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When to stop?


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Hi, I'm in the Uk so have just been referred for NHS psychotherapy.

I've had three assessment sessions and two actual sessions. So far I have found every one agonisingly hard, found myself feeling vulnerable and uncomfortable, the therapist remote and left feeling incredibly emotional. I have been cutting, overspending and binge eating as a result, and I have nightmares and anxiety before each session.

How do you tell whether to carry on with therapy when it makes you feel even crazier and more unstable, or whether to stop it for your own sanity?

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do you think he's not a good therapist? does he know that therapy has greatly affected your mood and behavior?

i'm asking because sometimes i think the best therapy is the hardest therapy. not a "no pain no gain" thing, but good therapy is really hard. but if he is just pushing your buttons and not helping you to use better coping skills and he is not empathizing with you and your pain, then that's a problem.

in five sessions it could be that the two of you have just not found your flow yet, or it could be that he is a poor match for you. bad therapy is just flat out bad and you shouldn't tough it out, but i can't tell from what you've said if he is not a match. however, it takes me a very long time to become comfortable with therapists, so my view on this is probably skewed, and i've probably stayed with bad therapists for too long as a result of waiting for the good part to start.

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I had a better session today. I tried to cancel but my therapist talking me into coming in and talking it over and I am glad that she did cos I think we made some ground and I feel more at ease with her, though I don't trust her enough to tell her a lot and there are still awkward silences. I think I'm going to carry on and trust in the process for a bit.

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I would stop and look for a better therapist.

I've been in therapy on and off since I was a child. I know a lot about therapy, and the techniques therapists use. I've gotten pretty good at getting what I need from even beginner therapists, although now I'm seeing one who is very experienced and helpful.

Therapy is supposed to make you feel stronger. From time to time, when you talk about difficult subjects, you can be left feeling tired, worn out, angry, etc. from the session. But generally you should be feeling better.

If you're wanting to hurt yourself after the sessions, you probably are with a bad therapist and should look for another one. The therapist should make you feel comfortable, and you should feel you are able to talk about your problems. A good therapist can listen to you "rambling" and still determine the heart of the problem, and offer you alternatives to hurting yourself.

I would tell them that you are cutting/binging/whatever after the sessions.... but I also would look for a different therapist. It's their job to make you love/respect yourself, so that you eventually STOP your destructive behavior.

Good luck :) Bad therapists seem to outnumber good ones, at least here in the US. Keep searching until you find someone who actually can help you. And try to hang on in the meantime!!

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