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CrazyRedhead

Therapist pushing me to attend group therapy, but I hate it.

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Last month at my therapy appt,  I agreed to try a mental health support group that therapist wants me me to attend.....They have meetings once a week at night (7-8:30pm)........Going out at night terrifies me in itself, but that's the only time they have them in this area.

Therapist wanted me to try going at least 3 times........My friend drove me there ( and back) and I was having severe anxiety from the time I left.

All I could do in the meeting was just sit there and have an 1 1/2 hour long anxiety attack, I couldn't participate or say a word.......The night I did this I couldn't sleep at all, not a bit.........Well I did this 3 times and it was the same results each time.....I hated it.

Told therapist what I experienced, and she still wants me to keep going to these groups......Said if I don't go, then I really don't want to change....:(

After 3 times of going through this h*ll, I really don't want to go again.......Should I really keep trying to do this?.......I can't imagine what she'll say if  I don't......I really want a new therapist, but not in a position to switch right now........**SIGH**....This sucks.       

How do I tell her that I feel this doesn't benefit me at all, and makes my mental state worse?

Edited by CrazyRedhead

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Ick.  That sounds miserable.  Apologies for entering into problemsolving mode below if that's not what you want...

Question that comes to mind is whether there's a way to modify things? Like is there something specific about this group that makes you feel uncomfortable and maybe there's a different one to try?

I'm asking because although I like mine, run through DBSA, I know of one member who tried two others before joining us.  So it's possible that this one isn't a good fit.

I also take ativan before going. 

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1 hour ago, dancesintherain said:

Question that comes to mind is whether there's a way to modify things? Like is there something specific about this group that makes you feel uncomfortable and maybe there's a different one to try?

Nothing specific about the group itself that makes me uncomfortable.....It's a NAMI group that's free for people with any kind of MI.

What makes me so uncomfortable, is the fact that the very thought of leaving my house and being with a large group of people terrifies me........That's why I have someone else do all my shopping--I'm scared to go in a store...:(

I also took a small dose of klonopin before I went....

Edited by CrazyRedhead

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Could you try a smaller goal like I will leave the house at night for 20 minutes with my friend? Then maybe I will attend the group but will not say anything and try to take steps to the goal of attending and participating. I have social anxiety and OCD and all my therapists have always gently encouraged me to expose myself to the scary one step at a time. Maybe you and your therapist could make a plan like this? If she still insists on the goal being going to group I'd seek another therapist. 

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1 hour ago, CeremonyNewOrder said:

Could you try a smaller goal like I will leave the house at night for 20 minutes with my friend? Then maybe I will attend the group but will not say anything and try to take steps to the goal of attending and participating. I have social anxiety and OCD and all my therapists have always gently encouraged me to expose myself to the scary one step at a time. Maybe you and your therapist could make a plan like this? If she still insists on the goal being going to group I'd seek another therapist. 

This sounds like a good idea.......I will talk to her about doing smaller steps....

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Just adding that my current therapist seems to be only trained in CBT therapy......

I am on a waiting list for a therapist who specializes in OCD, but waiting time is going to be at least 9 months....Ugh.

The therapist that I'm waiting for is trained in ERP (exposure and response prevention), which is supposed to be the gold standard for people with severe OCD.

Edited by CrazyRedhead

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I would have thought even CBT would encourage small steps. I'm doing similar stuff with my tdoc and she's basically said 'do things to improve confidence whilst still pushing yourself'. The whole trying to even the anxiety scales thing. Can you ask your tdoc to try a more graduated approach? Start small with best results, then gradually increasing length of time/distance/etc. I don't understand how repeatedly triggering panic attacks is going to help you the most. That's not what 'sitting with the anxiety until it passes' means?

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CBT is good for OCD where you just have the intrusive thoughts and exposure is best if you have the compulsions and learning to tolerate environments/situations that trigger you 

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5 minutes ago, ananke said:

I would have thought even CBT would encourage small steps. I'm doing similar stuff with my tdoc and she's basically said 'do things to improve confidence whilst still pushing yourself'. The whole trying to even the anxiety scales thing. Can you ask your tdoc to try a more graduated approach? Start small with best results, then gradually increasing length of time/distance/etc. I don't understand how repeatedly triggering panic attacks is going to help you the most. That's not what 'sitting with the anxiety until it passes' means?

I've been doing the CBT approaches for awhile with her, and it doesn't seem to help much for me........Maybe she feels that repeatedly doing this will lessen the anxiety over time?........I'm really not sure.......To me, it feels like what she's asking of me, is  like throwing a person into a pool when they don't know how to swim.

No, I don't think the repeated panic attacks are helping me at all.......At next appointment I am going to ask her about smaller steps, but not sure how she will react....**SIGH**

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4 minutes ago, CeremonyNewOrder said:

CBT is good for OCD where you just have the intrusive thoughts and exposure is best if you have the compulsions and learning to tolerate environments/situations that trigger you 

I have both obsessive thoughts and compulsive rituals, so I'm guessing that exposure would be the best approach?

Would attending these groups (which trigger massive panic attacks), be considered exposure?

I really think I need smaller steps, as mentioned, but who knows if she'll agree?.....I have at least 9 months to wait before I'm able to switch therapists.

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This seems like a frustrating situation. I hope your therapist understands where you are coming from and comes up with a new plan. It sounds like you might have to wait a while before another therapy opportunity arises. I really don't see the point of asking you to continue doing something that hurts more than helps. If it's going to damage your confidence in pushing OCD tendencies, then it's not working. Annoyed on your behalf!

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1 hour ago, CrazyRedhead said:

I have both obsessive thoughts and compulsive rituals, so I'm guessing that exposure would be the best approach?

Would attending these groups (which trigger massive panic attacks), be considered exposure?

I really think I need smaller steps, as mentioned, but who knows if she'll agree?.....I have at least 9 months to wait before I'm able to switch therapists.

Yes just attending the group would be in itself a victory. I was also wondering if you had the contact information of the facilitators of the ocd group? Maybe you could talk to them about your fears before going and maybe they can help you out with a plan. 

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17 hours ago, CeremonyNewOrder said:

Yes just attending the group would be in itself a victory. I was also wondering if you had the contact information of the facilitators of the ocd group? Maybe you could talk to them about your fears before going and maybe they can help you out with a plan. 

Great idea......I will see if there is a way to contact a facilitator.......The group is not specifically for OCD people, though, anybody with any type of MI can attend.........Thanks again for the suggestion....:)

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I had a therapist who tried to get me to go to group therapy. I simply put my foot down and said emphatically no. The reason is that I'm tremendously introverted and very social phobic. If I had to go to group therapy, I'd just sit there and be stressed out and would contribute NOTHING to the group and get NOTHING in return.

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12 hours ago, jt07 said:

I had a therapist who tried to get me to go to group therapy. I simply put my foot down and said emphatically no. The reason is that I'm tremendously introverted and very social phobic. If I had to go to group therapy, I'd just sit there and be stressed out and would contribute NOTHING to the group and get NOTHING in return.

I totally relate to this.....I plan to tell her at next appt that either we take smaller steps, or I cannot go anymore, because it triggers severe panic.....I hope she'll understand, but I almost know right away what she's going to say....probably she'll tell me that I don't want to change, but then I'm going to say I do want to change, but need smaller steps.

This whole situation sucks, because my gut feeling about her, is that she doesn't have extensive experience dealing with severe OCD people.......However, she did recommend the OCD specialist  therapist who has a 9 month waiting list.....**SIGH**

Edited by CrazyRedhead
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