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Forums / Treatments, health professionals and therapies / Unable to connect with psychologists

Topic: Unable to connect with psychologists

  1. White Rose
    Community Champion
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    White Rose avatar
    5095 posts
    14 April 2019 in reply to Soloyo

    Hello Soloyo

    I think you have come a long way since your first post. Congratulations.

    Expectations of therapy varies from person to person and so does therapy from therapist to therapist. I have received wonderful, positive help from my GP while the psychiatrist I was seeing at the same time was not very good. Too wrapped up in his own self importance.

    I think we expect a lot from psychologists. It is more difficult to 'see' what they have done for you than a medical doctor. With the doctor you do feel better quite quickly and he/she can say you will feel better in 48 hours or whatever. Even if you are sent for tests etc you know it is the healing process. Psychologists often do good work with us which we do not recognise until some time later. We also need to understand that we can accept or understand something with our heads but it takes a few months of work before it becomes accepted in the heart, that is we believe it. I have the head and heart analogy very useful.

    My GP used to say this quite often and in itself I struggled to understand until it happened. The light-bulb moments are so revealing and I found they seemed to carry me forward in a huge wave. Wanting to leave a session feeling better is natural, after all why not. As someone above has said it does depend on the work you do between sessions. Time spent with a therapist is to discuss what is happening and start the untangling process of why. It's not always possible to do this in one session however small the topic. You can leave feeling this part is being examined although it has not all been done.

    When you return you can pick up the story and move forward. Sometimes though you may want to backtrack and look again at something that may already have been dealt with. That's OK. If you have rethought the situation it is a good idea to talk again. In many ways having this break does give you an opportunity go through the conversation again and pinpoint any bits you are unsure about.

    Unfortunately it's not a straight road and that is because we are not all alike and do not think in straight lines. I expect that sounds obvious but it is good to remember this when you feel frustrated with what seems like slow progress. It is good to express this frustration to the therapist especially if you are a person who tends to conceal their emotions. You are the only one who truly knows how you feel and even then we get it wrong at times.

    Keep thinking and taking action. You will make progress.


    1 person found this helpful
  2. Soloyo
    Soloyo avatar
    14 posts
    14 April 2019 in reply to White Rose

    Thanks again for all the responses. I really appreciate people’s input - and you have given me things to think about.

    I just wanted to respond to Lily’s post first about finding psychologists. Hope’s method has been pretty similar to mine. I’ve asked around friends and other health professionals for recommendations. I’ll read online bios and call practices to ask to speak to a few psychologists - which I’ve found particularly helpful. I’ve also recently written a list of what I’m looking for which has been helpful, especially if I’m recommended a practice rather than an individual. Then I’ll weigh things up and pick someone.... however clearly my method isn’t perfect! Thus my ongoing struggles.

    Regarding me... I do really like my psychiatrist, however she has told me that in Tasmania, where I currently live, there is no capacity for psychiatrists to do talk therapy. The need for their service is so great for the small workforce that they only have time for diagnosis and meds focussed consults.

    Previous times when I’ve been depressed I’ve gone backpacking - one time for a year, another time for two! Each time I’ve come back feeling amazing. Then I re-engaged with life and work and pretty soon I’m depressed again. I’m really determined this time not to leave- but to stay and work things out.

    I think this is part of my push for insight. I don’t know why my life is going in cycles like this. I’m severely depressed and cry every day. I’m extremely lonely despite having friends. My friends think I’m great and tell me that, but I’ve never had a partner (and I’m 37). This is despite having a reputation for strong interpersonal skills and being quite social. I’m seen as a leader and someone that brings people together. I’ve had lots of dates but the guys I like never like me back.

    I agree with peoples comments that practical activities between sessions are important. However I don’t know what practical things I can do between sessions to help with this. I am really open with therapists - I lean to the side of oversharing.

    Any thoughts or insights are really appreciated.

  3. geoff
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    geoff avatar
    11911 posts
    15 April 2019 in reply to Soloyo

    Hi Soloyo, we lose our 'sense of identity, self-worth and confidence', and it has to do with who you think you are and how you perceive yourself and can contribute to so many problems in our lives.

    We wonder who we are because all of a sudden we hit a wall, that's why we need a compassionate psychologist and not one who wants to question our existence and reason why we need help, that only closes the door and the relationship between us and them has gone.

    My psychologist who I had been seeing for 20 years (WorkCover paid for it ) was terrific, she remembered all the names and who they were, but suddenly upped and left and the next psych was terrible, all he kept saying was that no one should be depressed and no one needs to take any medication at all.

    He also told me that OCD is something which no one needs to carry out to get rid of any obsessive thoughts, my sessions with him were very short, because what he believed went against why I was there.

    An enormous change in how a good psychologist (20 years) compared to one who had no idea of helping anybody can be and if it was the other way around and had seen the bad psych first that would have definitely depleted my trust.

    There are so many words to describe how we feel about ourselves, how we think about ourselves, and how we act toward ourselves so what is the difference between self-worth and self-esteem or is there any?

    Well self-esteem is thinking well of yourself and having some self-respect, whereas self-worth maybe an opinion of oneself, so which one should a psych concentrate on first or are they both the same?


  4. White Rose
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
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    White Rose avatar
    5095 posts
    15 April 2019 in reply to Soloyo

    It's a pity your psychiatrist does not have the time for a complete therapy program with you as you obviously feel comfortable with her and presumably do trust her. However that's life and we need to move on.

    I must say I have had a chuckle at a couple of your comments. You sound just like me in wanting to know all the whys, whats, and hows immediately and start work so you can heal straight away. It's taken me many years to realise it just does not happen like that. Very annoying. Worse even is the realisation that the more I want to know the whole the less effective I become at reaching a good place. My daughter used to say "Baby steps mom, baby steps". And this is exactly right.

    In some ways it's a kind of mindfulness, look only a short way in front of you, keep your gaze away from the distant view and stay in the present. The view always looks better because you cannot see it clearly, only through rose tinted glasses. The present is here and it's hard work with no getting away from it. I think I am the most impatient person and sometimes I am so frustrated when change does not happen when I expect. That's the problem, my expectations.

    You were asking about how to change, what practical steps you should take. My first thought was to say ask your therapist. Then I realised what happened when I tried this. Your therapist may give you general suggestions but is more likely to ask you what you can do. The reaction from me was a deep sigh followed by a frustrated "I don't know". This led to a discussion of what I wanted to change, what I thought were the areas in most need of action. This is because you and I are the only people who can make this decision. If you believe you need help in a certain area you can work on this. No matter how glaringly obvious is a bigger need the therapist cannot help if you do not subscribe to this.

    So we make our choices based on our perceived needs and with the therapist we work out ways to change. We do not have the drive or enthusiasm to change if secretly we do not believe we need help in a particular way. You may tell your therapist he/she is wrong or agree but unless you want to change it will not happen. Thant's OK. It may be you need to work elsewhere and come to this stumbling block later when you have more insight.

    Therapy is not a place where you get told how and what to do, unlike your local GP whose job is to tell you specifically what to do. I think this difference is the hardest to fully understand.


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