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Bad or Typical Therapist?

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Bad or Typical Therapist?

Postby Tectum » Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:56 am

After an extended period of trepidation, I finally contacted a therapist. We met twice over the past two weeks. During our second session, she became rather frustrated because she couldn't provide me with a diagnosis–– she said it was between anxiety, depression, or bipolar. After she tossed aside her DSM, which sprawled over her lap for the first twenty or so minutes of our second meeting, she asked me about my parents. I provided a few assessments of my Mom and Dad as flawed people and certain traumas I accumulated during my upbringing, and she became rather facile, even insulting. She made broad and completely inaccurate claims about me and family, which, given the limited amount of details I told her at that point, blew my mind. I told her that I felt she was being presumptuous and overly simplistic, and she immediately said that we couldn't work together, which– at that point– I was cool with.

But the whole experience is almost triggering an episode of anxiety and or depression– again, I didn’t receive a diagnosis, so I can't say either way. Obviously, I feel really weird about the whole interaction, which prompted me to write about it, which seems to be alleviating the dread building in my chest sending that cold sensation to my throat.

Anyway, is this kind of interaction common in the world of counseling/therapy. Have any of you been completely misunderstood in therapy? Additionally, do good therapists really think they have their clients completely figured out by the second session? She actually told me that they usually do, which, given her level of insight, made me feel concerned about other people who she’s supposed to be helping. Furthermore, does anyone else feel overwhelmed by finding a therapist who can actually help?
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Re: Bad or Typical Therapist?

Postby alittlelostkit » Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:56 pm

I have definitely had experiences like this, and for a long time I thought this was the norm. It is certainly common.

Whenever I went to a new therapist I had a speech prepared about myself and my past. They would listen and start working with me from that, and whatever my mother would tell them. These were not good times. I'd leave a lot in tears and lots of anxiety.

The good therapists I've seen do not completely understand me by the second session. The good ones have stopped my rehearsed speeches and told me to let us get to know each other over time. It was scary at first (the speech is very familiar!), but this has resulted in much more organic, satisfying relationships with my therapists.

Nothing is perfect, no therapist will ever be perfect, they are human. But if a therapist is making you cry (in a bad way) every time you leave or giving you anxiety/panic attacks, I find that's a huge red flag, and a good reason to find someone new.
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Re: Bad or Typical Therapist?

Postby Homestead » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:38 pm

I think you expected a diagnosis a little too soon in the relationship. That said, it does not appear this is the therapist for you so look for a different one.
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