Sunday, October 21, 2007

Therapy - Bogus or Productive?

With the questions about my reference to my 'real' therapy in my post, Depression, it's become clear to me that it might be helpful to comment about my perception of my therapies. To me there was a big distinction between the first therapy that I did for many years and the one I found helpful that lasted much less time.

My first therapy took place at a local county mental health center. I've spent a lot of time wondering if it laid a lot of the ground work so that my second therapy could be more successful. . But I really don't believe that was the case. The second therapy was targeted towards sexual abuse

When I began that first therapy I was not depressed, or maybe, aware of being depressed. I sought help because I had just left my second marriage. Both marriages had been to batterers. I was pretty sure there was something about me that I kept choosing destructive relationships. I didn't want to make the same mistakes over and over again.

I remember those therapy sessions clearly. Aside from the active listening skills I learned there, I think they were totally non-productive. At one point the therapist even told me that the problems I was having with my husband (then number three) were somehow my fault. She also told me I was a very strong willed personality and he was a weaker personality and essentially that I should back off.

Now, I could do into a detailed account of what our problems were at the time, however, that's not the subject of this post. I will say that they were the typical dysfunctional family kind of thing and mostly revolved around controlling and manipulative behavior. None of these issues were even pointed out, let alone addressed.

Even at the point when I realized that I had been sexually abused as a child, this therapist didn't seem to think it had any bearing on my problems. Watching Oprah and other talk shows helped me to see that this therapist was not helpful to me. I'll bet I spent close to ten years in therapy with her, When I left, I WAS depressed even though I had not been when I started and I had active listening skills. That was it.

Looking back, I think about all the times I left therapy thinking that I was a bad person or wrong about anything and everything. I always seemed to feel like a scolded child. Those feelings were the clues that the therapy was NOT working although I didn't know it at the time. After all those kind of feelings were familiar to me. I was used to being the reason for everyone else's problems.

That and the fact that none of that therapy helped me to understand why I kept choosing destructive relationships. I had no clues what so ever to help me identify what it was about me that attracted me to such relationships. Or what it was about the men that should have warned me of their proclivity to violence. Today I understand all of those things. So that makes the first therapy pretty pathetic if you ask me.

To be continued...........


BarnGoddess said...

I had therapy twice.

The 1st time immediately after my mom passed away. I was 11 and she was buried the day after my 12th b-day. I cannot remember one thing about the Psychiatrist I saw and spoke to except he always sniffed his nose and had wrinkled trousers.

The 2nd time I went to therapy (3 sessions) I was working as a sheriff deputy. I worked on a horrific child abuse case that put me on edge,filled me full of anger and hate. After 3 sessions I saw myself getting no where. I quit police work and went back to training horses.

Horses were my 'perfect therapy'.
They helped me work out my internal turmoil at my own pace. I know this is not right for everyone who needs therapy but it is what worked for me.

jumpinginpuddles said...

we are onto therapist number three but are fast elarning what one therpist does for one alter she may not do for another thats been perhaps our biggest learning curve.