View Full Version : Tips for getting maximum benefit out of therapy?


sbcy
02-08-12, 09:30 AM
I've been seeing a psychologist weekly (45 min sessions) for close to 2 months now, so far I don't really see much point but I try to approach it positively and give things a chance. I'm also an ISTJ so I'm not sure if it's just a personality type thing or this guy is as over assuming as I think he is or I'm just judging to early...?


Any tips for getting the maximum benefit out of therapy would be great to hear! I have ADD-PI, mild OCD, GAD, SAD and some depression

Drewbacca
04-16-12, 10:21 PM
The key is to have a vested interest and clear goals. When YOU know what you want to get out of therapy, a good therapist will help you work to that end.
I've tried therapy over and over again with little if any gain (aside from a few book recommendations), but once I started setting the agenda, things went smoothly. You need to find a therapist who is willing to act like a life coach and help you work towards your goals. If you are anything like me, you've already taken self introspection to the point of absurdity and won't gain much from a counselor that is trying to guide you to look inwards.

sbcy
04-19-12, 05:28 AM
The key is to have a vested interest and clear goals. When YOU know what you want to get out of therapy, a good therapist will help you work to that end.
I've tried therapy over and over again with little if any gain (aside from a few book recommendations), but once I started setting the agenda, things went smoothly. You need to find a therapist who is willing to act like a life coach and help you work towards your goals. If you are anything like me, you've already taken self introspection to the point of absurdity and won't gain much from a counselor that is trying to guide you to look inwards.

Why not go to a life coach instead? My parents are trying to get me to go to a life coach after i quit going to my psychologist because he was cluless and trying to draw things out. He literally declined to read a paper i had written for class that explained a great deal about my problems and experiences. He said he wanted to "hear it" from me but would hang on to the copy I gave him.

greenmonkey
06-26-12, 06:07 PM
I was medicated on Wellbutrin for about a year. My initial prescription came from my primary doc, but I followed up with a psychiatrist who managed my medication with me for the following year with regular office visits to check in.

After a year of medication (which was helping with my AD/HD symptoms) I started having some heavy stresses in life. I very emotionally expressed to my psychiatrist what I was feeling, and that I needed to figure out why I felt the way I did, and I needed to make changes to make things better. I just didn't know what exactly I was feeling or what to do about it. He immediately wanted to prescribe me more medication to help me "be happier". That's the last time I saw my psychiatrist. I was off my Wellbutrin a month later after gradually declining it myself. (Note: Even though this worked out ok for me, I don't recommend stopping meds without guidance from a doctor)

The past year has been interesting, and I have discovered a lot about myself. However, without a shred of doubt, I've learned more in the past three months than any three month period I can remember, ever. Three months ago I started seeing a "therapist & life coach", and the result of my talks with her have been remarkable. I believe you need the right therapist -- someone you're comfortable talking to completely openly, and who understands things about you that you yourself can't initially see.

Drewbacca has some good things to say about therapy. However, when I started going to my therapist, I had no idea what I was wanting to accomplish. We started by discussing recent trauma in my life, how I've been generally feeling, etc. As I have worked with her, I have been discovering what I want and need. After every visit with her I have more clarity about who I am, what I want, and how to achieve my own goals. I still have the nagging AD/HD distractions of my own mind, but that distracted mind isn't ME, and I can choose to follow my own true desires.

I love therapy. For me, therapy >> medication. However, the right balance will be different for each individual.

mctavish23
06-26-12, 09:10 PM
Here's what I tell new clients at Intake :

In addition to giving them my own Informed Consent Memo, separate and

apart from the (rural, non-profit) Community Mental Health Center's info,

where I work :

1) Therapy is more of an "art" than a science;

2) If you went to see 10 different psyschologist's, you'd get 10 different

personalities, and 10 different ways of doing the same thing, with at least

half of those people being weird as hell; :D

3) What do you think the main problems are, and what do you hope to get

out of therapy ?

Practically every therapist does that, or something like it.

Often times though it comes down to rapport and personalities.

My practice is 100% Evidence Based (researched derived and supported),

which is another way of saying, "Prove It."

What that means is that I won't put my name on a piece of paper if I can't

"open up the book," or provide a hand out, on what the research has to say.

At the second session you do what Drew was so aptly referring to, by

collaborating on an Individual Treatment Plan, to address whatever the

primary problems are.

That's simplified to the max, and I'm also NOT advertising my practice, but

you get the drift.

The main things to remember are :

1) You are the consumer, and the the services rendered are for your benefit;

2) If you have ADHD, also please remember that your own best thinking and

planning have often resulted in repeating the same types of mistakes, so

impatience, impulsivity, and grandiose ("Know it all") tendencies, will defeat

you every time.

Hope that helps.

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

crystal8080
06-27-12, 01:23 AM
If you have ADHD, also please remember that your own best thinking and

planning have often resulted in repeating the same types of mistakes, so

impatience, impulsivity, and grandiose ("Know it all") tendencies, will defeat

you every time.

This is why I come here. Food for thought. Thank you Robert.

sbcy
06-27-12, 02:15 AM
2) If you have ADHD, also please remember that your own best thinking and

planning have often resulted in repeating the same types of mistakes, so

impatience, impulsivity, and grandiose ("Know it all") tendencies, will defeat

you every time.

Can you re-phrase this, I don't understand why this is important to remember?? If one consistently expects that their planning and thinking will result in mistakes, then what does one do instead of planning? Do without thinking ahead? ie: impulsive??

crystal8080
06-27-12, 02:32 AM
I read it as: if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got.

anonymouslyadd
06-27-12, 02:56 AM
Can you re-phrase this, I don't understand why this is important to remember?? If one consistently expects that their planning and thinking will result in mistakes, then what does one do instead of planning? Do without thinking ahead? ie: impulsive??
I think McTavish means that you need to have an open mind and be willing to consider doing things differently. You may need to rely on others a little more than you may like to. This may include taking advice from quack psychologists.:lol::rolleyes:

mctavish23
06-27-12, 09:11 PM
Crystal nailed it.

People who repeatedly make the same mistakes, do so impulsively.

They don't stop and analyze what happened before or, if they do, they rationalize it

away.

We (ADHD 'ers) are in such a hurry to try and get something we want, or we are

emotionally overreacting to some minor event, that we don't stop and think things

through.

As a general rule of thumb, we're also biased and judgmental of others (at least I am

anyway), to the point that it's often diificult to "tell us" anything; we either call BS or we

think we already know the answer.

That's why it's so important to try and THINK LIKE THE OTHER PERSON WE'RE DEALING

WITH.

In this case, it would be a therapist, who may or may not understand the disorder of

ADHD.

Hope that helps some.

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

MX2012
06-27-12, 09:32 PM
Crystal nailed it.

People who repeatedly make the same mistakes, do so impulsively.

They don't stop and analyze what happened before or, if they do, they rationalize it

away.

We (ADHD 'ers) are in such a hurry to try and get something we want, or we are

emotionally overreacting to some minor event, that we don't stop and think things

through.

As a general rule of thumb, we're also biased and judgmental of others (at least I am

anyway), to the point that it's often diificult to "tell us" anything; we either call BS or we

think we already know the answer.

That's why it's so important to try and THINK LIKE THE OTHER PERSON WE'RE DEALING

WITH.

In this case, it would be a therapist, who may or may not understand the disorder of

ADHD.

Hope that helps some.

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

Hello Mctavish:

I always enjoy your posts but there is one aspect to ADD/HD that I am not seeing here -- isn't one aspect of ADD/HD a poor short-term memory?

I say this because when you say

People who repeatedly make the same mistakes, do so impulsively.

They don't stop and analyze what happened before or, if they do, they rationalize it

How do they remember that they made the same mistake?

I know for myself, I did keep making the same mistakes because I forgot that I made them before. I keep notebooks and make entries about a bad day or experience and write it out and try to figure out what went wrong. Well, a month later, I am writing about the same thing.

I went back through some of my notebooks and found multiple entries that reflected the same issues and they all seemed new to me.

It was an eye-opening experience. I still keep notebooks but I do remember now after experiencing similar situations, writing about them and then rereading them, realizing that I am repeating myself has helped curb some of my negative behaviors. It has helped with what I call my red flag inventory - if x happens -- my mind sends up a red flag -- I may not recognize the reason for the flag but I do know that it means be careful.

Anyway, just my two cents.

spunkysmum
06-27-12, 09:42 PM
If you are anything like me, you've already taken self introspection to the point of absurdity and won't gain much from a counselor that is trying to guide you to look inwards.

Heh. Good point. One of my problems is that it seems to be really hard for anybody to tell me anything that I haven't already thought of, especially about myself. But if you say that people think you're an arrogant know it all.

crystal8080
06-27-12, 10:01 PM
Wow.
It makes so much sense. Here's my A-HA moment. I'm drawing some parallels here.

I am very aware of myself in one way, but not the other. I am very aware of my what's going on in my head, but I'm not very aware at all of my behaviour. Talk about an input/output problem.

So if that's the case, then I NEED someone to help me. Now I see the relationship with therapy. If you connect the dots the way that I do, you should understand everything I just said.

mctavish23
06-27-12, 10:25 PM
MX,

That may very well contribute to the whole problem as well.

Excellent input.

tc

Robert