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Self Therapy

LeiaFlower

Confident
I have not been in therapy that long. However, I have been passed around by various professionals in the field with the initial statement that they’ll help me learn ways to tackle my symptoms using their specialty/area of therapy to create a treatment plan that targets my goals. However, when said symptoms appear at the degree I told them they refer me out. This happened with my first therapist where overtime symptoms would increase and I would ask what my treatment plan was that’s supposed to target my goal, and she would give me a broad overview that was not individualized to what I needed.

When she referred to a trauma specialist. I told them about memories of physical abuse and growing up in an unsafe home, but not having clear memories of sexual abuse at the time. Then the trauma specialist concluded that what I told her didn’t amount to trauma and I should refer back to my general therapist.

When I move on to my first EMDR therapist initially it was okay until memories of sexual abuse started resurfacing. She pushed for me to take legal action and to press charges against my childhood abuser with the statement that she previously worked with a lot of clients who were successful in their case. This of course is not factually accurate when the majority of abuse cases don’t even make it to trial. I also was at the very begin of my therapy process, and did not have any of the skills to handle something as emotionally damaging as an investigation. When shit hit the fan I ended up in and out of inpatient.

When I finally found a trauma specialist she moved out of state. But even then I was questioning the effectiveness of therapy. I found a different EMRD specialist who stated due to what I scored on her dissociation test she did not think it was good idea to start EMDR. I’m like okay that’s fine can we target the dissociation so I can be able to start in the future. Nope, she referred me out.

Another trauma therapist sent me home during a middle of severe dissociation after concluding I did not want her grounding when I stated smelling an essential oil bottle does not help me (it was something I tried a few times when creating a self soothe kit in Outpatient). I didn’t even bother to ask to try something else after she stated I wasn’t willing I just agreed to leave with 30mins left in my 50min session, that she of course charged me for the full time.

Now I’m seeing an IFS therapist and a trauma therapist and it’s the same thing. I’m just talking about things I do not have an emotional connection with and not being given solutions to deal with the various problems I’m dealing with. My IFS just give me busy work to take home that I would state in session I have knowledge in already. This past week I was given the homework to observe what parts come up and when they come up when I feel like I’m having issues in my relationship. Even though I spent the session talking about how I did this for a week and told her what feelings came up when the relationship issues popped up.

I’m just tired. I would rather stop IFS, even though she signs all my medical accommodations, and go to seeing my trauma therapist twice or once a month. I want to see if I can make better progress with self therapy. Because currently it feels like in therapy my goals are being surfaced level touched before hoping back and forth to another one. What is your experience with self therapy? What did you do for self therapy that you helped you and what didn’t help? How did you come up with your own goals and treatment plan? How did you track progress?
 
I take the view that all therapy is self therapy because I'm the person carrying those parts and aspects of myself that I struggle with. So going to a therapist is about me recognising and being honest with myself about what I can't do by myself.

For me, CBT wasn't appropriate because of dissociation. When my PTSD symptoms were running wild, I went to a trauma therapist that specialised in sexual trauma. Nowadays, I struggle most with relationships and I have a therapist that works through building that relationship with me.

Often I've thought about stopping therapy, or that my therapist doesn't care, doesn't want me there or maybe they're not right for me or don't see the real me etc etc etc. But these thoughts and feelings are part of my self therapy because they're mostly my distorted perceptions. When they're not or I'm not sure, they challenge me to be open with my therapist and to face the challenge of raising issues with them, when doing that brings up memories of rejection and traumatic consequences.

In my case and you may have different needs, but self therapy involves staying in a therapeutic relationship when it's tough.
 
I take the view that all therapy is self therapy because I'm the person carrying those parts and aspects of myself that I struggle with. So going to a therapist is about me recognising and being honest with myself about what I can't do by myself.

For me, CBT wasn't appropriate because of dissociation. When my PTSD symptoms were running wild, I went to a trauma therapist that specialised in sexual trauma. Nowadays, I struggle most with relationships and I have a therapist that works through building that relationship with me.

Often I've thought about stopping therapy, or that my therapist doesn't care, doesn't want me there or maybe they're not right for me or don't see the real me etc etc etc. But these thoughts and feelings are part of my self therapy because they're mostly my distorted perceptions. When they're not or I'm not sure, they challenge me to be open with my therapist and to face the challenge of raising issues with them, when doing that brings up memories of rejection and traumatic consequences.

In my case and you may have different needs, but self therapy involves staying in a therapeutic relationship when it's tough.
Thank you for sharing. I do agree that some things I cannot do by myself. What’s interesting is when I went to my current trauma therapist, we retook a dissociation and PTSD test and both stated that they were on the lower end. I did do an outpatient PTSD group that was more helpful than what I have ever done in therapy. Lately I noticed with my current triggers they don’t go past excessive crying. I know methods to deal with that. I personally would just use my trauma therapist who also specializes in sex therapy, sexual identity, and sexual abuse, to aid in things I need help processing.

I should’ve clarified better about what I meant by self therapy. It is way more than the in between of therapy sessions. It is more than just the area of journaling and mindfulness, though it can include it. Self Therapy, when I was doing it when I financially could not afford my sessions, is creating my own treatment plan and goals adapted to what I need. I’m still working on mine. It currently has target goals involving emotions, self efficacy, interpersonal relationships, sexual repression, sexual trauma, self image, and intimacy. It is a rough draft but it is better than the general information I have been given by some therapists who told me to be mindful. If all it took to rid myself of the extensive list of my diagnoses is to just be mindful, well I would not need self therapy or any therapist for that matter. I do appreciate the DBT and ACT skills I have learned but I genuinely need something personalized to my needs. Thank you again for sharing, I wish you best on your journey.
 
by "self-therapy," do you speak of working the process alone or ? ? ?

by my strictly personal measure, all therapy is self therapy. healing is an inside job and nobody can do it for me.

however. . . my head is not a safe place to travel alone. i take a travelling companion whenever possible. i can't climb a lifeline which is attached only to my own belt. backup strongly advised.

it takes a village to heal.
 
by "self-therapy," do you speak of working the process alone or ? ? ?

by my strictly personal measure, all therapy is self therapy. healing is an inside job and nobody can do it for me.
Not necessarily alone just less. Instead of meeting two therapists once a week. I want to meet one therapist twice a month. In between when I don’t have a session I would also add a support group. However, it is currently unclear on whether therapy is working for me because there is no roadmap/goals/known treatment plan. This morning I was doing research on treatment plans and goals for trauma work. I found mental health facilities that highlighted the importance of having a roadmap for treatment. 1.) It outlines the steps needed to reach wellness. 2.) They make a complex journey more manageable. 3.)
Each goal and objective offers a waypoint. They serve as a path from where the patient is to where they want to be, mentally and emotionally. 4.) With clear benchmarks, it’s easier to know if treatment is working. 5.) When a client sees tangible progress toward their goals, it can boost their confidence. Clear progress also encourages them to stay committed to the treatment plan.
however. . . my head is not a safe place to travel alone. i take a travelling companion whenever possible. i can't climb a lifeline which is attached only to my own belt. backup strongly advised.

it takes a village to heal.
I love how you unintentionally make anything you say poetic. I will be relying and building my support system before starting self therapy. A therapist is only one lifeline in a safety plan and even then they can only provide with resources such as hotlines or inpatient care if it gets to that point. I will not be completely alone. I, like you, do not trust my intrusive thoughts enough to deal with my trauma completely by myself.
 
I take the view that all therapy is self therapy because I'm the person carrying those parts and aspects of myself that I struggle with.
I have never gotten much out of any process I am not vested and involved in.

When I first landed here someone told me therapy was about healing and the stuff we discuss here is about my everyday. Improving my everyday is my responsibility and being vested and learning about how to help myself with my everyday is important to me.

So is support - and that's why I am here. It's also why 80% of my posts are in the social section of the forum - its like having friends, and support group all in one. No one cares about perfect or right - just participate.
 
What is your experience with self therapy? What did you do for self therapy that you helped you and what didn’t help? How did you come up with your own goals and treatment plan? How did you track progress?
That’s how I unf*cked my head & my heart the first time PTSD shattered me, in the late 90’s / early aughts.

I wasn’t trying to treat PTSD. I was “just” trying to be/become the person I wanted to be.
 
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