Not sure if my therapist is right for me (advice, anyone?)

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hello everyone, I’m fairly new to these types of forums. Let me give you a little background information before I begin with my main question. I’m a 23 year old female who has been suffering from panic attacks and really bad anxiety. I started having panic attacks about 5 months ago. The first months probably consisted of at least one panic attack every week, but haven’t had one in about 4 months. However, I live with the constant fear of having another one. My anxiety level is slowly (very slowly) going back down to baseline, but still isn’t near my anxiety level pre-panic attack. As a consequence, I stopped driving, had to quit my new job, cannot be left alone, rarely go out, unless it’s in the company of my ‘safety person’ aka my boyfriend, and I pretty much avoid going anywhere that’s not within the 5 mile radius from my home. I also find it important to mention I've dealt with depression on and off for about 7 years now.

 

I know I need help, which is why I sought therapy, BUT I feel that my therapist might not be right for me. I’ve read numerous articles, research papers, and books that mention CBT as being really successful in treating anxiety and panic disorder, even though I do not meet the criteria for PD. In addition to that are therapies like interoceptive exposure.

 

The thing is…she isn’t doing any of that. All she says is that it is in the mind and that the first step is thinking positive. I GET THAT. But HOW do I start thinking positive? I mean, if I knew how I would’ve tried long ago. I need some kind of structure so that I can track my progress. I need a consistent plan. For example, “everytime you have a negative thought, stop yourself and replace it with a positive one” OR “whenever you are feeling anxious, stop where you are and deep breath for five minutes”. She gives me strategies, but never a schedule I can follow. And the most upsetting part is that when I asked about CBT workbooks, SHE SAID THERE WERE NONE. That is not true, but I thought it would be good to mention it. She didn’t even consider CBT at all. I trust her enough to follow her treatment plan, but after 4 months in therapy I feel it is going no where.

 

I just feel so hopeless because I feel like I have to make my own treatment plan. Hell, I barely have the motivation to get out of bed sometimes.

 

Should I look for a therapist elsewhere?

1 like, 34 replies

Report / Delete

34 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    Absolutely look for a new therapist. When it comes to anxiety and panic, a good therapist that you feel comfortable with is vital. It's said that good CBT can even be better then medication so find one that is right for you. Any questions ask
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    First of all I am sorry you are going through so much. After what i just read it looks for a pretty good argument to get a new therapist. She hasnt been much of a help has she?You need to find someone who really helps you. You need to find a resolution to your depression and anxiety. Therapist arent cheap and I think you should at least try a different therapist and see if they can help. I wish you all the best.
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Fortunately, I'm covered by basic medical insurance until I'm 26, which includes mental health services. However, free mental health doesn't always equate to quality since, as I mentioned in another reply, my clinical social worker (current therapist) has a 300 case-load sad Because of this I only get to see her every three weeks and she let me know (in a very nice way) that if that was an issue there were numerous other places that could see me more often.

      Despite my somewhat disappointing experience with her, I am still extremely grateful for any therapy time because something is definitely better than nothing at all!

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    The first thing that  u must have for your therapist is a trust. If u cant trust her, just leave her and find another one.

    You can make your own treatments. For example, if u got panic or anxiety wherever u are, just stop walking or doing a thing, but check your surroundings to ensure there's nothing to make u unsafe.

    Just make u up when u got it and go sleeping when u feel safe.

    Do something to make u busy.

    Dont explore so many online resources about anxiety bcuz u will see more types. You then will compare a worse one with yours and think it's yours.

    If u are running a treatment but everything still looks same, try to compromize with your anxiety by thinking it's fine having an anxiety and it will be over soon.

    I survive with anxiety disorder for more than 10 years. Hope u'll get yours.  

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I feel like I can trust her when it comes to expressing my deepest thoughts and feelings. However, I don't think she has a SOLID treatment plan for me. (Can you really blame her? She has a 300 case-load) For example, my sister who has OCD had a wonderful therapist for some time and she practiced a lot of CBT--tracking thoughts, exposure, etc. etc. I understand every therapist (clinical social worker in my case) has a different approach to treatment so I'll stick with her for a while and see where it goes from there.

      So far I've been doing some of the things you mentioned--and I am making small progess. I deep breath before bed sometimes, work on adult coloring books, sudoku, go for a walk, etc. I am doing much better than I was 5 months ago that's for sure. It took a few months to stop convincing myself I had a deadly heart condition haha.

      Thank you so much for your reply! I appreciate it.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    You already know this therapist is not good. Wasting your time. Switch. Keep switching or interview them before you see them. 
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Yeah and it just gets frustrating that everytime I break down she says "you have to think more positively". Like dang lady, do you really think I've been depressed for the last 7 years because I CHOOSE not to be positive? Unfortunately, it is a lot harder than that. I try my best, but I've pretty much been thinking this way my whole life. It's like telling a drug addict to just stop using. The brain doesn't work that way.

      Thank for your reply!

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I have met some real idiots as therapist. Dont stay with them. Some have no clue at all what a oanic attacks feels like. Wasting youR time completely. I used a biofeedback therapist, i think similiar cbt therapist today nit sure. He did it all taught me to breathe, drive around with me, we wrote out fears and counter thoughts. Great person. The woman i see now is a great person, compassionate and kind. I dont go much anymore but shes there if i need her. But i have had two minster therpaists in my time. One i think needed therapy more then everyone i have ever known was a waste on every level. One had a heart attack or something weeks before my visit and soent my session talking abiut himself and then the following session told me i was too negative lmaoooo i literally stood up and walked out the door. What an moron. He turned out to quit his practice three weeks later i recieved a message from insurance. My point is some of these people are terrible at their jobs. This is your life here and seeing fools that sit there and say get over it, or think positive is laughable. Obviously if it was that simple you  wouldnt be there.but there are great ines as well. I think you need to telephone the person first. You want to know how long they have been practicing, specialities, do they actively teach cbt and are they familiar with panic disorders and depression? Feel them out on the phone.so,e of them are graded on line as well.look them up.
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Wooooow, they both pulled some HUGE no-no's. If there's anything I've learned it's that the first session makes a lasting impression. I just wish they would realize that one bad experience can literally disourage someone from seeking therapy EVER AGAIN. That's bad. That's really bad because when someone goes out of their way to seek help, it's because they're in a really bad place, mentally. The last thing you need to do is make your client/consumer feel unconfortable, judged, or worse--not heard at all. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. But I'm happy that you found someone who made up for all those ugly experiences! 

      I will definitely begin calling places around my area and do some "screening" over the phone. I really appreciate your advice and thanks for sharing your experience!

      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up