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Professional Help - is awesome

 

I’ve had a few experiences with getting professional help over the years, due to a variety of reasons.

In high school, starting in yr 11, I ended up seeing the school counselor after my mum spoke to my year level coordinator about things that were going on at home. (So her motives for doing this weren’t to “get me help”, but it did). At the time I never really liked the lady and didn’t think it was helping much, but looking back now it was really fantastic to have someone I could go vent to about all the stuff that was going on at home. Because I never really spoke to any of my friends about the stuff that was going on it was good to have someone to talk to. I was also shit scared about being seen “walking to the counselors office” because of what people may have thought of me because their office was a little bit of a walk from class. This was until one day someone sort of asked me why I was seeing a counselor. This girl was the friendliest person in my year and I turns out she was seeing one of them too!! So I wasn’t that weird. No this didn’t rid me completely of my fear but it helped a little.

 

Then in yr 12 I ended up with cancer and chronic pain so my pain management guy one day recommended politely that I see a psychologist. I saw this lady probably 10 or 12 times after treatment, and although I originally went to see her because of my illness, I ended up talking more about family crap and everything else!! And this was never an issue, I was there to talk about what I needed to not! I stopped seeing her just after I started uni.

 

Towards the end of my first year at uni things started going downhill a little bit and it was at that point I started promising myself I would find someone to talk to. But promising myself and actually doing something is completely different. To say I was absolutely terrified would be an understatement. Over the period of about a year and a half I tried various ways of getting help. My first attempt was sort of indirectly asking our family GP for a referral to a psychologist, and she was lovely about it, but I never got the courage to actually call either of the people she referred me too. I also tried kids help line online counseling a couple of times and even then I was terrified but it did help a little bit. However it wasn’t enough and their opening hours didn’t really work for me and I didn’t have the guts to ring up. But the people at KHL really were lovely.

 

Finally at the end of second year I managed to force myself to a different doctor and get a referral to a psychologist. This doctor again was brilliant and seemed to know what he was doing and didn’t ask too many questions. There was a slight wait before I got in to see the psychologist but he was really helpful. Because of my uni and sport commitments I was ridiculously busy which meant I wasn’t able to focus enough on, well, “therapy”. So we decided that it would be best to keep my remaining sessions for that year until I had time to really focus on it. I guess what I learnt from this is that to really be able to get anything from a psychologist etc you have to be willing to work with the professional. It involves team work.

 

Later in the year things went really downhill and because of that I was referred to our local mental health team after ending up in the emergency room. Through them I got referred to a case manager who also is my psychologist. At the moment we are working together on Cognotive Analytical Therapy (CAT) and it really makes sense to me, and I guess is working. Through the team I also got to see a psychiatrist for the first time. I was terrified about this but it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I guess what I thought I’d get from this was a diagnosis, because we’d already ruled out medication.

 

I guess what I’ve learnt from all this is

-       It takes effort from both you and the professional for treatment to work

-       Never underestimate how helpful it is to have someone to just vent to, but that in order to get better you have to move past just venting and start looking for solutions.

-       You should never stop searching for help, if you get let down by one person (because unfortunately there are some not so great professionals out there) then keep searching for someone else because someone will be able to help.

 

One thing that has always helped me is music, whether it’s listening to it on the way to a psych session so I don’t think to much, or just relaxing with it when I was struggling. I guess two songs that really lifted my mood or made me realize that I could make it through were

 

 Mountains – Lonestar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoqGUVOXmkU

 

The impossible – Joe Nichols

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFurhr-j6oY

 

 P.S. the ReachOut site seems to be playing up and not letting me see pages so I will update this with links once it wants to work!!!

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Re: Professional Help - is awesome

Awkwardturtle, nice work! Smiley Happy I agree, professional help can be great. I went to a counsellor earlier this year for the first time, and I had no idea what to do. But the guy was great, we just chatted about what was going on, and he really helped me to get some perspective on things. We only had 2 or 3 sessions, but I felt a lot better afterwards, and I'm doing a lot better now. 

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Re: Professional Help - is awesome

Thanks for sharing your experiences with professional help, awkwardturtle. I'm glad things are going well with it at the moment. Smiley Happy

 


@awkwardturtle wrote:

I guess what I’ve learnt from all this is

-       It takes effort from both you and the professional for treatment to work

-       Never underestimate how helpful it is to have someone to just vent to, but that in order to get better you have to move past just venting and start looking for solutions.

-       You should never stop searching for help, if you get let down by one person (because unfortunately there are some not so great professionals out there) then keep searching for someone else because someone will be able to help.

 

Those are some good points Smiley Happy

 

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Re: Professional Help - is awesome

Thankyou for your honest experiences! Smiley Happy

I've also had a lot of experience. I've actually just recently stopped seeing my psychologist, as we both felt like I was in a comfortable situation to do so. It is the first time in six years I haven't been in therapy.

 

But it is tricky at times. I've seen four different psychologists. Sometimes it's difficult to find someone who 'works' for you. It may take a bit of time to learn how he/she works as a psychologist - and how therapy itself is meant to work!

 

Being honest and open to whoever you are seeing is essential if you want to get help.

 

I've seen four psychologists, a psychiatrist and have been a part of a group therapy. I have overcome a range of things - including severe anxiety and a dog phobia during my six years of therapy - and even though it was hard, and there were MANY tears, I look back now and realise it really was worthwhile Smiley Happy

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Re: Professional Help - is awesome

I'm glad that I'm not alone! I've been through some tough times in my life and seeing a psychologist was one of the best things for me. I still see her now but not as regularly - she knows me pretty well so whenever something stressful happens in my life it's easier to deal with. It's a great support to have.

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Re: Professional Help - is awesome

@Magga: isn't that the awesome thing about them, they know we might be unsure and are trained to get us to talk and feel less nervous. 

@florenceforever: it is hard to stop seeing a psychologist if you've been seeing them for a while or through really tough times. What do you think are some tips for people in coping with this? And did you organise a plan for if you think you need to see someone again?

And it can be hard to find someone that you "click with", I know I'm guilty of staying with a psych even though they may not have been right simply because I didn't want to go through the process of finding someone else!

@JustThatGirl: aren't they awesome just as a support Smiley Happy

 

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Re: Professional Help - is awesome

Hey awkwardturtle,

 

Thanks for sharing your experiences with getting help! It's always wonderful to hear of positive help seeking experiences and will hopefully encourage other people that talking to someone can be a good thing! Though it is very scary the first time, it is worth it.

 

I started off with seeing my school counsellor too and like you, was terrified of other people knowing. But in fact, quite a few people have seen the schoo, counsellor too. And from there, I've also seen other people like psychologists and psychiatrists. 

 

You're definitely right in that the first, or even secong or third person may not be the right person, but there will be the right person out there. Even if it does take a bit of a search!

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Re: Professional Help - is awesome

Always good to get a second opinion or help from someone who has dedicated themselves to that field and to helping people like us that need help Smiley Happy

 

Inspire All Smiley Happy

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Re: Professional Help - is awesome

thanks so much for sharing (and taking the time to type up so much!) Smiley Very Happy

 

i've not had much success with psychiatrists or counsellors as I find it really hard to talk to them - so really get your point about it taking efforts on both parts.

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Re: Professional Help - is awesome


@awkwardturtle wrote:

@florenceforever: it is hard to stop seeing a psychologist if you've been seeing them for a while or through really tough times. What do you think are some tips for people in coping with this? And did you organise a plan for if you think you need to see someone again?

And it can be hard to find someone that you "click with", I know I'm guilty of staying with a psych even though they may not have been right simply because I didn't want to go through the process of finding someone else!

 


Hey awkwardturtle,

 

It was so nice to read about your experience with getting professional help.  I know I myself was absolutely terrified to take the plunge and do it (been pitting it off for years!)  Sounds like you've had a few rough trots, so I can imagine how beneficial it's been for you.

I like this question you pose.  I know that if I hadn't connected with my psychologist on the first session, I probably wouldn't have wanted to go back.  But the day that I go in for my last session does play on my mind.  As in, when will it be?  What state will I be in?  Etc...  I feel like it would be hard, when you have basically shared all your insecurities to someone who ends up being more then just the therapist you vent to.

I wonder how anyone in the past has dealt with this?