Therapy - does it actually help you

MaineCoon

MaineCoon

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#61
Therapy is completely useless and was a giant waste of time, mine and theirs. Trying to bullshit myself with "affirmations" isn't going to change anything and I feel even more pathetic for doing something that stupid. "Find something you enjoy doing"... assuming you don't mean hard drugs, that's probably easier for someone capable of feeling any kind of pleasure or focusing on anything for more than 3 minutes.

The only useful thing I learned from therapy is not to be honest about my suicidal ideation ever.
 
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RayJ

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#62
Interesting, how exactly do you think the CBT make you worse?
It is a well known fact that BPD is an emotional disorder and not a thinking disorder. Many suffers only know how to stay here with negative behaviour.... CBT is to change a persons negative thinking into positive thinking and for some conditions of the brain, this can help a person to change. But when your dealing with unstable emotions, to deprive a person of the only emotion they may experience, you deny them of ANY emotion.... a negative emotion is better than NO emotion... This what you need in a good therapist.... A good therapist will not tell you what you are experiencing is wrong... they will walk with you a help you to see yourself why it is wrong, they will also show you different ways of dealing with out of control emotions. I have been in different therapies for 25 years, including two years in a therapeutic community. My therapist of the last 10 years has changed the whole dynamic. He helped me to understand my world, then he said, it's possible you will never recover because the damage was done at such a very young age. But you don't have to give up, we just work in a different way, we will build many coping mechanisms. With some other support alongside, I have had the longest spell, since the age of nine without self harming. So here I am at age 70 still learning, also I am able to share a lot of experiences with other service users and professionals alike. The biggest changes come when others believe in you and help you to believe in yourself. Also my therapist gave me 24/7 access to him with his home and mobile number and reassures me, he will always be available for me, even if the NHS withdraw funding, as long as I need support. I use much of what I learn with other BPD people and support them in an Intentional Peer 2 Peer way. One person has lived in a chaotic way from an early age and the NHS said she was too unwell for them to help her. I sat in with her a couple of times with her GP and explained what had helped me and together she has turned her life around. She is now back with the NHS mental health team with a CPN, also looking at finding the right therapist for her.

I wonder how many of you who were given DBT had proper DBT.... Mary Copeland who suffered with BPD, was the one who came up with this type of therapy. The main ingredient being the therapist, also being a confident and giving you a 24/7 contact number. In Cornwall the MH Team do not give out personal numbers and they say DBT don't work, well it won't if it's not carried out correctly. Before anyone go into any therapy, they need to be ready for it, therapy isn't a magic wand. A lot of hard work is carried out on both sides. Do look at : 1 Guidance | Borderline personality disorder: recognition and management | Guidance | NICE We can still achieve much in this life... Best wishes to all
 
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RayJ

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#63
Therapy is completely useless and was a giant waste of time, mine and theirs. Trying to bullshit myself with "affirmations" isn't going to change anything and I feel even more pathetic for doing something that stupid. "Find something you enjoy doing"... assuming you don't mean hard drugs, that's probably easier for someone capable of feeling any kind of pleasure or focusing on anything for more than 3 minutes.

The only useful thing I learned from therapy is not to be honest about my suicidal ideation ever.
I've had a life of being in and out of hospitals..... I have also been in therapy for around 25 years... My present therapist, I made a contract with him, before starting therapy.... That was that I need to understand why I am feeling suicidal all the time, I even score just how bad it is on a scale of 1 to 100 with 100% being I'm in danger to self and others. But before I would commit I needed to be sure he wouldn't share that with the mental health team. Because with the mental health team, as soon as I whisper I'm feeling suicidal, I am rushed into hospital and drugged up. They never try to find out why? He agreed to that and though I have been much higher than my 100% he has kept to his word. After Christmas, when we met, he said I'm so glad you are still with me, I knew just how hard it was for you when we last met.

This in turn has given me an extra lease of life, for this guy is going against his professional oath to report any client who is in a place that could harm self or others. He had trust in me to fight those horrendous feelings.... So look around and find a therapist you can trust and work with, don't judge by the experience of other therapists, there are some really good ones out there..

Best wishes for your journey and I hope you find someone you can work and confide in.:peace:
 
BPDevil

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#64
I wrote on this a while back telling my bad experience, this was with the child mental health services, throughout I was told the adult mental health services would be worse, but I've found it's actually been better for me although it was a longer wait to get in, I've only done one course so far which I mentioned and still waiting for DBT so maybe it's too early to be this optimistic about it

another thing with the child mental health services were that they were trying to force medication on me for bipolar (turns out I'm not actually bipolar) rather than do proper talk therapy which looking back I find really weird
 
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dewey

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#65
It hard to describe what my life has been like here, it is in my 1st blog, but the long and short is my worth as a female, I never came first with my mum, it was always about the boys. I wasn't worth anything but collateral damage.
Being vulnerable with a female counsellor put me in the same position, another female controlled my life, (that's how skewed my thinking was). So when I had the opportunity to say I refused to work with females.

Another reason from background meant that by working with males, if I could make them do what I wanted proved I was stronger than they were, I was "superior". John quickly disabused me of that idea, but I could at times manipulate both him and Dave into doing what I wanted especially when things became tough and they wanted to talk about things I didn't.

Steve, I can't explain, CAT is normally 16 session for standard CAT, 24 sessions is normal for BPD due to trust development. Steve was quiet, insistent, challenging, I asked him to push, to not let me hide, and he took me at my word, we realised early on 24 wasn't going to be enough, CAT usually goes in blocks of 8 or 12. I used to come out of the sessions absolutely no wiser as to what we'd done, I said from the beginning I don't know what
happened in CAT, but whatever it was when I finally buckled, I gave control to Steve, I needed him to steer me, guide me, and walk me through the feelings of insecurity.
He did this, and some of the things I told him were not nice, but at no time did he ever make me feel small or worthless. He held me to account for some of my actions made me see what I was doing, but he also taught me why I was doing it and why/how to see it and most of the time stop it.

He made me feel safe, and when it was time to end it became a battle in its own right. But Steve held out, sure in his belief that it was time. And I know without a shadow of a doubt he was right.

I know this because it's been 16months since I last saw him, I haven't bounced, self sabotaged, I've asked for help when I needed it instead of drowning and then becoming hyper. But most of all I knew because at 26 weeks after therapy I hadn't tried to kill myself again, but more importantly I don't want to.

12 months came at a funny time, in fact it couldn't have been more appropriate if it tried.
The week of 12months came on the same week as I tried to kill myself the first time. To treat myself I did something I should have done years before. I traded my old car in and bought myself some new memories in the form of a bright red car.
I'm not going to say CAT wouldn't have worked if it was a female, but I really really am not sure I could have given the level of control or trust to one.

Eamonn is a whole new story, but he was the psychologist who confirmed the diagnosis in 2015, and again because he is only 1 of 2 people (the other is female) who do level 4 EMDR in our trust I held out for him. The level of trust required for this therapy is as much as for CAT and I'm not prepared to risk it on a female who I still don't know if I could be that comfortable with.

So that's why males, and that's why I don't want to be 2nd.
Oh and I don't cry as much when it's men, I don't know why that is, but I suspect it is to do with my own feelings of worthlessness.
Hi Poppy
Thank you for sharing all your experiences in such depth, it has been truly helpful.
I'm just going back and re-reading this post. I am currently considering CAT versus doing an intensive DBT.

Please could you just outline to me how you experienced the CAT approach - I am currently ressearching CAT and have found out it is supposed to be both "cognitive and analytic", so I presume this means you together analyse the past but also you are given some practical advice on your thought patterns and behaviour.
What I am trying to steer away from is therapy that doesn't give practical advice - I need the advice very much so. Of course I need more confidence to reach my own conclusions, but I know I really need active guidance and skills. Just sitting in a neutral space and trying to go over and analyse the past just isn't working for me. I feel I could benefit from a more integrated approach and it seems like this is what CAT is. Please could you share some more of what the CAT approach was like for you.
Thank you so much
 
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dewey

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#66
I wrote on this a while back telling my bad experience, this was with the child mental health services, throughout I was told the adult mental health services would be worse, but I've found it's actually been better for me although it was a longer wait to get in, I've only done one course so far which I mentioned and still waiting for DBT so maybe it's too early to be this optimistic about it

another thing with the child mental health services were that they were trying to force medication on me for bipolar (turns out I'm not actually bipolar) rather than do proper talk therapy which looking back I find really weird
Yes, with the extreme mood changes I also figured I would be bipolar and less experienced doctors said this. However the one psychiatrist specialist maintained it was BPD.
I'm sorry they forced medication on you and that you had such terrible experiences with MH services as a child.

What course have you done so far? Any closer to DBT?

Very sorry for the late reply on this x
 
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dewey

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#67
I've had a life of being in and out of hospitals..... I have also been in therapy for around 25 years... My present therapist, I made a contract with him, before starting therapy.... That was that I need to understand why I am feeling suicidal all the time, I even score just how bad it is on a scale of 1 to 100 with 100% being I'm in danger to self and others. But before I would commit I needed to be sure he wouldn't share that with the mental health team. Because with the mental health team, as soon as I whisper I'm feeling suicidal, I am rushed into hospital and drugged up. They never try to find out why? He agreed to that and though I have been much higher than my 100% he has kept to his word. After Christmas, when we met, he said I'm so glad you are still with me, I knew just how hard it was for you when we last met.

This in turn has given me an extra lease of life, for this guy is going against his professional oath to report any client who is in a place that could harm self or others. He had trust in me to fight those horrendous feelings.... So look around and find a therapist you can trust and work with, don't judge by the experience of other therapists, there are some really good ones out there..

Best wishes for your journey and I hope you find someone you can work and confide in.:peace:
Thank you for your comment.
I think you are very strong to keep going despite all these challenges, I can imagine it has been very hard for you, and my heart goes out to you.

It's terrible that as soon as you say you are suicidal they drug you? Against your will??!! What decade was this in? Sounds very unethical.

What approach are you currently using with your therapist? Are you any closer to understanding why you consistently feel suicidal? This is an ongoing problem for me also.
 
BPDevil

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#68
Yes, with the extreme mood changes I also figured I would be bipolar and less experienced doctors said this. However the one psychiatrist specialist maintained it was BPD.
I'm sorry they forced medication on you and that you had such terrible experiences with MH services as a child.

What course have you done so far? Any closer to DBT?

Very sorry for the late reply on this x
i always kind of knew it was more than bipolar, but they wouldnt have listened to me either way

anxiety management although I only attended 3 out of 6, it was quite helpful
I'm still on a waiting list for DBT, I have no idea when itll start
 
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dewey

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#69
i always kind of knew it was more than bipolar, but they wouldnt have listened to me either way

anxiety management although I only attended 3 out of 6, it was quite helpful
I'm still on a waiting list for DBT, I have no idea when itll start
I'm glad you find the anxiety management helpful. Did they teach you breathing techniques or what?

I'm so sorry you have to wait for DBT!!! Sucks.
 
BPDevil

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#70
I'm glad you find the anxiety management helpful. Did they teach you breathing techniques or what?

I'm so sorry you have to wait for DBT!!! Sucks.
yeah, my favourite is the square breathing technique

and i know, it was around this time last year I had actually signed onto DBT

I've read how others get onto it within just a few months

I'm guessing its high demand where I live
 
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dewey

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#71
yeah, my favourite is the square breathing technique

and i know, it was around this time last year I had actually signed onto DBT

I've read how others get onto it within just a few months

I'm guessing its high demand where I live
Keep posting here if you feel low.
We're in this together
 
Poppy2014

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#72
Hi Poppy
Thank you for sharing all your experiences in such depth, it has been truly helpful.
I'm just going back and re-reading this post. I am currently considering CAT versus doing an intensive DBT.

Please could you just outline to me how you experienced the CAT approach - I am currently ressearching CAT and have found out it is supposed to be both "cognitive and analytic", so I presume this means you together analyse the past but also you are given some practical advice on your thought patterns and behaviour.
What I am trying to steer away from is therapy that doesn't give practical advice - I need the advice very much so. Of course I need more confidence to reach my own conclusions, but I know I really need active guidance and skills. Just sitting in a neutral space and trying to go over and analyse the past just isn't working for me. I feel I could benefit from a more integrated approach and it seems like this is what CAT is. Please could you share some more of what the CAT approach was like for you.
Thank you so much
Hi Dewey,
I blogged 44 out of 48 weeks of CAT therapy, if you look in this section for a post I started called "not coping" its on page 29 of this forum section. It explains all about CAT,

I am going to be honest with you CAT is not a if this happens do this, if you feel that do that... you have homework, you have to be more honest than you every think you can be, you will turn yourself inside out and dissect your blood vessels, if they need to be dissected.
You will talk about things you wish you never thought would see day light, if your therapist is any good, like Steve, they will push you farther than you ever thought you could tolerate.
And if you are really and truthfully wanting to get past what ever it is that is causing you to stop then CAT will do this.

DBT on the other hand, doesn't care about how you go there, it cares about are going to move forward. It's not concerned about what made you who you are, but what you want to become, this is fine if your past isn't interfering with your life and you can decide that you can forget it and move on, but for me I wanted answers, I wanted to know why I am like I am and CAT gave me this.

CAT challenges your thinking, your reasoning, your own self beliefs and pushes you to change, to think, to argue and to cry. I will be extremely honest with you, I have no idea how CAT did what it did, I remember saying to Steve what are we doing, we are rehashing the past, how is this going to help me get on with life.

But it did, more than I'll ever be able to explain, If you read what I've been through at work recently, you'll realise just how much CAT has given me. 3 Years ago if this had happened to me my reaction would have been to blow, to catastrophise, to say I deserved it because they have found me out, they realised I'm no good. Then I would have said something, or done something that would have ended up with me in front of a disciplinary panel, quite possible sacked, and then I would have spiralled into a full blown BPD rage/meltdown and done something stupid which could quite easily have resulted in me being dead.

This time, yes initially I went up, but it lasted all of 5 minutes, once I had time to think I stopped, spoke to a couple of people who know what I have and why I need support because of my thinking, asked their opinion, took their advice and made a formal complaint, which I won. I was justified in my thinking, it was ordered, practical, supported and believed, I didn't put myself, my family or my job at risk and I did it myself because I had the strength to do it, not because someone said if you feel / think like this do this/that.

I made the decisions, I wrote the letter, I did it by myself, for myself, and with self belief that I was justified in my decision. CAT is a subtle, pervasive therapy, it is supposed to be 16 or 24 sessions, through discussion with Steve, I told him 24 wasn't anywhere near enough, I had to learn to trust him. Eventually we completed 48 sessions, with the last 8 session specifically completing a mini CAT around endings, if you read the last few pages you'll realise why I needed that.

I can honestly say I thought that I'd never survive when the CAT finished, I'd never got to 26 weeks without a therapist and not wanting to kill myself. I've not got to 6 weeks post therapy without needing help or feeling frightened.
 
Poppy2014

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#73
(sorry I hit post before I finished)
Then I started to realise I was doing okay, I wrote to Steve at 6 weeks, to say thank you, I wrote again at 26 weeks to say I'd made it.
I then bought myself a new car to make new happy driving memories, and at 1 year I wrote a final letter to Steve to say goodbye. It was then I realised that it doesn't matter what I did it in CAT, it was the after effects, the solid changes, the personality changes that I didn't even realise had happened, because I'm still me. I'm still as passionate, caring, angry, happy, sad, and generally the emotions are all appropriate.
Yes I still have wonky times, stressful times, and times when my head goes into overdrive. But I wouldn't be able to handle my life if it hadn't been for CAT.

Today the 4th May marks 11 years since I first became ill. Since my mum gave me a letter that changed my whole life, and sent me on a journey I never thought I'd travel on. Steve and CAT was the catalyst that changed my life back and gave me the strength to finally do what I'm doing now. Eamonn will finish that main journey with EMDR, but I know that for the rest of my working life at least, there will be times when I need to go back to a therapist just for a top up, or as I call them a reality check and to help me see the sky again.

I can't say whether you will get the same effect, you have to try, my only advice is to meet with them before you start therapy, talk to them about their expectations, their methods, and just talk to them a little bit about nothing, see if you can actually hold a conversation with them. Any decent therapist should have an introductory meeting for free. Go with your gut.
Best of luck with your decision
Poppy xx
 
write

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#74
I thought I'd had years of therapy, but not until now, meeting a T who wants to understand and will stick with me, who isn't approach or label driven, am I realising what's been missing so many times over the years. Connection, empathy, trust.
Ime is so vital to find the right person, the relationship is so crucial and without that for me, therapy hasn't helped. Isn't possible to try out a therapist in the NHS, you get who you are given. This has been damaging. Therapy has done harm on two occasions, the repercussions ongoing. Re traumatising. The lack of understanding and empathy has devastated hope in recovery. I was referred for CAT, told would have that, then told we wouldn't be doing it because it would be too messy! Tried to do EMDR but it was managed badly and so inconsistent, I was too triggered and dissociated to continue. Yet it was me deemed to have done wrong, BPD stigma I feel, lacking understanding of ptsd, left raw and hopeless. Some people get scared of what they say they can help with, this doesn't help at all.
So now on new path, with new T, private low cost, who gets the trauma stuff. Am grateful. Is awful hard work but now I know this is due to content and not due to the damaging dynamics experienced in previous therapy.
I hope you find someone who you can work with if that's what you want to do x
 
Poppy2014

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#75
Write, I'm so sorry you had a horrible journey. I agree about the NHS I was lucky the Psych i was referred to for therapy said I couldn't have EMDR until I'd done CAT as I would be too unstable.
The CAT was to give me stability and self care skills. He said EMDR was too unsafe to someone like me, by the sound of things like you.
The CAT gave me strength to talk about the problems, the EMDR will now allow me to process them and hopefully relegate them.
The problem, there are only 1 or 2 CAT therapists in each NHS area as it takes 2-3 years to train, while EMDR therapists 10 a penny and you only have to have part 1 to practice, while the real professionals have part 4. That takes time.
I was fortunate, Eamonn who I'd been referred to was both and I'd worked with him before, the problem cropped up when we realised his wait list was 4 years. After 14 months I went private, met Steve, did CAT, now 18 months later I'm starting EMDR, and yes scaring the hell out of me, but I'm ready and strong enough.
You are not the first person I've heard of or me who had EMDR too soon and it caused more problems than it solved.
I'm glad you found someone who fits you now
Good luck
Poppy xxx
 
write

write

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#77
Write, I'm so sorry you had a horrible journey. I agree about the NHS I was lucky the Psych i was referred to for therapy said I couldn't have EMDR until I'd done CAT as I would be too unstable.
The CAT was to give me stability and self care skills. He said EMDR was too unsafe to someone like me, by the sound of things like you.
The CAT gave me strength to talk about the problems, the EMDR will now allow me to process them and hopefully relegate them.
The problem, there are only 1 or 2 CAT therapists in each NHS area as it takes 2-3 years to train, while EMDR therapists 10 a penny and you only have to have part 1 to practice, while the real professionals have part 4. That takes time.
I was fortunate, Eamonn who I'd been referred to was both and I'd worked with him before, the problem cropped up when we realised his wait list was 4 years. After 14 months I went private, met Steve, did CAT, now 18 months later I'm starting EMDR, and yes scaring the hell out of me, but I'm ready and strong enough.
You are not the first person I've heard of or me who had EMDR too soon and it caused more problems than it solved.
I'm glad you found someone who fits you now
Good luck
Poppy xxx
Thank you Poppy, yes they've done a lot of damage, without any apparent awareness or accountability. Scary. Good luck with the EMDR and hope it helps you. x
 
AliceinWonderland

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#78
I'd like to write about my experiences of therapy, when I can, but good luck Dewey, there's some good posts and advice on this thread. I've been enormously helped by therapy, it's made all the difference, but also had therapy that wasn't suitable and made things worse. Hope to come back and say more.
 
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Girl interupted

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#80
DBT vs CAT for BPD

I have posted in the thread above as I did not want to repeat it.
It's just a post on how CAT can help.
My only concern with CAT after reading about it, is that it was developed by government to deal with an increased demand for mental health services. There is no such thing as a quick fix for mental health issues that took a lifetime to develop.

I see it as sort of a fad diet. Sure you have that initial loss of weight, but without long term structure and support and fundamental foundational changes, you wind up gaining the weight back, plus some.

Asking people to go over their biggest trauma in 12 sessions, and equipping them with diagrams and letters, doesn’t feel for me to be something lasting. In fact, I’m concerned it would do more damage.

You spent a lifetime getting where you are now, that’s not going to be healed overnight.
 

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