Am I my therapists retirement hobby?

A

Aoife

I’m worried I might be my therapists retirement hobby. She had a finance job up until a few years ago, and now works from a home office. She’s older, and doesn’t back to back clients, but I don’t know how many she sees a week. Always seems to be able to move my slots quite easily so I guess not a full book.

She’s a good therapist, sometimes I feel she’s out of her depth but Everyone I’ve come across is like that with my problems. Am I just some easy money for her to fund nice extras? I don’t know. I don’t know if it bothers me or no sometimes it does sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t want to be somebody’s hobby that they just play at.
 
Trust me, being a therapist is not a hobby. I'm currently going to school to be a counselor, and if me and my classmates weren't fully invested in doing this for real, we wouldn't be there. The workload and learning curve is just too high to do it for fun or as a hobby.

That doesn't mean just any therapist can step in and help you, however. Everyone has their own interests and specialties. If you feel she's out of her depth, maybe she is.
 

barefoot

Sponsor
She used to work in finance and now she’s a therapist? Sounds like she isn’t retired. Sounds like she’s made a career change?

There are also plenty of therapists who don’t work 9-5, 5 days a week. One therapist’s idea of full time/having a full schedule may look very different to another’s. Or perhaps she chooses to work part time and be flexible with her scheduling. Plenty of other possibilities too…
 

Freida

MyPTSD Pro
Im guessing she is lucky enough to have had a first career to fund her second (schools and such). She also may be in place where she can pick and choose her clients or case level because she is doing it for a second career, not a "job".
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Hobby or appropriate interest in helping you and her other clients?

Maybe the real question is why does her motivation and your assumption about her motivation for her to work part-time or not (as you don't know), mean so much to you?
Sounds like you don't trust her motivation? Saying it a hobby for her seems to minimise the work I'm sure she must put in?
 
A

Aoife

Thank you everyone for your thoughts. To clarify, in my mind it’s a step down from corporate city finance to home office part time therapist. The income wouldn’t sustain her lifestyle/home which is why I felt it was more of a hobby. Perhaps I am coming at it in entirely the wrong way. Step down or step sideways? More thinking required.
Maybe the real question is why does her motivation and your assumption about her motivation for her to work part-time or not (as you don't know), mean so much to you?
Sounds like you don't trust her motivation? Saying it a hobby for her seems to minimise the work I'm sure she must put in?
You are right, this is probably it. Trust is a big, big issue. As would be any sort of feeling of being experimented with, or being a toy for someone. You’ve given me some working out to do on how it links. Thank you for your comments.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
To clarify, in my mind it’s a step down from corporate city finance to home office part time therapist.
My T worked for "global corporations" (whatever that means) before she became a therapist. I've not asked her why she did a career change, but I've assumed burn out or addressing her own stuff in therapy and readdressing her life. My assumptions. But why would a change of career be a step down?
. The income wouldn’t sustain her lifestyle/home which is why I felt it was more of a hobby. P
T's earn a fair bit
Maybe money isn't a driving factor for her.
Maybe she made all her money and now she is able to do something she really cares about?

Do you want to ask her?
 

Sideways

Moderator
To clarify, in my mind it’s a step down from corporate city finance to home office part time therapist. The income wouldn’t sustain her lifestyle/home which is why I felt it was more of a hobby. Perhaps I am coming at it in entirely the wrong way. Step down or step sideways?
There's a whole lot of personal values in here, which very likely aren't matching your T's.

My last pdoc used to work part time, and charged most her clients (there weren't many of us, and I knew most of them) about $20 for a 45 minute consult. She was the most experienced trauma and dissociation expert I've had the benefit of seeing (the only pdoc I've seen who I'd actually even call a "Dissociation expert"). She was in the second half of her life, had finances covered (this can be from prior employment, but also inheritance, good luck, good investments, side hustles - the list is actually really long), and did it because (a) it kept her mentally invigorated; and (b) it was her passion.

To me? The most important thing is that the therapist is helping me. If their priority isn't making as much money as possible off mentally ill people, that sits really comfortably with me and my own values (I do a fair bit of professional work on a voluntary basis).

I've had therapists that had pursued the career for its financial benefits. Their priorities were, sadly, too often reflected in treatment and case management styles.

There's possibly an interesting "what are my values" exercise that these questions may trigger for you. And it's also something that lends itself to a CBT work-through. Treatment resistance is also potentially a factor, because that does tend to hide itself underneath red herrings like "I must just be a hobby/toy or guinea pig/experiment" type mind-reading.
 
A

Aoife

There's possibly an interesting "what are my values" exercise that these questions may trigger for you. And it's also something that lends itself to a CBT work-through. Treatment resistance is also potentially a factor, because that does tend to hide itself underneath red herrings like "I must just be a hobby/toy or guinea pig/experiment" type mind-reading.
Thanks, this is all really helpful stuff. It has given me a bit of a kick up the backside realising I need to be looking a lot deeper. Uncomfortable.
Whether I am maybe more money driven than i potentially should be? Grown up in an environment where money & work & maximisation was the most important, and now working in a very competitive, money & result driven industry where working 5-9 is totally normal. Hamster wheel attitude?

Would you possibly be able to explain further what you mean by treatment resistant? As in me myself is resistant to being treated by therapists or the particular set of fairly unpleasant mechanisms I’ve developed are not treatable? It’s not a term I’ve really come across not in relation to psych meds.

My T worked for "global corporations" (whatever that means) before she became a therapist. I've not asked her why she did a career change, but I've assumed burn out or addressing her own stuff in therapy and readdressing her life. My assumptions. But why would a change of career be a step down?

T's earn a fair bit
Maybe money isn't a driving factor for her.
Maybe she made all her money and now she is able to do something she really cares about?

Do you want to ask her?
Oof. A lot here. Helping people as a genuine motivation? Not on my radar. Like, just doesn’t even register as a thing.

Historically it hasn’t gone well between therapists and myself, maybe I am harbouring resentment. I didn’t think I was, I do like this one. It’s hard thinking of them as an actual individual with their own stuff and not just ‘therapists’ as a blank group entity.
 

Sideways

Moderator
Would you possibly be able to explain further what you mean by treatment resistant?
Yep, I just mean that sometimes (usually because the recovery process is pretty awful and uncomfortable) we can put up barriers to the recovery process. This is often something that we do unconsciously, and it's a bit like sabotaging the process.

Some times it's really obvious (like "this will never work"), but oftentimes it's much more subtle (like finding issues with your T or their treatment approach that aren't really issues, and giving them so much weight that it justifies, in our mind, not trusting our T, not engaging with the process, or pulling out of therapy altogether).

This may or may not be an issue here, but it may be something to consider: is this really the issue, or is the process actually just really uncomfortable and this is a way to pull back from the process?
 

Friday

Moderator
I would say it depends on your therapist’s motivations.

The 2 best universities in my city, the median age for a masters in clinical psych or clinical social work is 52. Which means that whilst some students are in their early 20s working on their first career the overwhelming majority are on heir 2nd career. From all walks of life. But instead of paying the state $30 for a LMHC and putting out a shingle? Are actually adding 3-12 years of higher education (depending on whether or not they already have a bachelors, have to post bacc, and/or are stopping at their masters or continuing on to doctorate), and a few thousand hours of supervision before putting out their shingle.

So it’s hardly uncommon.

Neither is it uncommon in states with scheisse licensing standards to pay $30 or spend 3mo to get the minimum.

So what does your T have? The minimum? Or years of focused study & supervison?
 
A

Aoife

So what does your T have? The minimum? Or years of focused study & supervison?
I’m not in the US so it’s a bit different where I am. She is licensed, but at the minimum level. Done through an accredited course rather than a university. She has done lots of like 2/3hr cpd since. Where I live trauma therapists are near enough unheard of. So someone that’s got the basic licensing plus still doing more courses and training + supervision would be more than normal.

The original training looks like a complete cop out and doesn’t offer courses anymore. That’s not unusual here either.
 
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