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Catnapper

Your longest therapeutic relationship?

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I had two pretty bad experiences with therapy, once when I was first dx'ed at 40 years old, and then about three years later. Both therapies lasted about one year, plus or minus, and I didn't feel like I got anything out of them, and the second one really had me give up on therapy altogether. During my last visit (by my choice) when I told the therapist I was suicidal, the first words out of his mouth were, "I wonder how my liability insurance is?" I've moved a lot for work and been on meds and under constant psychiatric care since I was dx'ed over 20 years ago (I'm 61).

I've been in North Carolina for three and a half years and I was very lucky to find a great pdoc/tdoc right after I got here, especially at this time in my life when I've also been having several major medical issues to deal with. Our relationship has deepened over time, and I feel tremendous respect and affection for him, in a professional way. He has done everything possible to get me well, and keep me well, and I feel completely safe with him. But since this is my first therapeutic relationship of any value, in some ways it seems strange to me that I regularly experience such profound emotions in his presence. I wouldn't exactly say I enjoy it, but I usually look forward to our appointments and somehow it is helping me cope with this goddamn disease. 

I asked him once if he had many patients that he's seen for a long time, and he said he's had some that have worked with him since he moved here 12 years ago, and that one of the most rewarding parts of his job is having long-term relationships with patients and helping them get well and stay well. What's the longest time you've spent with a therapist, and how was your relationship, and how did it change over time? 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Catnapper said:

What's the longest time you've spent with a therapist, and how was your relationship, and how did it change over time?

About 1 and a half years...Pyshcodynamic Therapy..I was an outpatient at the local mental health hospital and used to go once a week...

I didnt find it helpfull..If i'm honest i dont find therapy helpfull..I've had CBT in Groups and 1-1..Funnily enough when i had my Hiv fear related to OCD i was going to the sexual health clinic repeatedly and in the end they put me onto one of there in house counsellors..A really genuine women she was and she actually didnt feel that qualified for the job..I was on the waiting list for Therapy at the time and i remember odd coments she would make about how my mental health problems were too complex when infact i actually got a lot out of my time with her than the more qualified therapists...It wasnt any exercises i was doing it was more like i had a compassionate,trusting friend who i could talk too..That helped more than anything...I'm actually considering getting a counsellor..(This will sound arrogant) I believe that i have enough insight and wisedom into myself that i cant see how a therapist can help me..I dont believe they can teach/Tell me anything i dont already know..A counsellor however i believe would be better for me because even though they are not my friend i can use them as if they were...Just basically a trusting source who i cant vent to and just offload whats on my mind without any prejudice/judgement...

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@Catnapper

The longest I've seen one tdoc is probably 3 years? I'm 36. She was my first tdoc out of my first and longest stay at a state hospital. I was miserable with her. She only did DBT and that was her only training apparently. DBT did not help me in any way whatsoever. YMMV.

I saw another great tdoc for maybe 2 years. She was great a calming me down. We mostly just talked and learned more coping type skills. And reminded me of said coping skills.

Now I am seeing my current tdoc now and have been seeing her for about a year. I like my current one. We are more goal focused with check ins mixed in for coping techniques. This works well. I need focus on my goals for motivation (or rather my lack of motivation, non existent motivation). I should mention I first saw the first two tdocs at a county clinic. My current tdoc is private so I hope to see her for a longer period of time. Although it is more expensive to see the private tdoc. The county clinic no longer offers individual therapy for MI only patients, unfortunately. It was hard to find a tdoc who would take me on with my SZA diagnosis. My current tdoc is good. Not 100% as she probably doesn't see many patients with psychosis, but she's good.

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3.5 -ish years, but ongoing. She actually does less structured sessions, occasionally in a humanistic way because she acknowledges that problems should be recognized and considered instead of the typical CBT type thing about reframing and strict procedure. Before I had a CBT oriented therapist for a little less than 3 years. She was a good first therapist because she gave me the cognitive foundations to approach things. I’m a big fan of everyone doing at least a crash course CBT/DBT because I think it gives really good tools, but now it just annoys me 

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I have had a few long term therapy relationships for better and for worse. I saw a hypnotherapist for several years until I finally figured out she was causing more problems than she was helping. Then I saw a pdoc for several years who was nice enough and seemed to care but rarely did I have good stretches and he missed the right diagnosis;  I saw a therapist in his office for a few helpful years but eventually she got angry with me and I had to leave. After that, years later, I had a great therapist I rarely could see, but saw her infrequently for around 4 years until she moved.   That was sad, since I had good rapport with her. I wouldn’t say I’ve had great experiences overall but got some good from each at some point. My current pdoc doesn’t do therapy at all and I’ve seen a new therapist exactly once. We’ll see how that goes but the HMO is all about short term therapy only. 

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2 years, great clinical psychologist.

I'm 10+ years with my psychiatrist.  

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Oh lord, I think I almost made it a year with the last one. I don't know if it's them or if it's me having an avoidant attachment style

The new one seems great though! the texts and emails are so much friendlier and her phone manner is so human, I can imagine myself opening up to her really easily. Let's see if this is just a honeymoon period, I'd love to come back to this thread in 30 years and say I was still seeing her (I mean.. with off years too!)

Edited by Antecedent

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