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Are there any good Therapists?

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CeeJayy146

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Feb 9, 2015
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I am awake at 4am because I am obsessing over an email I received from a therapist I saw only once last week. It was upsetting and is making me feel pretty daunted about the task of finding a therapist who doesn't suck.

Let me preface this by saying that I don't have a lot of experience with therapy. I had one good therapist, but I moved across the country. Finding a good therapist is so difficult and I am wondering if anyone can share stories about their own frustrations and how they went about finding a good therapist.

Anyway...I went to see this therapist once last week and she seemed ok. I made an appointment for this week as well. After my appointment I sent her a follow up email that was very polite because I felt there were important things she should know about me that I forgot to mention in our session (I tend to ramble sometimes). The email was basically me letting her know that I've had trouble with therapy because it makes me feel anxious talking about my problems, etc. and I am really prepared to dedicate myself to it and make it work. That said, I wanted her to know my "triggers" and that in the past positive reinforcement has worked well for me. I also wanted to know if she was open to phone sessions at all. Just information and letting her know what has worked.

She responded with an email full of typos and mispellings (Which she sent at midnight by the way) where she basically said she was going to cancel her appointment with me because I was telling her how to do her job. That she has an MSW and that I am telling her how to do what she went to school for. And that "maybe I should just try medication."

I am summarizing, but in short, it was one of the most unprofessional, meanest emails I have ever received. From someone who is supposed to excercise patience and understanding when working with people with disorders. And it was hugely discouraging, not to mention proved my point about it being so hard to find a good therapist. Here I am, after years of being afraid to start therapy again, and the first person I open up to responds to me in an absolutely horrible way.

She didn't say "let's meet and talk about it" she didn't say "I'm so sorry but that is not how I practice" she didn't say "maybe I can work with you on some of this." She insulted me, made some strange analogy about how I was threatening her profession, and told me she would not take me as a patient. And somehow, she gathered all of that from what I absolutely know was a polite email (I read it to my fiance first). I was not telling her how to do her job, but simply giving her some information that I thought might be helpful with my particular case. Information that someone who actually cared about their work might appreciate.

I think my biggest problem was the statement "maybe you should just try medication." Instead of telling me "I'm not the right therapist for you" she was pretty much telling me "you are not right for therapy," which is an insecurity I have in general about therapy. First of all, I'm pretty sure on the list of "what not to do" as a therapist, "telling your patients therapy is not right for them" is on the top. Especially when you've only seen them one time! She was basically telling me that therapy is a "one-size-fits all" which is so ridiculous! People with mental disorders have vastly different issues and it only makes sense that a therapist would not use the same approach with every patient. it just makes me think that, not only did she completely misread my email, but even if it DID bother her, she was not able to respond in a kind way, especially to a personal who told her that therapy was a challenge for them. HOW is it possible that someone this idiotic and mean is practicing therapy?

Needless to say I got really upset and angry and I am now trying to let it go. At first I wanted to write back to her and tell her how unprofessional and rude and inaccurate her email was. And I wanted to go give her a bad review online. But ultimately, that will accomplish nothing. If she got that defensive over a polite email I'm sure an angry one would just piss her off. And I guess it saved me from going down a shitty path with a crappy therpaist. I suppose it serves me right for having "poor people's insurance." None of the good therapists accept it :/ I want to keep looking, but after this I feel so discouraged.

Has anyone else experienced this? What did you do to find a good therapist?
 
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Unique1

Unique1

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Hi
Just wanted you to know I had read your post. Sorry you experienced this, I had something similar but not quite the same, a phsychiatrist forwarded a letter to my GP that was full of typos, had my age wrong and was addressed to the wrong GPS, it contained details that were just not necessary too. I felt sick, so I can understand how you have felt. It makes you think we have no chance if the professionals act this way.

Would you consider complaining to the relevant body, because it sounds to me like this is totally unprofessional. You have the written proof, not sure which country you are in, although professional services are usually regulated by someone. The email sounds awful to me, no wonder you felt how you feel, I think you made the right decision not to write back.
The phsychiatrist I saw was in NHS and it was a one off appointment for assessment. My next sessions are with a phsychologist and I am going to mention the letter to her.
Sorry I can't be of more help on the choosing a good therapist front. I guess it makes a difference what country you are in.

What I would say though is , it would be an absolute shame if you gave up on the strength of this unprofessional therapist. I wish you well and hope you get it sorted out. Don't give up
 
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Christobel

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I think your 'therapist' did you a good service in sending that awful memo. She sounds like someone who has just 'picked up the tools', like many others in that profession. I shouldn't be too disheartened, as there are others on this forum who have had good experiences with therapists.

For myself, I have had three therapists, both private and NHS. I wasn't really a suitable candidate as I was always trying to have a pleasant conversation rather than tackle my problems. One of the private ones filled in the time by telling me in detail about her success with other people. I got most of my problems off my chest in sessions with my psychiatrist.
 
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CeeJayy146

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Feb 9, 2015
Messages
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Unique,

Thank you for your reassurance! I really appreciate it, from the perspective of someone else who can relate (though obviously I would never want someone else to have to deal with this either). The problem about complaining is I don't think there is anyone above her. She works in a "group" of therapists who practice in the same little office area. I'm pretty sure the only person I could complain to is her and given her level of professionalism, I think it would only be a bad idea. Thank you for the positivity though, it really does help to have someone from outside the situation affirm what I felt in response to her email. I'm going to try to let this go and forget about it and perhaps use it to get closer to what I'm hoping for. Thanks :):)

Also--I live in the U.S. but am on a low-end healthcare plan for low-income patients.
 
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CeeJayy146

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Feb 9, 2015
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Christobel,

Thank you! Yes! that is how I'm trying to look at it--positive light instead of negative. It saved me from going down a path with the wrong therapist.

I know what you mean about the pleasant conversation. I am kind of a people pleaser and have realize this carriers over into therapy--I find myself not telling therapists the whole truth or that I'm "improving" when I might not be because I want to make them feel like they are helping. So i was really trying very ahrd this time around to be completely honest and open about my issues because I really wanted it to work. Guess that backfired! But you're right...I can't let it get to me.

I am actually working with a neurologist who is, so far, the only person I have ever felt has helped, other than my old therapist back across the country. Sometimes I think words from someone who understands the disorder on a more complex medical and neurological level is better than the crapshoot of therapy. But again, like you said...there are a million therapists out there and some people have had good experiences.

Thanks for the insight :)
 
Kerome

Kerome

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I am actually working with a neurologist who is, so far, the only person I have ever felt has helped, other than my old therapist back across the country. Sometimes I think words from someone who understands the disorder on a more complex medical and neurological level is better than the crapshoot of therapy. But again, like you said...there are a million therapists out there and some people have had good experiences.
That's quite interesting, because a neurologists level of insight is not something that I'd expect to translate well to practical advice for someone suffering from a mental health condition. I'd be intrigued to hear a little more about how those conversations went, if you feel like sharing. ;)

I've had some experience of poor therapy and have also seen a good therapist at work, so on the whole I'm reasonably positive about it as an avenue that might help people. There are enough good therapists out there, and it's good to talk, and learning to speak from the heart is very important.
 
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