Therapist (possible) covid denier should I can her?

NoWhereKnowWhere

MyPTSD Pro
I’ve recently started with a new therapist. We’re not doing anything too heavy mostly just brushing up old coping skills and looking at new ones as well as somatic stuff. We’ve had two sessions the first one was basically just assessment and getting to know you type stuff. This past session I was talking about how a lot of old hyper-vigilance is stuff has been rearing it’s head because you sort of have to be at the moment with Covid-19 you know making sure you’re socially distancing and keeping an eye out for people who aren’t wearing masks.

well here comes the issue she asked if I was worried about contracting covid and I said no not really but I am worried about inadvertently giving it to someone. She said there’s little evidence that people who are asymptomatic spread it 😬. She also said about people refusing to were masks that there’s some evidence of CO2 build up 🙄 and I said there was literally no evidence of that. She asked if I was ok and I said I was a bit worried that she’s an anti-masker and a covid denier. She said she just likes to see things from all points of view. Ok well maybe if your client is an anti-masker covid denier, but to bring something like that up out of the blue while I was just talking about about covid anxiety. I dunno

here’s the question do I continue with her? Ordinarily if I had an abundance of options of course I would just find someone else. It made me feel very uncomfortable and annoyed tbh, our local hospital is on the brink of being overwhelmed. There are 100,000 people who’ve lost their lives in the uk. I feel like I might have a moral obligation to complain about her being unprofessional. I’m seeing her through a charity I probably would be offered someone else if I asked but I would probably go back on the waiting list. I don’t know how long that would be. I’ve been waiting over a year for a psychiatrist appointment with the nhs and I can’t afford to go private.

she seems like an ok therapist aside from that. Am I being too black and white? Should I give her another chance? It’s over the phone so there’s no chance of contracting covid if she is going around not wearing a mask. I would like a second opinion.

*Edited to add
Please don’t come here and tell me that she’s right because she’s not if you’re an anti masker covid denier I honestly don’t want to hear it.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
But scientific fact is not opinion.
Agreed; and also, the client-therapist relationship isn't meant to require a whole lot of tolerance on the part of the client. I think @Sideways made very good points about the types of responses this therapist may have been dealing with, and the ways in which one can talk someone down from an excessively panicked response to the pandemic.

But....that whole CO2 thing has been pretty thoroughly debunked, and a while ago at that. I agree @NoWhereKnowWhere, it's a dog whistle and it's odd.

Maybe the question you want to ask yourself is, "what else do I want to know about the position this therapist operates from, before I proceed?" Kind of like what SRG brought up, up-thread. And, you can ask yourself - if perspectives on Covid are the only thing I strongly disagree w/this therapist about, could it be useful to me to take it an an opportunity to challenge someone in perceived authority? Do I need to work on that right now? Or, can I simply tell her that I disagree very strongly, and would like to not discuss the topic again?"

I got dealt a simpler version of this, when I learned after five+ years working together that my therapist has a very different political viewpoint than my own. Not so much that I was sure I had to quit, but shocking enough that I seriously considered it. In the end, it was very helpful to bring it into session and talk about it, and my T did a good job with that. BUT: I don't know how it would have gone if I hadn't already spent quite a while working with him. It actually ended being useful for me to challenge him on the topic, and for me to not force myself to see and tolerate his perspective on a few things. (I have a very hard time disagreeing with anyone whose opinion I care about, and this let me work on that.)

It's a bummer that you'd need to go back onto a wait list. I suppose that makes it harder to walk away...
 

NoWhereKnowWhere

MyPTSD Pro
At your first session, you brought up hypervigilance around covid.
No it was second session. It was a passing remark (I could’ve explained this better) like yeah it’s going to be hard once everything goes back to normal I think everyone will struggle with that. You know with the hypervig that comes with pandemic life especially because it’s stuff I already struggle with and thought I had a handle on.


She gave some pretty soft suggestions on possible ways to re-evaluate your hypervigilance.

I can’t remember every part of this conversation because anxiety spike. But what I said was that I was annoyed about people not wearing masks (obviously excepting those exempt) I said even if it is a global conspiracy (pleeeese world governments can’t even all agree that global warming is real) then what difference would it make wearing a mask it’s such a little thing to do. THAT is when she said about evidence of co2 build up and I cut her off and said that’s not true.
Co2 build up ah yes the multitude of surgeons who simply collapsed into open abdomens.
I’ve had to wear a n95 (pre covid) for work (construction type stuff) for basically a whole work day. Yeah it’s uncomfortable and hot but believe me you can breathe fine in it.
Ar
For a lot of people, having that permission to remove their mask and just breathe is really helpful.
Yeah I get it honestly I do it is panic inducing I have glasses as well and because of fog I’m basically blind. It’s a very vulnerable feeling I’m not begrudging anyone a break who needs it but people are flaunting the rules because they don’t want to believe it exists. Which means people who are genuinely medically exempt are being harassed and feel like they have to explain themselves because people believe shit that’s in Facebook memes.

apologies if that was very ranty I’m so tired and sad af bro.
 

NoWhereKnowWhere

MyPTSD Pro
could it be useful to me to take it an an opportunity to challenge someone in perceived authority
My feelings when I was talking to her was just like exhaustion mixed with everything else. I literally cannot help myself if someone is saying something that’s any of the phobics, isms or putting people at risk. I literally can’t not say, it gets me into trouble sometimes but honestly I wouldn’t change that aspect of myself. I’ll try to be gentle and pragmatic but I’ll argue a point. When she said that I was like brilliant another one to try to change the mind of. I don’t want to have to feel like I need to be that version of myself in therapy. I want to change ME not someone else’s personal (wrong) beliefs.
 

Rumors

MyPTSD Pro
That’s why I said possible in title of the tread.

Yeah I mean I don’t especially like pineapple on pizza I can still be friends with people who do. But scientific fact is not opinion. And if we don’t know them that’s what we should say. The co2 bit is anti mask propaganda it’s a dog whistle.

you have a duty to ask
I did read what I wrote. She said she likes to see things from different perspectives and tried to change the subject.

Again read what I wrote. This is over the phone. Absolutely everything that can be is at the moment. We’re on full lockdown again it’s really bad here. Schools are closed, the local hospital is nearly overwhelmed the cases are still rising, we have the worst death rate in Europe. This is a little island it should’ve been under control ages ago. Yet I go to the local shop and I’m the only c*nt in there with a mask on.
you asked, I gave you my opinion but it is obvious you are simply looking for validation or you wouldn't be arguing with an opinion you asked for... there will be a time when office reopen and covid will still be around... I think you are being black and white.
 

Goldballoon

New Here
well here comes the issue she asked if I was worried about contracting covid and I said no not really but I am worried about inadvertently giving it to someone. She said there’s little evidence that people who are asymptomatic spread it 😬.
According to Chris Whitty, Boris Johnson etc (presuming you are in the UK) we're supposed to be worried about having covid asymptomatically and passing it on to others. We're literally being told to think in the way you are thinking, and that this is a sensible approach to take. She may have been trying to reassure you but I don't find her approach very validating - immediately trying to change your mind in the second session by offering counter-arguments doesn't seem very deft to me.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
I’ve recently started with a new therapist. We’re not doing anything too heavy mostly just brushing up old coping skills and looking at new ones as well as somatic stuff. We’ve had two sessions the first one was basically just assessment and getting to know you type stuff. This past session I was talking about how a lot of old hyper-vigilance is stuff has been rearing it’s head because you sort of have to be at the moment with Covid-19 you know making sure you’re socially distancing and keeping an eye out for people who aren’t wearing masks.

well here comes the issue she asked if I was worried about contracting covid and I said no not really but I am worried about inadvertently giving it to someone. She said there’s little evidence that people who are asymptomatic spread it 😬. She also said about people refusing to were masks that there’s some evidence of CO2 build up 🙄 and I said there was literally no evidence of that. She asked if I was ok and I said I was a bit worried that she’s an anti-masker and a covid denier. She said she just likes to see things from all points of view. Ok well maybe if your client is an anti-masker covid denier, but to bring something like that up out of the blue while I was just talking about about covid anxiety. I dunno

here’s the question do I continue with her? Ordinarily if I had an abundance of options of course I would just find someone else. It made me feel very uncomfortable and annoyed tbh, our local hospital is on the brink of being overwhelmed. There are 100,000 people who’ve lost their lives in the uk. I feel like I might have a moral obligation to complain about her being unprofessional. I’m seeing her through a charity I probably would be offered someone else if I asked but I would probably go back on the waiting list. I don’t know how long that would be. I’ve been waiting over a year for a psychiatrist appointment with the nhs and I can’t afford to go private.

she seems like an ok therapist aside from that. Am I being too black and white? Should I give her another chance? It’s over the phone so there’s no chance of contracting covid if she is going around not wearing a mask. I would like a second opinion.

*Edited to add
Please don’t come here and tell me that she’s right because she’s not if you’re an anti masker covid denier I honestly don’t want to hear it.
My therapist wears a mask in session....and we keep 8-10 f distance without exception and I'm one of few she sees. She is a medical profession, upholds the do no harm thing, and says that she "follows the rules" where other peoples' safety and her own are concerned. She wants to know how I feel-if I feel safe, and how she can accommodate my needs (like if the numbers rise-which they did last weekend...doubled but it was a spike....she wants to make sure she doesn't do anything to inflate an existing problem).....she'd offer counseling in another format.

So, my questions wouldn't be about her personal beliefs although that right there....if she doesn't believe in germs or doesn't understand the mechanisms about how viruses mutate, spread, reproduce...... may speak to her level of intelligence and for me, that wouldn't do (I don't like to have an unethical or stupid person for a therapist-just me).............but she's not allowed to promote misinformation it because that would be unethical since she's supposed to be following the Covid rules/and the medical profession rules of "doing no harm," and as a therapist modeling behaviors and informing clients how to minimize exposure/health risks. All she needs to do is be professional around you and do her job and not discuss her personal feelings about it (that's a boundary). But I also think that if you are made angry by her belief system, and insensitivity to your concerns about following national mandates, it could at some point hinder your relationship.

If you are meeting by phone, Covid will be here for some time.......herd immunity isn't coming around the corner anytime soon, so you have someone if all her skills are okay and you can let it go........You can set a boundary and tell her that it doesn't make you feel safe discussing her views on Covid since they aren't mainstream so that topic is off the table. If you are paying her and it is worsening your symptoms........that's definately an issue.
 
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