What am I doing wrong? Any success stories with humanistic, person centred psychotherapy?

Lostvoice

Learning
There's alternatives. For example:

(1) asking for referrals to a structured therapy program, like a CBT or DBT. They definitely have their place, and if you haven't already done one, it may be worth a try;

(2) scaling back the appointments, for example to fortnightly or monthly. This gives a lot more space for that emotional space between appointments, so that one stressful appointment doesn't land squarely on top of the last one and so on.

(3) asking for alternative therapy ideas. Did you end up trying EMDR? Have you thought about alternatives like an art therapy program, equine therapy or music therapy?

1. I have asked for a recommendation for someone else a few weeks back and I got no response sadly

2. Yes, I currently go twice a week for 2 hours so perhaps I’m just burnt out and she’s in over her head.

3. I haven’t tried any other therapies yet. I’ve been too afraid too. I only managed to start the work with this person because we knew each other for a few years prior and I felt safe with her. I think methods that use somatic experiencing and poly vagal theories seem the most appealing to me now. Equine therapy would be good if I can find someone local
 
A little secret is that the theoretical philosophy of the therapist doesn't usually really matter at all as long as they have experience with trauma.

The most important task for you is to find someone to support you who's not hurting you. That's the most important thing.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you all I will follow this advice and look for someone who can be a support to me.

I don’t have friend or family support so the thought of losing this person is terrifying but I feel it’s necessary now.
As painful and as daunting that feels, it’s a healthy decision to take for yourself. I’m sorry you have been put in this position. She really sounds quite unethical as a therapist, I’m sorry to say. It sounds like she is causing you harm, which she has a professional duty not to do.
You would be in your rights to put in a formal complaint, if you felt you wanted to.

I hope you find a new therapist soon. Maybe thinking through what you want from a therapist, and their boundaries, might help too?
 
M

Margaret Shalhoob

I have been in therapy for approximately 2 years now for CPTSD, it is humanistic, person centred psychotherapy.

There has been some slow progress, but I’m constantly made to feel guilty for asking too much of her.

Yesterday she told me that she feels she is using so much psychological energy on me for nothing! And that when I’m in this state of mind I am very wearing on her.

I am trying my best, but maybe this isn’t the best method for treating cptsd?
Does anyone have success stories with this kind of therapy?

Thank you in advance!
I have chronic moderate to severe PTSD arising in early childhood.
My immediate reaction to what you reported was sick to my stomach then brief freeze.

Thinking and feeling it through I am reasonably certain I had both a healthy and disease driven response. Nutshell solution for both is her issues are not my job.Since May of 2014 I have been with a PTSD psychiatrist 1 to 1.5 hrs 1 to 2 times a month. 15 minutes of med mood daily living.

the rest initially was history talk tools directive what can I do. We are collaborative and I am a reliable reporter. The precipitating series of events that led her to me began 12/12 through 6/15. This is working. The premise is essentially that I have been been injured and I can heal like anyone else. She had me list the 1st 3 people that came to mind who recovered some from something (Achilles heel, crushed by tree in 6 mo induced coma, heart attack). We set markers. She applauds and/or validates me. I have had EMDR elsewhere of the one thing thoroughly resolved during session works.

Were I in your shoes, I would find a replacement (my current psychiatrist was from my NP, MD and their LCPC) and then with a lot of suppoirt and a script retire her. People in the field do not always perceive their stress levels and consequences. This sounds likely with her. I know I would focus on my healing only. Nonetheless IMO an MD psychiatrist is more likely to have dispassionate compassion. Hopes this helps. Your question helped me.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Lostvoice

Learning
I have chronic moderate to severe PTSD arising in early childhood.
My immediate reaction to what you reported was sick to my stomach then brief freeze.

Thinking and feeling it through I am reasonably certain I had both a healthy and disease driven response. Nutshell solution for both is her issues are not my job.Since May of 2014 I have been with a PTSD psychiatrist 1 to 1.5 hrs 1 to 2 times a month. 15 minutes of med mood daily living.

the rest initially was history talk tools directive what can I do. We are collaborative and I am a reliable reporter. The precipitating series of events that led her to me began 12/12 through 6/15. This is working. The premise is essentially that I have been been injured and I can heal like anyone else. She had me list the 1st 3 people that came to mind who recovered some from something (Achilles heel, crushed by tree in 6 mo induced coma, heart attack). We set markers. She applauds and/or validates me. I have had EMDR elsewhere of the one thing thoroughly resolved during session works.

Were I in your shoes, I would find a replacement (my current psychiatrist was from my NP, MD and their LCPC) and then with a lot of suppoirt and a script retire her. People in the field do not always perceive their stress levels and consequences. This sounds likely with her. I know I would focus on my healing only. Nonetheless IMO an MD psychiatrist is more likely to have dispassionate compassion. Hopes this helps. Your question helped me.

Forgive my lack of education haha but what does dispassionate compassion mean?

Thank you very much for your response
 

Vin777

New Here
I think I’m just going to take a break from it all for the time being
I've been in your shoes too. Although my therapists never said they were my friend they terminated me for not "making progress," "spinning their wheels," urged me to make certain changes and then said I shouldn't have done it after all after I was stuck in the resulting new mess.

I'm taking a break from therapy now too and feel better, even with no external support. I may go back at some point, but I don't have the energy to search for a new one who might be actually be helpful.

But short version, it's not you, it's the therapist. And I'm so sorry you have to deal with her poor treatment plan.
 

GiantSquid

New Here
I used to work in mental health field in my region and it has required adjustments to my treatment. My therapist is from another region of my country, and my appointments are online. But I used to work with my pdoc in professional capacity a few years back. Initially, it helped me to contact her because I knew she was not scary and we got along. Also, since I'm sick enough to need social services which was my own vocation, I've had to work with several people I knew professionally. My current case manager is someone who used to storm in my office and demand money for her clients' services (I quite like it now :D )

Did you discuss your previous acquitance with your T before you began? I've done it in every case when I know the person beforehand. Each must think through if they feel comfortable doing it. And then it's a must to change the relationship. I don't chat about her dog with my pdoc anymore. Or refer to her daughters in any manner, even though I know her family. When I'm the patient, it's strictly about me. It's one-sided relationship, and both parties need to stick to it.

Also, there are safeguards in place. When I'm sick enough to need inpatient care, there is a note in my file stating I'm never going to be sent in local hospital because I worked there. I go to another hospital instead. It ensures that I'll get to be a patient like everyone else, and also protects my privacy. It's a common psych ward practice here, healthcare workers are never treated in their own region.

I find it very unprofessional that your T accuses you of asking too much. Your T should have their own support systems so they can do their job. I don't know how it's in USA, but here a therapist must go through her own therapy before graduation and also have regular sessions with seasoned professional to get professional guidance and a chance to care for their own mental health. I find it integral to be able to trust my T can take whatever I bring to session. Otherwise there would be no healing, because I could not speak honestly. I need to pick and mix my experiences with every other person to regulate what I can say to avoid negative/upset reaction, and in two years I've started to trust she can take honesty. It happened quicker with my pdoc because I knew her before, and she is perhaps twenty years older than me.
 

Lostvoice

Learning
I used to work in mental health field in my region and it has required adjustments to my treatment. My therapist is from another region of my country, and my appointments are online. But I used to work with my pdoc in professional capacity a few years back. Initially, it helped me to contact her because I knew she was not scary and we got along. Also, since I'm sick enough to need social services which was my own vocation, I've had to work with several people I knew professionally. My current case manager is someone who used to storm in my office and demand money for her clients' services (I quite like it now :D )

Did you discuss your previous acquitance with your T before you began? I've done it in every case when I know the person beforehand. Each must think through if they feel comfortable doing it. And then it's a must to change the relationship. I don't chat about her dog with my pdoc anymore. Or refer to her daughters in any manner, even though I know her family. When I'm the patient, it's strictly about me. It's one-sided relationship, and both parties need to stick to it.

Also, there are safeguards in place. When I'm sick enough to need inpatient care, there is a note in my file stating I'm never going to be sent in local hospital because I worked there. I go to another hospital instead. It ensures that I'll get to be a patient like everyone else, and also protects my privacy. It's a common psych ward practice here, healthcare workers are never treated in their own region.

I find it very unprofessional that your T accuses you of asking too much. Your T should have their own support systems so they can do their job. I don't know how it's in USA, but here a therapist must go through her own therapy before graduation and also have regular sessions with seasoned professional to get professional guidance and a chance to care for their own mental health. I find it integral to be able to trust my T can take whatever I bring to session. Otherwise there would be no healing, because I could not speak honestly. I need to pick and mix my experiences with every other person to regulate what I can say to avoid negative/upset reaction, and in two years I've started to trust she can take honesty. It happened quicker with my pdoc because I knew her before, and she is perhaps twenty years older than me.

I am in the U.K.

So here’s some of the back story.

I was her dog walker for 3 years, when her dog passed away she got a new one that had some anxiety issues and both me and her went in walks together to get the new dog used to me. We started talking and growing closer, it became evident that I was ready to start my healing and treatment but scared to trust anyone, we talked a few times about working together and decided it would be beneficial. A few months in to the work, after I had disclosed nearly all of my trauma history very fast, I was re traumatise. My distress and unstable behaviour was too much for her and we almost stopped the work together. We continued after a short break and things worked well for some time, but when things get difficult in her own life she withdraws from me and I feel she treats me differently to her other clients and says things to me she wouldn’t dream of saying to them. We’ve since had maybe 5 or 6 difficult moments like that first one and she’s mentioned not working with me on most of those, but we continued. She helps me with going in to shops and we do non therapy things together like walking our dogs, meeting for a cuppa etc… I also walk her dog 3 or 4 times a week in the mornings and sometimes I’m spilling over from sessions.
I think she regrets starting this and that she knows the damage and is now trying to fix it, but can’t.
Recently she has a lot going on personally and she just can’t manage the level of my needs and i understand that, however, she doesn’t cancel sessions or take time off when things are difficult, she carries on and I’m sat there with her knowing she’s unable to be present and really with me.
I feel like it’s my fault and like I make good things bad. I can’t stop thinking about it, about her and I’m having the most painful waves of emotion that feels like grief. I don’t know what to do and I feel like giving up on any treatment.

Sorry that was longer than intended!!
 
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