Author Topic: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?  (Read 1303 times)

Dr Rock

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Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« on: June 09, 2019, 03:51:03 PM »
I'm sure there was an old thread about this, but I searched and couldn't find it. Anyway I don't know if I might want a therapist, especially as I am a bit skeptical about the industry. But I'm a bit anxious about if my injection cures my gammy leg (a week tomorrow) and I can get out of the house more, where do I see myself fitting into the world? At my bloody age (50!)? I can't decide if I want another relationship or not. I don't know if childhood-based issues are still unresolved, that sort of thing.

I am quite happy to talk about myself for an hour, that will be my borderline narcissism. I've had a few sessions in the past, ok but not sure they helped at all. One of the psychotherapists I've looked up who lives nearby and has a good reputation trained in Gestalt Therapy, I looked it up and can't decide if it's right, or what would be better. I could maybe get CBT through my GP, but I'm loathe to admit any problems to the GP, who I don't really like or trust, because I may need certain meds if my pain returns, which it probably will, and I don't want to not get them because I'm saying I have any mental health worries. Can you get NHS based ie free counselling without your GP knowing?

Ta.

Absorb the anus burn

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Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2019, 03:52:43 PM »
Teethgrinder is quite good.

Seriously: yes and no. Firstly., it depends on finding a good therapist for you.

Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2019, 03:58:07 PM »
Depends on your area, you might be able to self-refer to a local IAPT service for Therapy but you'd need to be clear in your self-referral that you don't want any correspondence sent to your GP.

Captain Z

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Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2019, 04:08:21 PM »
Tell me about the first time you felt this way about therapy?

Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2019, 04:14:07 PM »
In my experience, yes.

However, I waste my time anyway so it doesn't matter.

Janie Jones

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Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2019, 04:33:25 PM »
NHS therapy tends to be outcome-focused and short term e.g. 6 sessions of CBT. Proper psychotherapy you can only get from a registered psychotherapist - not a psychologist or a counsellor, a proper psychotherapist who studied for years and spent years in therapy themselves. Psychotherapy is not time limited and you might spend years 'in therapy' seeing your psychotherapist once a week, maybe more. I know someone who was seeing her psychotherapist 3 times a week at one point. She says it saved her life. It's very expensive although some psychotherapists will sometimes offer reduced rates for people on low incomes.

Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2019, 05:06:48 PM »
I did four years of group. Colossal waste of time. I got no answers, only reminders of how damaged I am.

Sin Agog

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Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2019, 05:11:01 PM »
Didn't help Tony Soprano much.  He still ended up shot in the back of the head at a diner.  Or did he?

Cloud

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Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2019, 05:14:36 PM »
All I know is everyone in the US seems to go nuts for it, just about everyone I can think of there has sessions

That's been my super valuable input to the thread.  Best of luck

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2019, 05:25:55 PM »
NHS therapy tends to be outcome-focused and short term e.g. 6 sessions of CBT. Proper psychotherapy you can only get from a registered psychotherapist - not a psychologist or a counsellor, a proper psychotherapist who studied for years and spent years in therapy themselves. Psychotherapy is not time limited and you might spend years 'in therapy' seeing your psychotherapist once a week, maybe more. I know someone who was seeing her psychotherapist 3 times a week at one point. She says it saved her life. It's very expensive although some psychotherapists will sometimes offer reduced rates for people on low incomes.

I'm with Janie and wouldn't bother with the NHS, it's a lottery as to if whoever you get will be any good too, I saw a counsellor a few years ago for eight sessions and after two of them she said she was out of her depth and didn't know how to help me (with my issues at the time being about how I was struggling with ongoing pain) and was going to ask her superior for advice, but the following week she was just as bad and so I gave up a couple of weeks later. Back in 2008/9 I did see someone on the NHS who was amazing, and it was a weekly ongoing situation where there was no cut off point, but I don't think they offer that anymore, so going private's probably the way forward. I'm a big fan of therapy in general if you get a decent professional though, it's just a shame that there are a lot of shitty ones out there unfortunately.

Zetetic

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Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2019, 06:10:20 PM »
"Registered psychotherapist" means nothing in the UK. It's not a protected title - anyone can legally call themselves a "registered psychotherapist".

Two major organisations have set themselves up as professional standards bodies for 'psychotherapists':
 - the UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy)
 - the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy)

(They're not the only ones. There's the BPC (… Psychoanalytic …) and BAPCA (soon to be the TPCA) and god-knows-who-else.)

If someone claims to be a 'UKCP-registered' or 'BACP-registered' psychotherapists, at least you know what register they're on and whose standards they met. (Those standards might still be mostly based in half-arsed nonsense, but it's a sign that they've tried to engage with something with a modicum of respectability, deserved or otherwise.)

not a psychologist or a counsellor
Hmm. An awful lot of 'psychotherapists' probably have fairy close backgrounds to 'counselling psychologists' (a protected title, incidentally) - particularly if they're BACP-registered.

('Art psychotherapist' on the other hand is a protected title.)

Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2019, 06:11:15 PM »
In my experience, it's more of a burden than a help, but perhaps I was just really unlucky with my therapists.

By far the worst example of the lot was a youngish psychologist, who loved to brag about his masters degree above all else.

The childhood abuse inflicted by my mother, and other cases of abandonment, are clearly the causes of the issues I have today. He purposefully attempted to redirect any of my efforts to actually talk about this, into "spending too much time with your partner isn't healthy". Talking to my partner at the time was the only thing that made me even remotely happy. I did not need a masters degree in psychology to know that.

And when my boyfriend was invited in to a session with me, the therapist was openly hostile to him. He also seemed to be creepily into me sometimes, which made me question his motives. I still tried to be as open as possible to most suggestions, despite my growing skepticism.

Eventually I just had to humor him by participating in surface-level anxiety-management techniques: like stressballs, role-play and various kinds of "activities" from a list printed out of a Psychology 101 book. I don't think that therapy can really work when your therapist is, to be arrogant but honest, actually much stupider than you.

Later he assigned me, without my knowledge, to a "reintroduction into the working world" programme. This was contradictory to anything I told him. I just got out of a seemingly purposeless, exploitative and torturous day-to-day working life. It was a job with with horrendous conditions and loads of bullying, and I needed time to make myself better. What he did seemed like such a big misstep, that I lost any faith in him, and quit at last.

He also said that since Obama had been elected, the world was going to be alright now and I didn't need to worry. It's funny now to remember how unprofessional and silly the whole ordeal was, but at the time it definitely did more harm than good, that's for sure.

The only time I can imagine therapy being being somewhat helpful is if you just need somebody to listen to you. But maybe hiring an escort and just talking instead would be better in that case - at least you both get something out of it.


Zetetic

  • Burying isn't the same as killing.
Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2019, 06:15:06 PM »
Setting aside whether most of them are essentially shit (or whether there's a more fundamental obstacle to the whole exercise where most pairs of therapist and therapee simply aren't likely to be very well-suited to one another) - be prepared to end up trying someone, getting frustrated or worse, and then trying someone else (particularly if you do attempt to go private - it's harder to do this with NHS-funded care).

Easier said then done, but don't expect the first person to be ideal.

Dr Rock

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Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2019, 06:27:08 PM »
"Registered psychotherapist" means nothing in the UK. It's not a protected title - anyone can legally call themselves a "registered psychotherapist".

Two major organisations have set themselves up as professional standards bodies for 'psychotherapists':
 - the UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy)
 - the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy)

(They're not the only ones. There's the BPC (… Psychoanalytic …) and BAPCA (soon to be the TPCA) and god-knows-who-else.)

Thanks - the one I've got my eyes on is '(BACP) Accredited (MBACP Accred) - aren't they both the same thing then?

This is the site I used to browse

https://www.rscpp.co.uk/

And as well as checking accreditation and type of therapy (as I made the mistake of going to one before that had too much hippy-dippy spirituality in it, can't remember the type of therapy. But she was wearing sandals) I also used the score of how many people returned for more than one visit, because that must count for something, right? The one I like has a score of 90% which is high. I did not choose the one I might fancy most.

As for cost, she charges £60 a session, and I think I could afford one every couple of weeks. I will ask if she does reduced rates for paupers. And if she's rubbish I'll run away without paying.

Zetetic

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Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2019, 06:33:58 PM »
"MBACP - Accred" means they've held membership of the BACP for at least three years and met some other training requirements in that time.

Dr Rock

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Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2019, 06:37:59 PM »
"MBACP - Accred" means they've held membership of the BACP for at least three years and met some other training requirements in that time.

What about this gestalt business? Sounds ok on paper... I plan to ask any therapist about their methods before I hand over any money.

pancreas

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Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2019, 06:45:48 PM »
Let me reiterate my offer of free psychotherapy to anyone who wants it. Caveat is that I will be pretty brutal to you and you will cry.

Zetetic

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Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2019, 06:49:03 PM »
What about this gestalt business? Sounds ok on paper...
My personal view is that there's nothing with much evidence of generalisable and widely-applicable validity, so it's almost not worth worrying about the school/form/model other than the extent to which 1) it winds you up or 2) betrays a disturbing over-investment in (at best) dubious theories on the part of the therapist.

Other perspectives are available, I should add.

I think asking about methods isn't a bad idea, as at least it'll give you some idea of what you think of the person.

(The above sounds like more of a dismissal of therapy than it's meant to be - it's more that I don't think we've got very good at making "learn how to therapise someone good" a reliably-transferable reliable skill. And instead we're mostly stuck on whether the relationship works very well. Looking for some sort of professional investment and registration is still worthwhile because it at least shows that someone's tried to get better.)


QDRPHNC

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Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2019, 06:50:31 PM »
Get yourself an old therapist who's been damaged at least as much as you.

Dr Rock

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Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2019, 06:53:32 PM »
Get yourself an old therapist who's been damaged at least as much as you.

My understanding is they will all be even more damaged than me.

Twit 2

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Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2019, 07:26:00 PM »
Get a wooden therapist.

Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2019, 08:57:43 PM »
"MBACP - Accred" means they've held membership of the BACP for at least three years and met some other training requirements in that time.

450 hours of clinical practice, and essentially demonstrating their knowledge gained through this experience is what gets you accredited.

Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2019, 09:04:08 PM »
Gary Science

Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2019, 10:35:37 PM »
He also said that since Obama had been elected, the world was going to be alright now and I didn't need to worry.

That's just crazy on so many levels. And surely, if he truly believes that, the obvious next step for him is to quit being a psychotherapist? Maybe refund you for that session as well? After all, he's been knowingly wasting your time now that Obama's in charge and everything everywhere is just hunky-dory?

Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2019, 12:14:55 AM »
Hi. Long time lurker here. And believe me, I llluuurrrrkkk.

I'm 50 too and have spend a fortune on therapy over the last 20 years.

The only way it has genuinely helped is that it's made me clearly understand that our entire fucking existence is a joke so you might as well laugh along. You can either forget about your problems or persist in thinking about them. Up to you really. In terms of future plans, choose the path you think will make you happiest. If you suspect you have deeper issues that may be more biological/chemical in nature, get yourself the quacks and get some of those lovely SSRIs. They work a treat.

I don't think theres much more to it TBH. Therapists certainly don't hold the key to anyones happiness IMHO.




Elderly Sumo Prophecy

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Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2019, 09:28:13 AM »
Going nowheeeeeeere

Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2019, 09:41:04 AM »
I started counselling recently - not that I believe it will actually help, just figured its worth a try on the off-chance, and a couple of friends keep telling me I should.

Seems like a bunch of bollocks really. I'm paying (yes, private) to talk about myself for 50 minutes with her occasionally saying "Tell me more about X" or "Why do you think Y?". I'm sure its helpful for specific trauma, but since I'm basically just depressed I have nothing to discuss. Hell, I wouldn't even say I have anxiety or low self-esteem, so its not like I need to talk through negative thoughts.

icehaven

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Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2019, 10:04:45 AM »

And when my boyfriend was invited in to a session with me, the therapist was openly hostile to him. He also seemed to be creepily into me sometimes, which made me question his motives.

That chimes so much with something that happened to a friend of mine and his sort-of girlfriend when we were all about 19/20. She was seeing a (very expensive) therapist who told her she needed to distance herself from her friends, particularly my friend, despite him being nothing but supportive and understanding towards her. The therapist also told her she shouldn't tell her friends or family anything, just confide in him, and apparently if she got upset during the sessions and cried, he'd start crying too.

Obviously no one else knows (or has any right to know) what was really discussed during the sessions, and if she was feeling and/or he was interpreting that everyone in her life was wholly or even partly to blame for her issues then of course that needed to be something that they addressed, but surely telling a young woman to distance herself from her friends, not to talk to people close to her about her thoughts and feelings and save them all for him is just fucking wrong and deeply worrying, isn't it? Not to mention being classic techniques used by manipulative sociopaths to separate and isolate their victims. I'm not familiar enough (at all tbh) with any kinds of therapy to know if the therapist bursting into tears in sympathy with the patient is a standard therapeutic technique either, but something, some inkling, tells me it probably isn't, however I'll gladly stand corrected (and pretty horrified) if it is.

So that kind of tainted my entire notion of therapy, and made me deeply suspicious of the motives of why some therapists choose to do it. Although of course I'm sure there's loads that are great and help their patients immeasurably, the uncertainty of whether you'd get a good one or the kind that should no sooner be let loose on troubled psyches than a cat be left in charge of a fishpond is too much of a crapshoot. And the irony is of course that you'd be far more capable of judging if a therapist was dodgy/creepy/clearly the maddest person in the room when you feel you're fairly strong-minded and not actually in need of something like therapy, but much less so if you're in the kind of vulnerable state of mind that's led you to seek help in the first place.

Janie Jones

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Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2019, 10:38:11 AM »
... and apparently if she got upset during the sessions and cried, he'd start crying too.

Yes this shouldn't happen. Very unprofessional and potentially damaging to the relationship between client and therapist. The therapist's experience and training should kick in and stop this happening even when they hear very sad and emotional stuff. That's what supervision is for, I expect lots of psychotherapists weep like babies in their supervision where they upload and discuss their caseload, but they shouldn't in front of clients.

Equally difficult if you're a psychotherapist I would guess is maintaining the required 'unconditional positive regard' for a client who tells you something about themselves that you could find disgusting and upsetting. Like, they think Ricky Gervais' 'After Life' was a sensitive and hilarious comedy masterpiece.

pancreas

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Re: Is Therapy A Waste Of Time?
« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2019, 11:26:56 AM »
See, this is the reason I'd be good at it. I wouldn't cry at all, no matter how upsetting I was making it for the patient.