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Going to therapy...

Finally. I've known since I was a teenager I should see a therapist for all the issues with my family, and how bad my relationship is with my dad. Well I have an appointment to go today and for some reason I'm really nervous. (I'm also excited, cuz I know I need to go and I really think it will help, but still nervous). 

I'm one of those people that if I don't really know what to expect I just worry over every stupid little detail. What if I don't click with the therapist? What if I don't know what to say to him? What kind of stuff is he gonna ask me? What if I start crying? I don't want to do the whole cliched crying on the therapist's couch thing, that's so embarrassing. What if he tries to get me to do something I don't want to do (like call and have a real conversation with my dad, who I feel like I really need some distance from right now). On and on. I'll probably be worrying about this nonsense all the way till the appointment starts. 

Has anyone else gone to a therapist/psychologist/whatever and found that it really helped? 
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Re: Going to therapy...

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    esstee33esstee33 member
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    edited December 2014
    Finally. I've known since I was a teenager I should see a therapist for all the issues with my family, and how bad my relationship is with my dad. Well I have an appointment to go today and for some reason I'm really nervous. (I'm also excited, cuz I know I need to go and I really think it will help, but still nervous). 

    I'm one of those people that if I don't really know what to expect I just worry over every stupid little detail. What if I don't click with the therapist? What if I don't know what to say to him? What kind of stuff is he gonna ask me? What if I start crying? I don't want to do the whole cliched crying on the therapist's couch thing, that's so embarrassing. What if he tries to get me to do something I don't want to do (like call and have a real conversation with my dad, who I feel like I really need some distance from right now). On and on. I'll probably be worrying about this nonsense all the way till the appointment starts. 

    Has anyone else gone to a therapist/psychologist/whatever and found that it really helped? 
    Yes. Therapy is massively helpful to me. I haven't gone in a long time, but I used to go often. It was nice to just have a sounding board and some outside perspective into whether or not I was being oversensitive about the things my family had said/done to me. 

    The best thing you can do is be totally honest, no matter how you think it makes you look, because holding things back is not going to help. He's going to ask you what brought you in, I'm sure, and you need to tell him all about the manipulative shit your parents continually do to you and how it affects you. So what if you cry? Every therapist's office I've ever been to has had a giant box of tissues right on the table. There's no reason to feel embarrassed because you have emotions. 

    ETA: You're going to be SO much better off just for having talked to a professional, even if you never go back. Sometimes the best part of therapy is just getting all of it off your chest. I'm proud of you for taking this step!! It takes a lot of courage to admit that maybe you need to talk to someone about how to cope with things. 

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    I was in therapy for years, because of the relationship I had with my father. I started going to therapy when I was a teenager. I didn't click with the first 2 therapists. And just remember - that's OK! You're not going to click with everyone. 
    My third therapist was a godsend and she truly saved and changed my life. I did a lot of crying and it was cathartic. Try to go with a completely open mind. Let yourself feel everything you're feeling. Whatever emotions or reactions you have are OK! 

    If you feel that you need some distance form your dad, tell the therapist that. Be upfront that you don't feel ready to confront him. 

    I went to therapy for years without my dad. And then I had one therapy session with him. I confronted him and discussed with him all the things I was upset and hurt about. And honestly, it completely changed our relationship for the better. I was finally able to forgive him and move on. 

    Hugs girl. I'm here if you want to talk! 
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    edited December 2014
    When I was in high school, I lost a close friend in a motorcycle accident. It was really hard on me, since that was the first person I'd lost that was my age. I started seeing a therapist for a few months and he was amazing. It wasn't the cliché therapist office with the black couch you lean back on. It was set up like a living room, with a coffee table, two couches, and even a dining room table. I could sit wherever I wanted. 

    It was never like I walked in and we immediately got down to business, trying to discover the inner workings of my brain or anything. We talked about how school was going, life at home, general things that I talked to my friends about. Some days we wouldn't even talk about my feelings necessarily, or losing my friend. He was just there as an outside observer; someone who had no stock in my life so he had no reason to tell me anything just because I wanted to hear it. 

    As I type this, I realize that he was pretty much like TK ladies in real life lol. Someone who is going to give you guidance and help you come to your own conclusions. You are paying him/her for their time, they cannot make you do anything that you don't want to do. Don't feel the need to rush into "fixing" everything. It took a long time for you and your family to get to this point, it's going to take a long time for you to understand it/fix it/learn to live with it/whatever your end goal is. I would recommend telling him what you hope to get out of these sessions, but take your time with it. Enjoy having someone you can talk to IRL about everything that's bothering you, without worrying about hurt feelings.

    ETA: Grammar is hard without coffee.
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    @novella1186 - I posted something very similar a few months ago when I was starting therapy for the first time. To be honest, I just didn't click with my therapist AT ALL. I wish I would have looked around for someone different. Instead, I just stopped after 3 sessions.

    I highly doubt the therapist would ask you to call your dad, so don't worry about that. I am an emotional person, and cried in all three of my sessions. I think you get over being embarassed by that fast though, and they're used to it.
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    flyingfoxesflyingfoxes member
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    edited December 2014

    IA w/ PP about if you don't click with this therapist, try a different one. 

    I still get nervous when I go see my therapist (and I've seen her off and on for like 6 years, lol), because I know she's going to dig right into what I don't usually want to talk about, but I know that we NEED to talk about it just to get it out there and start to work on it.  I actually just started going back after taking a year off, with all the stresses of the wedding, work sucking balls, and stresses of living together.  Finally stuff that's NOT to do with my own family, lol. 

    Clicking is way important...I actually pay the entire $130/hour of out pocket (well, using FSA) because I like my therapist so much.  Luckily she takes TriCare so I'll be using FI's insurance after the wedding which will save me SO much money!  Having a good relationship with your therapist is so important. 

     

    ETA: sometimes I think my therapist goes right for those buttons that will make me cry - like she knows it's opening up that wound which may be the only way to start healing.  It's not embarrassing - they are used to it.

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    Finally. I've known since I was a teenager I should see a therapist for all the issues with my family, and how bad my relationship is with my dad. Well I have an appointment to go today and for some reason I'm really nervous. (I'm also excited, cuz I know I need to go and I really think it will help, but still nervous). This is awesome! Good for you novella!

    I'm one of those people that if I don't really know what to expect I just worry over every stupid little detail. What if I don't click with the therapist? If you don't click with the therapist you find a new one. That has always been recommended when I would look for therapists. You wouldn't stay with a doctor you didn't like. It is the same for your mental health.

     What if I don't know what to say to him? Normally therapists are great about easing information out. My first experience, I had NO idea what to talk about. I was a hot mess and had a ton of issues and was afraid they would think I was crazy. Instead they asked about myself, my interests, what I do for a living, then they started to ask about my family (the crux of almost all my problems). There they would take note of what I said and go back to it later addressing it slowly and not forcing me.

     What kind of stuff is he gonna ask me? Probably a lot about yourself the first session and what you are looking to get out of these sessions. He may ask about your family, don't be afraid to answer. They are there to help, not to judge.

     What if I start crying? So I hate crying because my sister used to make fun of me and said it was a sign of weakness. When I first started seeing my therapists if I talked about my dad or what my sister or mom had done to me that month I get this UGLY scrunched look on my face. They said it was okay to cry, that's what the tissue boxes are there for. You are in a judgement free zone. Cry your heart out if you need too. 

    I don't want to do the whole cliched crying on the therapist's couch thing, that's so embarrassing. What if he tries to get me to do something I don't want to do (like call and have a real conversation with my dad, who I feel like I really need some distance from right now). They won't make you do what you don't want to. If you are too uncomfortable to do something and they keep pushing, it's probably a good idea to find a new therapist.

    Has anyone else gone to a therapist/psychologist/whatever and found that it really helped? Since seeing a therapist, I have been able to communicate better than I have ever before in my life. I still have a lot of issues with my family but that takes time to fix and I may always have problems but to talk to someone in a judgement free zone is relieving. It also helps to release a ton of stress you might have pent up. 

    Good luck on your first visit and I hope you find what you are looking for!

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    I have been activtly going to therapy since I was 15 years old. 

    It took me awhile to find a therapist I really liked and clicked super well with. Most of the therapists (not all, some really sucked) were great therapists. They just weren't great for me. Luckily they understood this were often the first to recommend someone else to me. 

    I've cried in many therapists offices many times. Crying is very cathartic. We resist crying to look strong, or to not be a stereotype of a crying girl, or so we don't get called emotional, but really...crying is fantastic! I always feel better after I've really let myself cry. My therapist just hands me the tissue box and maybe some water and tells me to breath if I'm getting too upset. Sometimes I cry and get really upset and then can't breath and then have a panic attack. 

    First session is usually a get to know you session, they'll ask what you're hoping to get out of therapy, what led you to this decision, ect, ect. You can always say no if they're pushing you to do something you don't want to do. I've never had a therapist force me to confront someone. Suggest I do so, or have me write letters I never send, absolutely. But never say "you must do this or I will never see you again", if they do they are a bad therapist.
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    Thanks for the responses, guys! You all have been my unofficial therapists :)  
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    I first went to therapy when I was 14 and I absolutely hated it, so much that I would dissolve into tears if my mom told me I needed to go back. When I was 17, though, I was having so much trouble dealing with a bad break-up and my parents' divorce that I asked to go back (to a different counselor, for sure), and I saw that therapist for about 2 solid years, and then on and off for a couple more years. I'm now seeing a therapist weekly, and J and I started couple's therapy earlier in the fall and will be resuming it in January.

    Like people have said, therapy starts off with several "getting to know you" type sessions. It's really important to not hold anything back and to be totally honest. And "regular" therapy just kind of segues from there; you go in, you talk, you leave, you come back. It helps to have a neutral sounding board, and a good therapist will be able to ask you questions or point out things you've said to help you recognize how you're feeling about something or dealing with something.

    Sometimes, you don't click with a therapist. The therapist I saw when I was 14? She was awful. She treated me like a child, which, obviously, I was, but I didn't feel like a child, and she was so condescending that I didn't want to tell her anything. My best friend had a therapist who told her that maybe she wouldn't be so upset about work problems if she just started dating.

    When that happens, you leave. You say, "I'm sorry, but I don't think you're a good fit for me. Thank you for your time." Therapists know that not everyone is a good fit, and if a therapist doesn't respect that? BAD therapist.
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    I guess I'm really scared of telling anyone the truth about what I think of my dad. I hate him. I feel like I got screwed out of having a decent father, and that pisses me off. I don't ever want to not hate him because he's truly a terrible person and he does shitty things. I could say worse things than this but I won't since you guys aren't my therapist lol. 

    I just feel like if I say that to a man (or really any doctor) they will be like "God, what a terrible person, and what a total psycho! I don't even want to try to help her!"

    But I know you guys are right. It's a judgement free zone, so I'm sure I can say what I need to say... 
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    I fully agree that therapy is amazing. I have clicked so well with my therapist that I look forward to going. She has also helped me with my family and daily life issues. (Our family drama is very similar). She has also helped me figure out ways to destress in my life. I was nervous and excited too. I almost cancelled my first appointment but I'm happy I didn't. I still have a long way to go but I've gotten a lot farther than I would have by myself.  She told me something that has helped a little. Just pretend you are on an alien planet and you don't understand the language. Its silly but it has helped me most of the time.
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    Don't be afraid to tell your therapist exactly what you think of your father. I told mine that I hated my dad and when I was little, I used to wish he would die. Like PPs said, your therapist will eventually tell you to let go of that hate. 

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    I guess I'm really scared of telling anyone the truth about what I think of my dad. I hate him. I feel like I got screwed out of having a decent father, and that pisses me off. I don't ever want to not hate him because he's truly a terrible person and he does shitty things. I could say worse things than this but I won't since you guys aren't my therapist lol. 

    I just feel like if I say that to a man (or really any doctor) they will be like "God, what a terrible person, and what a total psycho! I don't even want to try to help her!"

    But I know you guys are right. It's a judgement free zone, so I'm sure I can say what I need to say... 
    MAYBE we have the same dad. Either way, therapists are trained professionals who deal with this stuff on the regular. No one's going to think you're broken and not worth treating.
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    Yes, Yes, Yes to therapy! I can't say it enough.

    For 2 years, I vomited all the time- every morning. I went to doctor after doctor and nobody could figure anything out. I lost so much weight, my bras stopped fitting.

    As a sort of last-ditch effort, I went to a therapist. I wasn't raised in a "talking" household. Don't get me wrong, I had a great childhood- we were just not talky, therapy people. I hid it from my parents for awhile because of that. I went to her for about 4 years and I feel like a totally different person. I didn't necessarily have the "stereotypical " things "wrong with me", I grew up in a loving household with resources and married parents. There was just something there that I needed to work through.

    After seeing her, I haven't thrown up sense. Turns out I am super anxious and needed to do something about it. I stopped seeing her this summer because I feel like I had gotten to a really good place and no longer needed it. But I will go back if I feel like I need to.

    I loved it. And I suggest it to any and everyone. I saw one woman I didn't click with-it felt like a bad first date. But this woman was suggested to me by my GP- happened to be a block from my apt AND take my insurance AND I loved her. You will cry, you will feel awkward. But it is part of the process.

    Good luck!

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    edited December 2014
    Lurker/therapist chiming in to say that the previous posters have it right!


    What if I don't click with the therapist? It happens! There are a ton of different approaches and personalities out there and not all work for everyone. Therapy is so personal that you want someone you feel comfortable with, and a good therapist knows that therapy will be more successful if the client/therapist relationship is a good one.

    What if I don't know what to say to him? The beginning tends to be a lot of getting to know you so the therapist likely will have certain questions they usually ask in first sessions. When I did outpatient we had a set assessment that had to be completed so the first 1-2 sessions were almost always a lot of question asking about different aspects of clients' lives. As you get into therapy it's important to remember that silence is ok! It feels weird sometimes, but not every second of every session has to be filled with talking. Sometimes ideas, emotions, etc. need some time to soak in.

    What kind of stuff is he gonna ask me? Like I said above, there might be a standard assessment they use that just helps to get some background info. on you. I would usually ask if the person had any specific goals for therapy (and it was o.k. if they didn't) and of course general questions about what led to you try therapy.

    What if I start crying? Nothing to worry about. Happens all the time and no one is going to judge you for it. 

    What if he tries to get me to do something I don't want to do. Then don't do it. That's not to say a therapist won't push you a little bit a times or won't ever suggest something you don't want to do, but those are often good opportunities to talk about why you don't want to, are uncomfortable, etc. At the end of the day, a therapist can't make you do anything you don't want to do. 


    Therapy can be an awesome experience with so many benefits if you go in with an open mind! (Of course, I'm biased though :) )
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    Best of luck with therapy! I agree with everyone else's advice.

    I went to therapy for a bit and I think it would have helped me more, but I didn't have the time or money to really fully commit. I always think about going back though!

    Anyway, I think it's a great step and will hopefully be a great help!

    Formerly martha1818

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    Where do you find a therapist? I had private messaged someone on here about their therapy experiences and they recommend going so I'd really like to, but have no idea where to start...where to even find one? Just google in your area? How would I know if they do the "type" I want?

                                                                     

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    jenna8984 said:
    Where do you find a therapist? I had private messaged someone on here about their therapy experiences and they recommend going so I'd really like to, but have no idea where to start...where to even find one? Just google in your area? How would I know if they do the "type" I want?
    You could ask your regular doctor to refer you to one they would recommend.

    But what I did was I went on the website for my insurance and searched any mental healthcare professional who was covered by my medical insurance. I then looked up their practice online to see if it sounded like it could be a good fit for me. Based on that, I called and made an appointment. 
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    jenna8984 said:
    Where do you find a therapist? I had private messaged someone on here about their therapy experiences and they recommend going so I'd really like to, but have no idea where to start...where to even find one? Just google in your area? How would I know if they do the "type" I want?
    You could ask your regular doctor to refer you to one they would recommend.

    But what I did was I went on the website for my insurance and searched any mental healthcare professional who was covered by my medical insurance. I then looked up their practice online to see if it sounded like it could be a good fit for me. Based on that, I called and made an appointment. 
    My GP happens to have a very good referral program. She collects names of different types of doctors that either she personally sees or has at least 3 patients who have seen them. She creates reference sheets that have all their contact info and just gives them on request.

    But I would suggest looking on your insurance website as well. New York state does not require therapists to accept insurance, but I could not afford to pay out of pocket, so that was a limiting factor for me. I lucked into finding someone close by who I really liked and also took my insurance.
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    larrygagalarrygaga member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited December 2014
    I am a therapist, albeit for old people. I can attest that nothing you say will faze them, so don't be afraid to freak them the fuck out. It's a lot harder to do than you think!!! They have heard it all before. Hopefully knowing that helps you to relax a bit.

    Also, don't be afraid to find a different one if you don't click with the one you have. IF they are worth their salt, they won't be offended.
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    Every time I've gone to therapy (and I've gone a few times for different issues) I literally cry the whole time.  And I'm not someone who normally cries in life but something about therapy just brings it out in me.

    Every therapist is different.  Just remember that if you don't connect wtih this one for whatever reason, it's ok to keep "shopping around" for one that works for you!
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    jenna8984 said:
    Where do you find a therapist? I had private messaged someone on here about their therapy experiences and they recommend going so I'd really like to, but have no idea where to start...where to even find one? Just google in your area? How would I know if they do the "type" I want?
    I asked a friend who she saw and this is the therapist I still see. 
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    Every time I've gone to therapy (and I've gone a few times for different issues) I literally cry the whole time.  And I'm not someone who normally cries in life but something about therapy just brings it out in me.

    Every therapist is different.  Just remember that if you don't connect wtih this one for whatever reason, it's ok to keep "shopping around" for one that works for you!
    I don't normally cry either, that's why I think I will feel stupid if I do end up crying lol 
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    Every time I've gone to therapy (and I've gone a few times for different issues) I literally cry the whole time.  And I'm not someone who normally cries in life but something about therapy just brings it out in me.

    Every therapist is different.  Just remember that if you don't connect wtih this one for whatever reason, it's ok to keep "shopping around" for one that works for you!
    I don't normally cry either, that's why I think I will feel stupid if I do end up crying lol 
    Eh every therapist I went to told me that they are used to it haha.  I stopped caring after awhile and found it kinda cathartic.
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    I've been in and out of therapy for over 30 years, as I started as a teen. Also, I've been to family counseling, couples counseling, and child therapy with my kids.  Never did work out the dad issues, but I have worked out some of the other dad-inspired issues. 

     First, talk to your MD to see if they have a recommended list.

    As far as not clicking, yes, that happens. Also, there are some really great therapists and some really lousy ones. Just keep trying. A good therapist is worth their weight in gold. 
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    YESYESYES!!! I'm a firm believer that most, if not all, people should go to therapy! I was having issues drawing boundaries and handling stress last year, so I went to a therapist. It was THE BEST THING! Seriously the best thing. It's a judgement free environment to talk about things, get some validation for things that you might be feeling guilty about (it's nice when somebody tells you "you are allowed to feel this way, it is understandable and justified that you feel this way, and you are actually NOT unique in responding in this manner to xyz stressor in your life"). AND THEN they give you tools for helping yourself. They guide you through the work, but you do the actual work, so you have the added bonus of feeling like you have really truly accomplished something over time. It is 100% normal and understandable to be nervous. It is normal to cry. I was nervous the first few times, and then excited. I cried during probably 75% of my sessions. Usually it was just tearing up (I'm a crier - always have been). The last several sessions, no tears! You are allowed to be nervous and cry and not click. If you don't click, ask the therapist if he knows somebody he can recommend that you might click better with.
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    YES!  I would not be married to my DH if it weren't for therapy pointing out to me that I was making bad decisions about choosing men in my life.  I was in love with the wrong man, and he was NOT in love with me.
    Therapy also helped identify that some of my problems had a physical basis, and I need medication to keep myself on an even keel.  (Hereditary depression)
    Therapy helped me understand that my mother was a fruitcake, and that I was not responsible for her behavior.  "It isn't you - it's your mother!"
    Good luck straightening out your life!
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