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Re: INFOBUS: Reaching Out to a Professional

Sounds like a lot of people agree that at the beginning they'd want the other person to break the ice and ask some *real* questions about who you are as a person - not just a clinical checklist

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Re: INFOBUS: Reaching Out to a Professional

I thought what we're talking about relates pretty well to this question that was submitted this week, and I wanted to hear what ideas you folks have. After all, you're probably better placed to answer this one than me...

 

How do you start the conversation when asked what is wrong? When you've 'bottled it up" for so long!

 

It can be really hard to open up after not talking about something for so long – but do remember that you don’t have to tell everything all at once. You can start with the small, surface stuff. Talk about what’s going in your life, for example for someone who is dealing with an underlying issue of social anxiety, they might start by talking about being behind in school; or for someone who might be feeling suicidal, they can start by talking about feeling isolated and finding it hard to make new friends.

 

There are practical things you can do as well – like making a list before you go can be useful – or showing them a diary entry that you feel comfortable with.

 

Does anyone else have ideas?

Re: INFOBUS: Reaching Out to a Professional

I do recall that sometimes it's not seeing and being with a therapist for the first time. It's leaving for the first time!!

It was really strange and bizarre, I'd basically stirred the pot and because I had brought everything back to the surface again, I couldn't stop thinking about it for a few days. It made me feel increasingly anxious and I lost a bit of sleep over it. Now it really depends on the content of our discussions. But it's really important to be able to leave an appointment and function! Definitely the first 10 or so sessions I had, it was really difficult to go from seeing her straight into a lecture. There were times were I could have vomited.

Re: INFOBUS: Reaching Out to a Professional

@_sagira_: Yeah I'm thinking of changing GPs.

 

What ideas do people have for breaking the ice with a professional? What can you do to make those first few seconds and the minutes that follow as comfortable as possible?


Hmm... This is a hard one! I think starting out with light-hearted chat is best, just about your interests and what you like to do. I think that's pretty safe territory to start off with. I think it's good if they introduce themselves as well and explain their role and how the session will run. Then maybe they could ask an open question to start out with like, 'why did you come to see me today?' or ask you if you have any questions.

Re: INFOBUS: Reaching Out to a Professional

@_sagira_

good point! its really important to factor in time after your apt to process what just went on and re-enter the world at large.
its great to, just as that great school counselor who was mentioned before, decide 'what nice thing you're going to do for yourself' after you leave

Re: INFOBUS: Reaching Out to a Professional

Great question, Rebecca.

It took me a LONG time to open up to my psychiatrist. We touched on "smaller issues" for a long time. And we discussed the symptoms I was having but because I wasn't being open about what was happening in my life he didn't really know the best way to work with me to finds ways of dealing with those things.
I find the BEST way for me to open up to my psychiatrist is to write him letters. I have written some REALLY long letters before and he finds them so helpful. It's really nerve-wrecking giving him the letter but I keep telling myself that I can trust him. And I ALWAYS make sure I give him the letter straight away so I don't chicken out! I also used to write my school counsellor emails and stories.

Re: INFOBUS: Reaching Out to a Professional


@Twenty10 wrote:

I thought what we're talking about relates pretty well to this question that was submitted this week, and I wanted to hear what ideas you folks have. After all, you're probably better placed to answer this one than me...

 

How do you start the conversation when asked what is wrong? When you've 'bottled it up" for so long!

 

It can be really hard to open up after not talking about something for so long – but do remember that you don’t have to tell everything all at once. You can start with the small, surface stuff. Talk about what’s going in your life, for example for someone who is dealing with an underlying issue of social anxiety, they might start by talking about being behind in school; or for someone who might be feeling suicidal, they can start by talking about feeling isolated and finding it hard to make new friends.

 

There are practical things you can do as well – like making a list before you go can be useful – or showing them a diary entry that you feel comfortable with.

 

Does anyone else have ideas?


Don't think I've ever been directly asked that question.  The things that I have never been able to say out loud I have e-mailed to her, as I find writing an far easier way to express myself.  It also gives her a better understanding of where my headspace is.  I'm also a lot more honest when I write then when I speak allowed.  Then once she knows, she will thank me for my e-mail in the session and depending on what it is, depends on how it will be approached.  For the really hard, difficult things I told her to just ask me lots of questions. Because even though I will be reluctant in the beginning, if she just keeps asking me different questions I will eventually open up and tell her the whole story.  She knows that's how I work, because I've told her.  So I think tell them you have things that you've bottled up and don't want to discuss.  ANd you can talk about not wanting to talk about it.  Which can be helpful.

Re: INFOBUS: Reaching Out to a Professional

What ideas do people have for breaking the ice with a professional? What can you do to make those first few seconds and the minutes that follow as comfortable as possible?

 


I agree greatly with what everyone else has said. Although we're the ones that made the appointment, I think it really is up to the proffessional to break the ice. For the first appointment questions are good. When they begin by telling you about what's going in their life it's really helpful.

I went to one person who began with games. From throwing a ball around to connect four or guess who, it was weird but actually helped make me feel a bit more comfortable.

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Re: INFOBUS: Reaching Out to a Professional

@DD

my intro 'open question' often looks like "Whats happening for you today?"

Re: INFOBUS: Reaching Out to a Professional

Ah sagira - TOTALLY know that feeling... RE: feeling worse after session. That's why I always treat myself to something after the session - generally a hot chocolate. Smiley Happy
I do still find that after particularly hard appointments I can feel MUCH worse, but that's okay, it just means that we are working on some tough things and they need to be worked on!