him about it next session - but I am curious as to what other people think about it in the meantime.


  2. quirkywords
    Community Champion
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    quirkywords avatar
    6862 posts
    14 February 2020 in reply to WokingOnIt

    Woking

    Therapy cab be a crutch for some but most crutches are throw away when one gets better.

    I think that means a crutch is helpful.

    think as long as we can sope and don't rely too much one one person but use the basic principles to assist us to heal.

    Good topic, what do others think.

    Quirky

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    1302 posts
    14 February 2020 in reply to WokingOnIt

    Hi WkokingOnIt,

    I agree with quirky - I think he means the psychiatrist is there as a help, but not to totally rely on him/her - I think sometimes people think their psychiatrist will solve everything, but they can only assist you to solve your problems yourself, but with their help.

  4. blondguy
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    blondguy avatar
    10196 posts
    14 February 2020 in reply to WokingOnIt

    Hi WokingOnIt

    Thankyou for being a part of the Beyond Blue forums and for having the courage to post too! You are spot on when you mentioned "after all, a crutch is mighty handy when you have a broken leg and it is healing but you still need to get around"

    I have always thought of my therapist/doc as a 'crutch' or a having a 'tune up' with my own anxiety/depression issues too...yet they are only helping us help ourselves....Its always a two way street....We have to make the effort to use any counsel so we can heal ourselves

    Quirky and Hanna are also spot on with their support above...'I think sometimes people think their psychiatrist will solve everything, but they can only assist you to solve your problems yourself, but with their help'

    you are always welcome to stick around the forums if you wish...I hope you can!

    my kind thoughts

    Paul

  5. geoff
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    geoff avatar
    12843 posts
    15 February 2020 in reply to WokingOnIt

    Hello Woking, great replies from Quirky, Hanna and Paul and it's a terrific question to ask.

    We do expect our therapist, psychologist or counsellor to be the person with the magic wand, to solve all our problems without any contribution from us, to be our 'crutch', to walk in and then walk out from only one session, wouldn't that be exactly what we want, unfortunately, that can't happen, yet, maybe one day, who knows.

    Even in a session if you expect it to be the answer to your problems but it only opens up deeper problems then it's certainly not what you were expecting, however, what it's done is make you realise that these need to be talked about, the door has to remain open and there is only so much we can hide.

    The crutch can have benefits in different ways, reassurance and knowledge, for and against, but it's how we are able to cope with it, and each day is not the same as the day before.

    Take care.

    Geoff.

  6. WokingOnIt
    WokingOnIt avatar
    29 posts
    15 February 2020

    Thanks for all the responses and perspectives, everyone.

    I think perhaps my therapist THINKS I am too dependent on him because I don't really talk about the stuff I am doing outside of sessions. So all he sees is me coming to sessions, and being sad when there's a break or missed session for whatever reason.

    Whereas outside of sessions I am doing my own research into trauma and the impact on the nervous system, how to restore functioning to the nervous system, improve vagal tone and general resilience, and how to use nutrition for better mental health - and despite massive food aversion issues, am trying to put in place those nutrition ideas.

    I am leaning into my online support networks and asking for help when I am really struggling, and trying to reconnect with a couple of real life friends that I haven't spoken to in a while. Working really hard to find other practical supports.

    I bought a whole bunch of books on mental health, recovery from trauma, using writing (I love writing) as a tool for healing... coming up with my own strategies for coping with difficult situations, practising them and analysing results, changing around my self talk completely, becoming my own best friend instead of my worst critic.

    I looked into increasing distress tolerance so I could handle more of my own emotions before becoming overwhelmed and needing to shut down. I bought some guided meditations to help with this (haven't tried them out ye, but I will).

    I have written 750 words per day for the past 330 days, sometimes up to 4000+ words. When I have the energy I use this to explore and process thoughts, feeling, habits, beliefs.

    All of this I have done on my own, without guidance or direction from my therapist. Most of it I haven't even mentioned to him at all. My own ideas, my own recovery plan, my own hard work... but somehow just checking in with him every two weeks- just knowing someone is there who will listen and validate my experiences - makes me feel like I am not all on my own. Like there is someone on my team, who cares what happens to me... and that makes everything seem so much more possible. At this stage I maybe COULD continue on my own, but it would be SO much easier, and more pleasant, and more effective.. to have his support.

    If he doesn't want me to rely on him or therapy though, that makes me feel uncomfortable about trusting him/it and allowing myself to lean into it and invest emotional energy. Which I would dearly love to do...

  7. Sleepy21
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    Sleepy21 avatar
    663 posts
    26 February 2020 in reply to WokingOnIt
    Hi workingonit. Thanks for your response... thinking of you as I do relate to this.
    In my opinion society sometimes talks about therapy the wrong way - that it is how we "get fixed" when we have mental health problems. I guess that kind of thinking puts too much pressure on the therapist and doesn't empower us. I like to think of us all as heroes, fixing an growing ourselves, through being smart and open enough to learn about new tools, and use them - like you're doing :)

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