Like ice cream…sharing is cool.

Had a super email exchange with reader, Karen, today. And the very cool thing is she gave me the okay to share. How cool is it when one of us is willing to open-up because she knows her experience could well help others?

So here’s how it all started, in her very own words…

I called the therapist (PHD) and set an appointment. he says he uses a cognitive approach, and thinks that after the first intake session, which takes 2-3 hours for testing, (MMPI, etc) (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) that he believes 4 sessions which are usually around 2 hours is enough, or you aren’t working hard enough, or don’t want to change. he does a sliding fee scale and alleges he gives the money to charity. he told me 3x he was Christian, but respected  all beliefs, and thought that faith was an integral part of healing and life. He also believes anti depressants and anti anxiety meds treat the symptoms, not the cause. I told him I believed that to be true at times, and often in cases of mild depression, but disagreed for moderate/severe depression/anxiety. He did say there were times drugs were appropriate…..Not sure if I think he is a freak or not. thoughts????????

And here’s my reply…

Good for you, Karen. I think it’s a capital idea. Cognitive therapy is good – it’s very logical and based in empirical proof of one’s beliefs and behaviors. And it doesn’t surprise me that the therapy will run a short course. And his point about working is well taken. You will have “homework” assignments. But that’s a good thing because it’s all about taking one’s thoughts (and subsequent behaviors) to the lab of the real world. Now, his statement about not wanting to change. I question that just a bit, only if he excludes the pathology involved in our, at times, unconscious resistance to change. I also question his call re antidepressant meds only treating the symptoms of depression and anxiety. His statement is true re benzos, but re the cause of depression and anxiety…ehhh, I’m not so sure. And the Christian thing? Well, play it by ear. If he can’t manage his own beliefs, attempting to push them onto others, he’s a lousy (not the word I actually used) therapist (and Christian), and it’s time for bye-bye.

All that said – still, good for you. Give it an open-minded go and see what happens. And keep me posted! Hey – may I share this as a chipur article? It would really help others a ton…Bill

I have several take-aways from Karen’s email…

  • She obviously took the initiative to interview the therapist before committing to scheduling the appointment
  • She gathered a lot of quality information – treatment approach, length of therapy, testing, philosophy, etc.
  • Even though there were issues which raised question marks, she heard enough of what she liked to move forward – and she now has a heads-up to some things to watch-out for
  • She took what she learned to someone she trusted for an opinion

By the way, here’s a link to the first of a series of four articles I wrote on starting a relationship with a counselor.

Well, this is what happens when we share. It’s so cool (like ice cream) to be able to learn from the experiences of others.

So what are your thoughts? Any suggestions for Karen? Any questions that would help us help you? It’s simple to comment…