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Challenging The Therapist

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by SimonSays, May 11, 2021.

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  1. SimonSays

    SimonSays Becoming aware of what appears to be real V.I.P Member

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    Even though he turned up a few minutes early, he had no opportunity to take his coat off (having just braved the elements), sit down for a moment and gather himself before going in. She was right there, introducing herself, and bringing him through.

    She then proceeded to perform a little drama about whether the light was too bright, whether it should be on or off. For a moment it seemed possible that it might happen without it, and she did try it, but quickly decided she wouldn't be able to write properly. She put on a lamp to see if that would work; it had the dimmest bulb he'd ever seen in an office.

    So in an attempt at getting on with things, he said he’d be fine, and just kept his eyes closed instead; the bright lights felt a little like being under a spotlight.

    The office had three comfortable chairs, a desk with a computer, and something green that resembled a plant.

    She launched into her spiel about what this was, and what he could expect from it. She spoke very quickly as she did so; used to saying these words that had become a part of her routine. So he stopped her, mid-sentence, and asked if it was possible for her to say these things as if it was the first time she was saying them. He explained that it was hard for him to follow what she said as it seemed so matter of fact and impersonal. She said she'd try, and then carried on pretty much as before.

    He interrupted her again and asked if she might speak a little slower, which she did, and it helped, but soon carried on in a similar fashion once she got going again. He asked her two more times to slow down; she probably wasn't used to being dealt with this way, and this was when he discovered she was newly qualified. So he apologised if he'd caused her a problem. She said she could see she was in the habit of just rattling the introduction off. He appreciated her saying that and thanked her for doing so.

    He asked for some water, which she had to leave the room to get. Once his mouth was in a usable state, he asked if it was possible to begin without just going through the questions first. If he was going to trust her and be comfortable revealing himself, he'd have to find a way to get through to her and hope she'd let him. He found her personality difficult to deal with, and there were several times when he felt her getting irritated by his interruptions.

    He asked if she could just let him talk for a bit, to see where it went, without her interrupting. She was reluctant, but his explanation as to why seemed to make a difference, and so she agreed, and then immediately took it back as she started to impose structure and conditions again. It was like being in some kind of jousting match. He wasn't trying to be difficult, only explain what was going on for him, and he was well aware that she'd only just met him, and yet, as if a big complication had descended on her, he was interfering with her usual routine. He needed to feel he could talk to her. Would she go outside her training, go outside the box?

    She started to run through the questions, saying that she'd let him speak after. She started with 'what do you feel is the problem that has brought you here today?’ He had no idea how to just answer that. He sat there, seeing if something might come; nothing did. He tried to say something, anything, just to start talking, and as he did, suddenly realised that if he did it her way, he'd end up spending all the remaining time answering her formal questions, rather than use the time to explore what was actually going on for him. He told her this, and it was like he'd caught her trying to manipulate him into doing it her way by stealthy means. She chuckled a little at having been 'found out'.

    He asked her if he could reveal what was going on for him rather than just answer questions, and she again agreed. He still had his 'watering' eyes closed from the bright lights, so he knew he wouldn't be affected by her body language or any expression that might appear on her face. Yet, as he spoke, literally every few seconds, she made a noise: 'Uhumm! Uhumm!' It kept getting in the way.

    He paused to explain how her noise was affecting him, and asked if it was possible for her to just listen to him without making it. She said she'd try, after having to explain why she did. He didn't need her confirmation/affirmation that she was listening in order to talk. Besides, when she reflected back to him some of what he said, she did for the most part reveal that she'd actually heard him quite well.

    At no time did he feel he could relax with her. He felt a blocking sensation the whole time he was there, as if his energy was being channelled through something narrow and tight. He couldn't listen to the way she said things, and if she asked him something, that wasn't based on what he’d said, he had no idea how to respond to it.

    Finally, she let him speak, and she was even able to stop her utterances (after a few more slipped out anyway), and he got to talk for a few minutes. He wasn't really aware of her during this, and just let out whatever came out. She did make a strange noise at some point, which caused him to stop, but she quickly excused herself, and he was able to carry on.

    She stopped him for the final time as she said the session was now over. She told him there were a few times during his monologue when she'd wanted to ask something, but because she ‘couldn't’ interrupt, didn’t. He realised it might've been better if she had done, and told her so. He never saw her again.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2021
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  2. Skittlebisquit

    Skittlebisquit "..experience moments of happiness."

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    Thank you. That one kinda hurt. Its a good hurt tho, at least i know im not alone
     
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  3. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    l am pissed at this therapist. lol

    This just proves how personal therapy is and why some therapists don't click with our personalities.
     
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  4. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Reminds me of some of the ones I saw, once.
     
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  5. ForestGumpett

    ForestGumpett Active Member

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    Well, it’s settled, I’m officially ADD too. Tried three times, too many words.

    The story I did get sounded like a bad time. Sitting on the porch with some dogs and in a swing with a big Ice Tea would be nicer I believe.

    I’d get new friends.
     
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  6. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    That was a dream compared to some I had which were blatant abusers. I could story-out one or two if anyone really wanted to know..........
     
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  7. ThomasTallis

    ThomasTallis New Member

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    Thank you for your post. It outlines the main glitches I have had with some therapists and just people in general really. Thank you.
     
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  8. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    And yet, she might be a most effective therapist for a different client.

    There always has to be a comfortable fit, and most particularly in a first session. It should never be a cause for blame if that fit doesn't exist. The real mistake is continuing when you don't feel the good fit.
     
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  9. Skittlebisquit

    Skittlebisquit "..experience moments of happiness."

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    Its such a compelling narrative, great job on describing the way it feels in those places
     
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  10. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    The "formal" questions are asked in order to fill out paperwork that they're required to do. The "actual" therapy typically begins in the second session, where you would easily be able to discuss whatever personal matters were in mind.
     
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  11. SimonSays

    SimonSays Becoming aware of what appears to be real V.I.P Member

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    True. That style would suit someone needing structure to speak. The NHS at that time only offered her. She'd told me what each session would focus on (6 of them). It wasn't about me, more about an idea of me.
    Exactly. And it was the first time I had ever had therapy.

    There are few options when receiving therapy on the NHS. You get what you're given, and then ought to feel lucky to have any help at all. The NHS is understaffed and overworked, and coming apart at the seams, more so over the last year.

    Funny thing though, due to lockdown, my current NHS therapy only takes place on the phone. At first I wasn't sure how this would go as I don't usually like talking this way, but she slowed right down when I asked her to, listens without making noises, and asks gentle questions based on what I say. She's great.
     
  12. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    New counsellors /therapists typically may try too hard and end up not listening as well as they could. It's a relationship and has to be worked on from both sides, but sometimes as client one can intuit it's just not going to be viable for our needs. But they have to start, and as a supervisor if I heard about a session like that from a student, it was usually a supervision session full of self-recrimination and urgent requests for guidance.

    But in the NHS there's sometimes a tight structure which may or may not suit the client. I worked in the voluntary (charities) sector, where similar issues could arise, particularly because everything is underfunded and provided on a shoestring budget. Nevertheless we got some amazing recruits who mainly did awesome work.

    Sometimes a poor start can lead to a lot of growth. Drop the speal and learn from your client was my advice, which can be hard when they are sometimes holding on to the introductory structures to feel they can cope.

    It's great that you have a good experience with the current counsellor. Yes I think phone counselling can work well for some, the norms of in person sessions aren't always what fits best. Though most people do opt for those when available.
     
  13. SimonSays

    SimonSays Becoming aware of what appears to be real V.I.P Member

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    Good advice.
    I understand now that she may have been coping with being a new counsellor. Feeling the need to take control. I was perhaps her version of being thrown into the deep end.
    Phone therapy wasn't offered first time round, but I doubt I would have chosen it had it been.
    What I like about it now is, I am in my own room. I have everything how I want it, and she just appears in my ears at the appropriate time. She also has 10 years experience, and has worked with people on the spectrum too. I got lucky this time.
     
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  14. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Would stress this for people who aren't familiar with therapists/shrinks, the first visit is just them filling in forms, don't expect to be therapised/have your say on your first visit, but first impressions matter too, so their demeanour matters on these occasions too, after all your paying for it.
     
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  15. SimonSays

    SimonSays Becoming aware of what appears to be real V.I.P Member

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    Perhaps in the US, but not in the UK. We don't pay under the NHS, and I'm getting the same level of therapy now (albeit on the phone) as I did then. We went right into it on the first session. We only get 6 or 8 sessions max.

    If I was paying, I would take time and choose my therapist. Recommendations. Reviews. I would be looking for value for money. Like any service being paid for. Not that NHS services are 2nd rate, but it's a different system.
     
  16. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    well, I'm in Australia so it's halfway betwixt the two, not full-on gubbmint subsidised crap, but not full-on privatised crap either.

    A fully gubbmint subsidised medicaid system, yuh, has it's own demerits. wouldn't expect too much.
     
  17. SimonSays

    SimonSays Becoming aware of what appears to be real V.I.P Member

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    I think the Scandinavians do medical well. Even the Cubans have a good NHS! Many European countries look after their citizens better than we do. I don't have any experience of the aussie system, but at least you can get subsidised private healthcare, which seems a reasonable compromise.
     
  18. SimonSays

    SimonSays Becoming aware of what appears to be real V.I.P Member

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    If you see a therapist privately, you could easily see them for a long time, and as long as you can pay and want to continue, there's no real reason to stop. Whereas being treated under the NHS, they only give you a small number of sessions, which may not be enough. This is my first experience of NHS therapy, so I don't know if things can be repeated at some point, and how long that period between would be.

    The private system doesn't want you to stop, whereas the public system doesn't give you enough. Not unless you are in need of a psychiatrist, then it's available as required. Perhaps talking therapy is not seen as an essential service, which would explain why it is underfunded and understaffed, and especially over the last year, has many people waiting to use it. The private sector can always take up the slack if you can afford it. The NHS is quite happy for you to do so.
     
  19. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    @SimonSays you said, ".....The private system doesn't want you to stop......: That is one of the troubles with the US system. People can be committed and then have to PAY for it! And eldercare is a nightmare where they shuffle old people from nursing home to hospital and back to the home in 30 day increments since Medicare only covers 100 days in a home....so it's shuffle all over. That is just one sector.

    With mental health it is SO traumatizing that people are in need of 100x the care after being denied care, denied, denied and then committed!

    The US is one of the most traumatizing places to live, 1st word.
     
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  20. SimonSays

    SimonSays Becoming aware of what appears to be real V.I.P Member

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    I'm sorry to hear that about eldercare.

    Having lived there as an outsider for almost 3 years, around elder people who needed plenty of access, I was appalled on several occasions as to how difficult and confusing it was. If you don't have the right insurance (whatever that is) you don't get what you need. It must be so stressful knowing you might need, but not knowing if you will get it or have to pay loads on top.