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My Therapist Doesn't Let Me Talk (Rant)

Discussion in 'General Support and Advice' started by Bisurprise, Sep 11, 2020.

  1. Bisurprise

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    I'm so fucking pissed. My university lets us have free access to the available therapists, and mine has the most "LGBT" experience, and so I just stuck with him because I didn't think it mattered.
    He's been giving me good advice so far, I've only seen him three times and I've been taking his advice into mind. I'm going for my self loathing and to curb myself from harming myself (which he doesn't know). He told me last week to feel more emotions because I have the tendency to block everything out, good and bad. and I do, which is part of why i wanted help. i cant do it alone. this week i had a lot of stuff to talk about, like what i accomplished, what i finally felt excited for and i don't allow myself to feel happiness. also i came out to my mother yesterday and i really wanted to rant and to release some feelings i had in my chest that i couldn't express in front of her. then he just. keeps. talking.
    i thought, ok ill wait until halfway through because my thing wont take that long and then he just goes on from one story to another and suggesting stupid hobbies like going out to walk even though i already told him that im not allowed outside because COVID and because my parents are stupid like that. also theres a fuck ton of other risks and he just keeps forgetting that for some reason. and he suggests the same thing over and over for the same reasons to destress and im like idgaf about other people i have somethign i want to talk about. but i didnt interrupt him because i suddenly felt like my things were not important enough. i just shut up and put on the same act that i do with every other authority figure in life to please, and then it hit me like why am i trying to please someone who is supposed to help me? I dont even matter in MY OWN session??? I honestly held back the urge to bawl that i held back for two days. idk i waited the entire week to tell him my progress and then this shit happens and it totally invalidates me and after the session i left the zoom call and started crying. i couldn't control myself i just kept crying and crying and i wanted to hurt myself but i held back. i made fists and i made silent screams but at least i kep thtat romise to myself.
    fuck september suicide prevention month i have never been so close to talking a fucking knife and ripping myself apart for months. months. and i did that all on my own. i make good progress in a week than i have in six months and now i cant talk about it i want to fucking hurt something.
    no general advice, im just angry and too pathetic to stand up for myself. nothing i do has worth im just going to blast music over thsi terrrible headache to stop myself from swigging the tequila in my pantry and/or stabbing myself with a fork
     
  2. Destin

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    To be blunt about it, it's a free therapist. You get what you pay for, including in the mental health world.

    My experience with university therapists is that they generally all suck pretty badly and are either psychology PhD students who know basically nothing, or just recently graduated and are doing their supervised counseling requirement to get their license there, so still know almost nothing.

    The ones at my university told everyone with relationship problems to break up, Baker acted everyone who said even one word vaguely suggesting they might harm themselves, and had no idea how to advise people on stress beyond "be less stressed."

    I'd highly suggest looking into a paid therapist not associated with the university who actually knows what they're doing.
     
  3. Vesta

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    Without intending to overstep any boundaries here, it sounds like your therapist doesn't have your best interests at heart, and in fact, doesn't seem to be interested in being helpful at all.

    While a therapist is good at helping a person sort through their emotions, they're meant to allow their client to speak. The whole point of therapy is to talk. It is after all called the 'talking cure'. What's the point in him even trying to 'help' you if all he does is waffle on?

    As much as his advice is is good, again, if he just keeps going on and on without letting you get a word in edge-ways, what's the point of him being your therapist? You may as well have just signed up for a talk show at that point.

    It's up to you how you proceed, but if that were me, I'd hope that was a one-off incident because as much as he's a free therapist, he's not doing his job and I'd just stop seeing him. If you're the one listening to him rather than vice versa, it doesn't seem very helpful.

    His suggestions sound like some sort of cookie-cutter script that he tells all his clients which isn't what you need. Your therapy should be individualised to you.

    It probably doesn't mean much, but don't forget that you have us here at EC as well. W're here for you to talk about whatever you feel and to let things out. I think it's really good that you've resisted the urges you have. It shows a lot of strength of character and that's an extremely remarkable achievement. :slight_smile:
     
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  4. HM03

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    Was it a one time thing, or is it something that repeatedly happens? Are there other issues or just the continual talking?

    It can be hard to put your foot down, but this is all about you. I would start the next session by explicitly saying you'd prefer if he spoke in shorter bursts to ensure you'd had the opportunity to say what you want to say. And its tempting to tell you to flat out interrupt him if you haven't said everything you want to.

    If there are more issues than just that, he doesn't change and/or he just doesn't seem like a good fit - I'd recommend looking for a new therapist. Mine wasn't LGBT or have the grief experience that I had, but was still able to provide me with a good therapy experience.
     
    #4 HM03, Sep 11, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2020
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  5. quebec

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    Bisurprise.....I am so sorry that your therapist is not helping and is actually making things worse. It kinda makes me wonder if he is a little anxious about letting you speak. If he did then he would have to be able to suggest something that could be helpful and he doesn't know what to say. My therapist will ask questions but generally he gives me plenty of time to talk. Over the years he has helped me to realize what is bothering me by actually being silent while I talk. That is something that a "good" therapist does! What @Destin said about finding a therapist not connected to the university is a good idea. Is there a local LGBTQ+ support group that you could get in touch with? Often they have therapists/counselors on staff. Please keep us updated on how this goes for you...you are a part of our LGBTQ+ Family and we do care!
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
  6. QuietPeace

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    A therapist who won't let you talk is not helpful. When I was seeing a free therapist at a university she was a student and seeing her was training for her. If this is true in your case now she must have a supervisor (professor) who you could talk to, you don't have to go in with the idea of starting trouble but you might be able to get the supervisor as an ally who can tell the student that he is not doing it right. This would result in your getting better therapy and the student learning how to be a better therapist win/win.
     
  7. Chip

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    Whether a therapist is free or not, *any* licensed therapist has a responsibility to his or her licensing board to act ethically and with integrity. And a significant value of therapy is that it is client-centered. This means, what you want for the session should be pretty much what you get (within reason of course.)

    It is also a very, very standard rule that therapists are trained, that at the most, the therapist should be talking 20% of the time, and the client 80%. I don't at all agree that just because it's free it's going to suck, or that college counselors are inherently bad. I know many that are extremely talented and capable. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of really shitty ones (who, by the way, are just as prevalent in private practice that you pay for as the ones you get through your counseling center.)

    Also, for the record, therapists are not supposed to be giving advice. So this guy sounds problematic all around.

    So my suggestion: Two options:
    1. Email whomever is in charge of your program's counseling center, explain the problem, and ask for another therapist.

    2. At your next session, before your therapist starts talking, tell him that you have not been getting much out of therapy because he is doing all of the talking, and that you would like to go with the standard 80/20 ratio with you doing most of the talking, and that you'd like to guide what happens in the session. If he is remotely competent, he will appreciate the feedback and will change his style and approach to conform to your needs.
    If he instead takes offense, acts hurt, or whatever, then I'd recommend contacting whomever supervises the counseling center.

    Also, I have seen nothing to indicate that LGBT therapists are any better for LGBT clients than straight therapists, as long as the therapist you are seeing (straight or gay) has experience with LGBT clients. On the contrary, I've sadly found that many LGBT therapists are among the most screwed up ones, because they are, for whatever reason, often the least likely to have done their own self-work to be able to show up competently for their clients. That's harsh, but I've often found it to be true. So the point is, find a therapist who's competent, regardless of his or her sexual orientation.

    The reason you are having difficulty asking for your needs is deeply rooted in your psyche and the experiences you had growing up... but those can change, and the fact that you're talking about it here means that you see the problem and want the change. This would be one of the first things I'd talk to your counselor about... that it is very difficult to ask for your needs, even from your therapist, and you need help with that. That's at the root of the depression and other issues you have as well.
     
    #7 Chip, Sep 11, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2020
  8. Lexa

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    Thank you Chip for your interesting post. I just wanted to add that my LGBT therapist is good at it's job. And still does self-work. :slight_smile: