Re: Not sure what to do
I remember feeling a lot like you when I first started seeing my psychologist. She is so open and amazing, but I was worried she would end our sessions abruptly one day or that she would move away. I think that you will build that trust with her more and more each session and that feeling may start to dissipate. It's also important to remember that your psych is not going to up and leave you without having someone else lined up who is awesome (I know it could be hard to see a new person, but psychologists have a duty of care to make sure that you've got someone else to see). You can also talk about those feelings (feeling worried you may be abandoned by your psych, feeling worried about ending the sessions) with your psychologist. She may be able to present some ways to think about those things that you hadn't considered.
Your psych will work collaboratively with you to decide when your next sessions will be and how far apart they will be, and you don't have to have a hard end on your sessions. I go back about once or twice a year to see my psychologist, or when I really need it. It's like maintaining your physical health: you go in for check-ups even when you're feeling okay. Your psychologist will make sure that you're in the right headspace to reduce your amount of sessions, so even though right now that thought is scary, you will be okay when it happens. Maybe try bringing this up with your psych and see what she says, she may be able to shed some more light on what may happen which might help you feel better.
“Your now is not your forever."
― John Green, Turtles All the Way Down
Re: Not sure what to do
Thanks @Maddy-RO ❤ It's taken me years to build the courage to reach out for help but I guess I finally reached breaking point and decided I just really don't want to live like this anymore so am open to anything that'll get me back into the land of living! I feel like I've been dead for so long that I just want to start fresh and try find my way from there. I'm slowly learning that no one can fix this but me. It's an exhausting battle but I finally feel like it's one I'm ready to try and win this time!!! 💪
Thankyou so much for your message, it was lovely to read and I love it when new people reach out! It's just nice to know so many people care and I really appreciate the support. It doesn't seem to matter how big or small the problem is, the people in this community are always there to listen and provide support which I just think is incredible. I don't feel as alone as I usually do which is nice. ❤
I like that you related it back to your situation because I guess I'd never really thought of it that way. It made me think of how long it took me to open up to my two best friends. I had to know everything about them and feel totally comfortable before I told them even the smallest of details. So I guess that could kind of be the same? I did speak to the other psychologist I sometimes see (when mine is away) about feeling really uncomfortable not knowing anything about mine. Like I always want to ask her questions and how she's going etc. but I also don't want to cross any lines. I'm usually the listener and not the talker so it's weird not knowing anything about her. Do you have any advice on that? Like maybe some questions you think are 'safe' to ask her? Cause idk. I also want to get to know her a bit more cause I HATE just talking about me...
Re: Not sure what to do
Thanks for the message @MisoBear ❤
I completely understand what you're saying and in theory it all makes total sense, but practically I can't seem to get myself to believe she isn't going anywhere.. I'm trying so hard to believe it but it's like I understand it one day but then the next I really feel like she's going to abandon me? Like occasionally I'll even wake from dreams in a panic cause she's left and told me I'm not worth her time anymore or I'm too hard to deal with. And those dreams SUCK!! I'm trying my best but it's not always easy to get myself to trust and believe what people are saying unfortunately 😔
I have spoken to her about it and she understands and has told me that I will probably be seeing her for a few years yet and that I shouldn't worry about it because she will give me plenty of notice if she is going anywhere and that when she decides to stop seeing me on a weekly basis it'll be when I'm ready and it's safe to do so but idk, I just can't seem to trust she isn't going to leave me, no matter what she says. And I hate that because I do trust her and think alot of her but idk, I'm just so scared I'll finally open up and then she'll leave. Was there anything in particular that had you believe your psych wasn't going anywhere?
Re: Not sure what to do
I am really glad to see that you've been receiving such good support from the community, and you are really engaging with the posts super well!
I can see that you are still struggling with some doubts about the theraputic process, which is super reasonable, and very common. Many people often feel a little weird or strange in a therapy session, because normally conversations are a back and forth between two speakers, while a therapy session is normally just focused on the client. You mentioned about wanting to know a bit more about your therapist, and again that is totally normal. Your therapist has probably fielded a lot of questions like this from different clients, and so I am sure they will be happy to talk about it. It's best to try and have a more open conversation about this and your motivations behind it, as there are no universal "safe" questions. Some therapists not want to share anything about their life, while other's might share a lot of their personal experiences. It's hard to know where your therapist lies on the spectrum, so the best way to find out is to ask honestly!
Re: Not sure what to do
It could just be something that has happened over time, but I've really come to realise that there really is no point in worrying. I'll do my best to concisely explain this:
When you worry about something happening, you are essentially going through those feelings twice. Once when you worry about it possibly happening and then again if/when it actually does happen. And to me, the logical thing is to just remove that initial worry because you have no control overf events happening (such as a psych leaving etc.), so there's no point in having this worry that may not even happen. Does that sort of make sense?
It's basically my mantra that enables me to be positive on most things. I know what I can and can't control and I chose to just wait and see what happens. Why chose to be sad or anxious!?
I will just say that there are some definite negatives to this way of thinking if you become too extreme, but if you can adopt a little bit of that belief, I think you might find it helpful to just see how (almost) silly or unhelpful it is to worry before anything has even happened.
Sorry, I feel like I just said 'worry' like 100 times! Hahaha. I guess i'm just trying to say that things can really have a huge difference if you just re-frame them slightly.
And yes, I got really upset when my first pych moved me on (she didn't feel specialised enough). I was annoyed and upset because I actually wanted to talk to someone and then they couldn't see me anymore. I remember just looking at it (logically again) and seeing that it was neither of our fault, it was just the way it was. I also knew that if I held onto this and got really upset, that actually wouldn't change anything - it would just make me anxious and upset (like the worry).
Easier said than done, but continuously looking forward (or at least at the present) can help with those fears around separation or loneliness. You honestly never know what's around the corner but if you are forever hoping for something or dreading something, are you ever really living?
Anyway, I saw many other psychs and I moved on from leaving them just as I moved on as a person. In terms of adjusting to this recent move, I've already seen my new psych (so we are overlapping these last few weeks) that has been recommended by them. He's asked how it's going and if i'm frightened or sad or whatever, but for me, i'm not really feeling anything. Again, from a logical point of view, a psych is a psych and yes, you have to get on with them, but they all have the same end result in mind and that's to help you improve. Out of the 12 or so i've seen, there were only 2 that I didn't feel I was progressing much with (but not necessarily disliked).
Regarding the time it took for me to open up, it was quite quickly when speaking with strangers i.e doctors and psychs because I didn't have as many emotional ties to them. I couldn't really offend them or hurt them or go against their wishes, so I just let them do their job and for that to happen, I had to tell them everything they needed so they could help. It's with my friends and family that I find it more difficult because you do see them all the time and you have established relationships and they aren't trained to be non-judgemental etc. etc. So again, logic helped me through it and I have no issue speaking to any (somewhat qualified) person. The family and friends, i'm working on, but honestly, speaking openly is so liberating, especially given my fears around speaking with my family and if it helps, knowing they are legally bound by confidentiality (within reason) takes even more pressure off.
I'm actually so excited for you, because it does take those brave first few steps, but when you are able to speak openly, you'll feel it too - it's so freeing just to say it aloud and then any strategies etc. you're given are like a big bonus.
But keep asking any questions. I honestly think I just had to flick that switch and see the logic one day and I haven't looked back since (hence my poor explanations ).
Re: Not sure what to do
Thanks @Andrea-RO - your message makes a lot of sense and helps make me realise it's normal I guess. I just feel really weird about it because I already have issues with attachment so don't want her to think I'm this crazy weird stalker person that wants to know everything about her. Because I don't (and I'm not lol), I just want to get to know her a bit before I completely open up to her. And I actually feel guilty that I don't know anything about her or feel comfortable asking how she is because usually it's me that people know nothing about. Idk it's weird. Like I get she's my therapist but I often find myself wanting to help her. Like she's been sick for a couple weeks in session and I could tell she was just really run down too and not with it and I wanted to just ask her about how she was feeling and listen to her problems rather than my own but was so scared to even ask her how she was because I didn't want to freak her out or cross some sort of line. I know I'm probs being paranoid but it's just how I feel. I get scared that if I ask the wrong thing she'll refer me on and not want to work with me anymore which I definitely do not want!!!! It's just an uncomfortable feeling and one I really don't like. I feel so selfish that the sessions are just about me. I'm going to try my best and take your advice on board to ask her honestly but have you got any suggestions on how I can get over the fear of asking the wrong thing and freaking her out? Idk, I just really don't want to stuff things up because I think she's great and a really good fit for me!!!
Re: Not sure what to do
Thanks for the awesome reply @Alison5!! There's no need to apologize, I get we all have our own shit going on and I hope all is going well for you ❤
It totally does make sense what you've said and I'll try to remember that way of looking at it when I'm worrying next. I can't promise I'll succeed at it cause worrying is something I've become quite the professional at over the years lol But I'll at least try!
I really appreciate you throwing in your experience about your first psych referring you on because she didn't feel specialised enough because that's recently come up in my session. We touched on the topic of eating and I was so scared she was going to refer me on but she's decided to just monitor it for now and see how we go thank god. I was also really annoyed and upset with the idea because it's taken me years to reach out for help and I knew that if she referred me on I probably wouldn't go because it's taken me about 6 months to get to where I am now with her and I'm pretty funny about letting people in. So thanks for sharing!! Was definately an experience I could relate too. You just had a much better way at looking at it which is great!
I'm so glad to hear your psychs are overlapping for you at the moment. That's so accommodating of them and must be really helpful with the transition period. Is this a normal sort of experience you've had when changing to someone else?
And I also have a super random question but do you ever buy (or feel the need to buy) your therapist a gift when you end the therapeutic relationship? Just something I've been wondering about for a while now..
I think that's so awesome that you're able to be so open right away! I wish I was like that. I'm still trying to get past my stupid trust and attachment issues while trying to convince myself that she isn't going to judge me by what I say or feel! I know I'll get there eventually.. or at least I bloody hope so!!
I really do love your positive outlook on things!! I'm currently trying to work on my way of thinking with my psych and she's not wrong that it takes a lot of time especially after thinking I'm worthless for so long but reading messages like yours definately helps inspire me to want to be able to think like some of you guys on here!!! It's definately motivating so thankyou 😊
I cannot wait to flick this switch you talk about because I can only imagine how liberating it must feel!!! Hopefully one day soon!!! I do know that having you guys on here to connect with is certainly helping me and I've been able to make a few small steps already so fingers crossed these turn into leaps and bounds soon 🤞
Re: Not sure what to do
I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the amazing support and advice being shared on this forum, I haven't been here for long but it truly is a special space. There is so much strength and resilience being shown here, and it truly shows the power in sharing our experiences.
@MB95 you are showing an amazing amount of strength and insight, it can be really challenging building a therapeutic relationship with a psychologist or other mental health professional, especially when it means opening up about things that you may not even share with those closest to you in 'real' life. Be gentle with yourself - like you said earlier, it takes time to build up those relationships. I'm really glad to hear that your psych is able to keep treating you, and it sounds like you have come a really long way in being able to trust people and let them in.
The support you've had here from @Alison5 , @Bee and others here is really wonderful to see - when you said "I really do love your positive outlook on things!! I'm currently trying to work on my way of thinking with my psych and she's not wrong that it takes a lot of time especially after thinking I'm worthless for so long but reading messages like yours definately helps inspire me to want to be able to think like some of you guys on here!!! It's definately motivating so thankyou" it really summarised to me what is wonderful about this space.
@MB95 you mention having difficulties knowing where to draw boundaries in terms of your attachment with your psych, this can be a very normal feeling to have, and your psych will be aware of this. Do you feel comfortable sharing how you're feeling with them? It's not something that you need to feel awkward or embarrassed about at all - it's a very common thing in therapy, and shows that you're an empathetic and kind person when you're thinking about them and how they're doing, I think .If you do feel comfortable opening up with them, they will be able to explore this with you further, but I just wanted to reassure you that it's very normal, and psychs are skilled at managing those boundaries
You write with so much insight and empathy - I hope you have a good day today, it really sounds like you are well on your way to making those leaps and bounds
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Re: Not sure what to do
I definitely get you with the worrying. I used to be an extreme worrier. Over the smallest things, I’d make myself almost sick. But I heard that little mantra from somebody and I wrote it down. I then read it slowly about 10 times and spent some time really thinking about it. And I was like “OMG! That is actually so true!” So the next time something came up, I just reminded myself of that and it definitely brought the levels down. Now it’s just a habit that when I immediately react to something, that mantra pops into my head. It was by no means a quick process but over time (5 years), I’m now down to almost 0 worry about anything!
I think it’s about recognizing the steps. Even a small amount of progress needs to be rewarded.
Regarding the psych referring you on; looking back, I’m so glad that my initial psych did. Because if I had of stayed with her, I wouldn’t have gotten the best support I needed. Things would have been slower to improve and for the both of us, it was best. She was out of her depth and I needed a different sort of focus. Having her tell me relatively early on also helped with the whole separation as well. I was upset and didn’t want to tell her for fear of this, but she outright said that if I’m not honest, I won’t get the best care (from her or someone else) and may end up in hospital for example.
Regarding new psychs, they will always refer you on and set you up with someone. Someone mentioned it (I forget who) that they have that duty of care and they can’t just leave and not tell you or pass you along to someone else.
They may also pass you to your GP who may have better psyc contacts as well.
Every time I changed, I got to have an initial one or two sessions as a sort of assessment to see if they might be able to help and if I liked them (remember it’s a two-way thing). For some of them ie. when leaving hospital, the old one would sit in with the new one to help this out. But when not in hospital, they may either overlap or start like the week or two after one has left. But they’ll always tell you about the helplines that’s are there if that two week gap is too long or recommend a Uni counsellor etc.
Regarding the gifts, I tend to think that a) I don’t really know them so what would I buy anyway and I’ll save my money haha.
B) A simple thank you card actually goes a lot further than a gift and it’s up to them whether they keep that or not, but it won’t be something they refuse Upfront like they might with a gift (although unlikely).
And c) it is their job really and I guess you don’t really buy gifts for your dentist or GP etc. I know it’s a bit different as you seem them frequently and they know more personal details, but that’s what they get paid for
Having said that, I did get one of mine a gift because they went above and beyond. I was living in this place and was seeing them daily for about a year, so it was a looser sort of relationship.
But I think a card is both thoughtful and safe and shows your appreciation really well.
You’ll get there! It just takes time and practice. That switch may be one that slowly flicks and it may not even happen with this psych. Or it could be something you see on your own!
Just remember that they can’t do their job if you’re not telling them everything. 😃
Give yourself a break and reward those steps (such as speaking out on here).
know if you have any other questions or need clarification etc.
have a good one!
Re: Not sure what to do
Thankyou so much for your beautiful message @Janine-RO and welcome! 😊I'm still fairly new myself but everyone on here has taken me in straight away and made me feel so safe and accepted it's just lovely. So you're certainly not wrong when you say it's a special space and I'm sure they'll do the same for you!! Sometimes I just wish I could meet everyone on here in person because it'd be so nice to have people like this around me in 'real-life'. But it's still lovely and I always look forward to checking my messages. It's what's keeping me going at the moment so it's nice.
I've had a bit of a challenging day today being stuck between trying to overcome negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones like my psych wants me to do. I'll save you from the rant cause I just went into it on another one of my threads but I just want to apologize in advance if my reply isn't 100% positive. I am trying my best!!! 💪 And reading your message just now has definately helped boost my confidence and mood so thankyou, I really need it at the moment!!!
I feel relatively comfortable talking to my psych, like I trust her and feel safe with her. I just struggle to talk. We've talked about the attachment thing and she's worked in peads so says she knows how to handle it but idk, sometimes I just feel like a child because I feel so attached to her? But I also don't let myself feel it if that makes any sense? Like I'm trying so hard not to get attached because I know I'm only going to end up hurt in the end but in doing this sometimes it feels like it's stopping me from being able to open up to her properly? And I feel terrible because she is trying so hard with me at the moment and has told me I'm a tough egg to crack and I don't want to make her job harder because she is the one person I want to share everything with but I don't want to end up hurt at the end of it all either...
Do you know if attachment can be linked to trauma? Cause she seems to think I've experienced a few traumas but doesn't want to touch on them till next year and when my supports and strategies are in place properly. And the couple times I've tried to bring up attachment it's like she doesn't want to go too far into it yet? Idk. I find it hard to bring up too cause I don't want her to see me differently. I hate people feeling sorry for me or showing sympathy cause it makes me feel pathetic.
Thankyou. I feel like I understand and know quite alot about mental health because I've been dealing with it on my own for years now so have done plenty of research and actually wanted to study psychology but was worried people would wonder why so I changed my career path.. but it's like I know and understand quite a bit and can help others through shit but can never seem to help myself through it. I always believe others are worthy and deserving of attention and help but for some reason my brain just does not allow me to believe it when it comes to me. This year is the first in almost 10 though that I've finally managed to reach out to a psych and connect on here so I'm hoping it's a start because I REALLY don't want to live like this anymore. I'm exhausted and just want it all to end. If I could do a brain or body swap I totally would!!!!
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