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Do you think most therapists do their jobs properly?

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by TooShyToScream, Mar 3, 2011.


Do you think most therapists do their job properly?

  1. Yes

    11 vote(s)
  2. No

    13 vote(s)
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  1. TooShyToScream

    TooShyToScream Well-Known Member

    Personally, I think most of them don't know shit about what they're doing. I've studied general psychology, psychopathology, and developmental psychology and it seems that so many factors that I learned so far were left out of my therapy. In general psychology, I learned about the original psychologists: Skinner, Watson, Piaget, etc., various theories including classical and operant conditioning (which explain a lot about why we behave how we do and are helpful to know if we want to change any destructive behaviors about ourselves). Psychopathology was just various disorders basically; can't say I learned much that I didn't already know. I did plenty of my own research on mental disorders. Developmental psychology, however, I learned a lot as well. How we are born behaving in certain ways as infants due to genetics (e.g., some infants are more emotional than others - which is a predisposition to things like Bipolar Disorder, Depression, and Borderline Personality Disorder), and then based on our interaction with our parents and families and other environmental experiences, our adult personalities develop. The brain is extremely sensitive to trauma, especially during childhood...so predisposition + trauma = mental illness. Almost inevitably. I just don't know why, being in therapy for 2 years, I am learning this right now. No wonder I'm such a fucked up adult. My childhood was fucked up. I don't know about everyone else, but my therapist and I haven't even gone into any childhood experiences very much, unless I specifically wanted to mention any. And I don't understand why, being that it is such a crucial part of who we are today. Therapy needs to start with very early memories and experiences it seems...while I've just been bitching about my daily misfortunes every time I came in instead. I won't get better that way. Nobody could. But why did I have to figure this out myself, why wasn't I told by my therapist...hell any of them really, i've had like 5 in the past. Didn't they learn about any of this shit? Just curious about others' opinions on the matter.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2011
  2. itmahanh

    itmahanh Senior Member & Antiquities Friend

    I dont know that I can say if my therapist is doing his job or not. Because I dont know if what I'm expecting from him is what his job really is. No one has ever told me what a therapist is supposed to do. He is like a pdoc and counselor combined? Should he be doing programs with me? How much should I expect from him and myself?

    Basically at this point all we do is talk. I dont even really get feedback. I feel like there should be something more happening. But maybe I need more than what is expected from him. I dont know and it's so frustrating. I want to move forward but I dont think or feel like I am.
  3. TooShyToScream

    TooShyToScream Well-Known Member

    What you should expect is simple: recovery. And recovery is mostly based on talking about your childhood experiences (because they are what shaped you to be who you are) and learning coping skills...which means giving some background info too about how this whole psychology business works. Why our minds work the way they do, our brains, certain neurotransmitters. All of this, our therapists need to tell us and work with us on. Its not as simple as just getting your feelings out; it's a science.
  4. shades

    shades Staff Alumni

    I have had about 12 covering a 30 year span.

    One was excellent...a few were exactly the same and terrible with no clue what they were doing, IMO...a few more were average at best and one must have paid somebody to "hang a shingle".

    Interesting that the one who was excellent was my most recent...last session about 1 1/2 years ago. I recently called her to see if I could continue on a part time basis and she said we could discuss it.
  5. In Limbo

    In Limbo Forum Buddy

    I voted yes - based mostly on my own experience of therapy, I saw four at different times, I would say that the most recent one was the 'best' but if the order had been swapped round then any one of them could have been. To me it is all about the process of therapy and to my mind many people go in expecting a rapid solution when that is simply not the case - Rob who finally got me sorted to the point I no longer need therapy (touch wood), worked with me on a weekly basis for just over a year and it was a long process with many backward step, or sometimes no steps at all.

    What is often missed IMO is that part of therapy is simply attritional on the patient's part and wanting to overcome it and open themselves up to the wider world, rather than feeling unhappy in a situation with which they are familiar.

    In fact I think there is sometimes a case to be said that therapy in terms of strategy and planning and long-term development is unhelpful in initial stages where something more akin to grievance counselling would be more helpful.
  6. solutions

    solutions Well-Known Member

    A few introductory college classes don't make you an expert, thumbtack. Stop acting like you have a clue what you're talking about.

    Therapy is a two-way relationship. Most of the time, the therapist lets you decide what's important. If you want to bring up your childhood, nothing's stopping you. The therapist isn't obligated to ask you about your childhood, since not everyone's going to want to talk about it. Heck, even mentioning it might be a trigger for some people. It's natural that clients don't want to open up about every single thing right off the bat--therapy is a gradual process that moves as fast as you want it to. Therapists are supposed to let you lead the topic of discussion unless you tell them you don't want that.

    Therapists are generally incompetent, but not for the reasons you're talking about.

    I can't wait until you actually get some education. You'll be baffled when you realize you're not smarter than the professionals, who have astronomically more knowledge than you.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2011
  7. In Limbo

    In Limbo Forum Buddy

    You should expect recovery, but you should expect it from yourself - a therapist is a conduit and a guide, nothing more - this is what I mean when I say people sometimes go into therapy too early. Because they are not READY in their own heads to recover...

    As to your point about childhood and it's relevance and importance, that's purely personal - in my case it was a non-factor. You've just demonstrated the same kind of generic, bland statement that put off many from their therapists...
  8. itmahanh

    itmahanh Senior Member & Antiquities Friend

    A therapist like any professional is there to help or aid a person to move forward and recover. But ultimately it is up to the individual whether they can use the help and make that move.

    Why is it always about the childhood? I'm well into my 40's and I cant even remember half my childhood (lol). My problems stem mostly from a very abusive marriage. I'm carrying a lot of garbage around from that and I guess I am looking for a professional that can help me throw it to the curb where it belongs. So far it hasnt happened.
  9. TooShyToScream

    TooShyToScream Well-Known Member

    A "guide" guides you through something, rather than expects you to do it yourself. How are you supposed to get any better when you don't know where to start and lack all motivation (which most mentally ill patients do)?

    It's not purely personal. Childhood experiences shape our personalities. Maybe you haven't had any traumatic experiences during childhood, but if you had any during adulthood, the things that you learned in childhood reflect how you will act during those traumatic experiences later. Therefore, it's always important to go back and understand what one's family life was like when they were a kid, and etc. This way, you understand why certain things affect them how they do now. If a child's caregiver neglected them in any way, for instance, it's going to affect how they act in an adult romantic relationship, in a school setting, work setting, etc.

    And what I'm saying is not that people should avoid therapy; I'm saying they should find one who actually knows how to do their job.
  10. TooShyToScream

    TooShyToScream Well-Known Member

    Your childhood affected who you chose for your relationships, and how you allowed yourself to be treated. That's why.
  11. TooShyToScream

    TooShyToScream Well-Known Member

    I never said I was an expert. However, I am sure that I know more than you about it. And, with how much knowledge the therapists portray (zero) on the matter, seemingly them as well. I'd like to be proven wrong...that they do know more than I do. I'd like them to tell me things I don't know. But that hasn't happened as of yet. If they have more knowledge than I do, which I sure hope so, seeing as I'm putting my faith into them, they need to show it. As for education in psychology, how much have you had? I do have a clue what I'm talking about. Feel free to ask and find out if you're having doubts.

    The therapist can't let you decide what's important all the time. The things that are important, you may not even realize as being important. I portrayed symptoms of BPD for a couple of years, and they were never recognized by me nor my doctors because I was the one deciding what I wanted to talk about.

    They absolutely are obligated to ask people about their childhood. Maybe not by the regulations of their company, but if they're a good therapist and actually took in what they were taught for 6-8 years, they would. Long-term therapy means acquiring a patient case history - everything about that person that could possibly be helpful to the therapy. This includes everything from their past.

    Plus, you just said it yourself. Not everyone wants to talk about traumatic experiences. But they have to, eventually, is the thing. They're not going to get any better unless they are able to talk about what happened to them. A therapist can't force anyone to talk, but they can bring it up. The SHOULD bring it up. And if the patient refuses to talk, ask again in a week, or two weeks, or a month. But giving the patient a little push sometimes is completely necessary. Unless, of course, you just want them to keep coming back and not talking, so you can keep taking their money.

    And next time, try not to be so immature and insult someone unless you have some actual knowledge to share. Not just opinion.
  12. Stranger1

    Stranger1 Forum Buddy & Antiquities Friend

    Why, Why, Whyyyy!!! Thats all I got out of therapy.. No matter what I was talking about she would constantly ask me why... I'm sick of that word..I walked in there and five years later I walked back out still as suicidal as day one..The only credit I give her is she did teach me coping skills to help with those thoughts..I haven't been in six months.. I think when I do go back it will be with a different therapist..
  13. In Limbo

    In Limbo Forum Buddy

    I'm sorry but that's ridiculously presumptious of you...

    As to your question about not knowing where to start - I'm of the opinion that there's not really a wrong place to start (within reason) as long as you get to the destination at the end. For my part I started at a certain point in counselling with Rob and subsequently over the 15 months or so we covered a huge and varied selection of topics, to define a start point or indeed the destination as a single factor such as a traumatic event or childhood experience is short-sighted when to my mind it is so often a collection of events and experiences that culminate in depression...
  14. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    I think most therapists are not appropriate for most people. There needs to be a match between the therapist and the patient, and naturally not all therapists can match all people. But I do think there is an appropriate therapist out there for everyone, they just need to find them.
  15. TooShyToScream

    TooShyToScream Well-Known Member

    Sorry, but it's a scientific fact. Again, how we're treated as kids reflects the type of people we pick to have relationships with as adults, among other things. I won't keep repeating myself with that anymore. Research it for yourself.

    It doesn't matter where you start, perhaps, but as long as you don't touch the topic of childhood, you're not likely to get any better. The longer it takes you to talk about everything from your past, the longer therapy will take. I'm not saying that other events aren't relevant. I'm saying that your childhood was a pathway to those events happening. Therefore, it is the root of the whole problem. Children who are raised properly and not neglected or mistreated in any way (not just by parents) don't end up with mental disorders for the most part because they learn proper coping skills on their own to deal with their problems. But those who are neglected or mistreated are not able to do that.
  16. solutions

    solutions Well-Known Member

    lol @ you know more than me after a few college courses. Have you ever heard of an individual named Aaron T. Beck? He's who you should be looking to for guidance about how therapy is supposed to go. If you haven't even heard of him, you should probably leave the thread out of staggering shame and don't even bother arguing with me again.

    You're flat-out wrong about what therapy is about. If therapists acted like you're suggesting, no one would go to therapy. It'd be an uncomfortable experience that most clients would back out of on the first day. They have to stay and want to do therapy for therapy to proceed. It's a collaboration.

    You just don't get it, but I guess that's to be expected from an arrogant kid who believes all therapy should universally act the same way. I repeat: When you further your education past sophomore year, it'll start to become clear. Until then, keep studying.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2011
  17. In Limbo

    In Limbo Forum Buddy

    How about you show me some evidence instead?

    Your second point only proves that we grow up and life is a series of chronological events...
  18. solutions

    solutions Well-Known Member

    TC might be a troll with this bizarre form of reasoning, if it can be called that. He might be fucking with us by looking at passages from a textbook he forgot to sell back to the bookstore and is using it as "evidence" that his idea of how therapy should work is right.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2011
  19. TooShyToScream

    TooShyToScream Well-Known Member

    You can see the evidence if you simply type something relating to the subject into google. If you want to continue this conversation, PM me because I can't stand this asshole anymore who randomly picks fights with people, looking to start shit when the original conversation had nothing to do with him. So I'm going to ignore this neanderthal from now on and let it continue arguing with itself.

    And my second point, in short, was not that it's a serious of chronological events but that it's the root of all of our problems as we get older.
  20. solutions

    solutions Well-Known Member

    Google is not a reliable source of information. Try books and scientific papers, only the kind that you didn't have to buy for your classes.

    Edit: TooShy has informed me in a most crass way that she no longer reads my posts. I was enjoying our little banter.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2011
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