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  1. #1
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    asking to see a therapist for the first time

    I've decided after 20 years of trying to deal with my anxieties and low moods, to go to my dr's and ask for councilling, I'm nervous though. What if they only want to give me med's instead, I dont want them but I know my nerves will probably get the better of me. What are other peoples experience of asking for this? I'm not sure whether to ask to see a councillor or ask for cbt.

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    Fizzy Doom's Avatar
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    They are MORE Then happy to refer you to a therapist/ councilor. Once you get to that step you can talk to them about possible referral to a CBT specialist.

    Most of the time doctors will offer a referral on there own before meds.

  3. #3
    takethebiscuit's Avatar
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    Quote claire74 View Post
    I've decided after 20 years of trying to deal with my anxieties and low moods, to go to my dr's and ask for councilling, I'm nervous though. What if they only want to give me med's instead, I dont want them but I know my nerves will probably get the better of me. What are other peoples experience of asking for this? I'm not sure whether to ask to see a councillor or ask for cbt.
    Your doctor will most likely honour your request to be referred to a therapist/counselor. There could be a waiting list (in the UK) which could mean you might have to wait a while to get an appointment. This does not always happen but is a possibility.

    CBT is very much about "change work". That means: it's designed to help you change something in your life. To help you go from where you are now to where you want to be. It requires your active engagement and often includes homework assignments. Some people get a lot of benefit from CBT whilst others do not and CBT is not a cure for anything. It is simply something that helps a lot of people and is backed up by scientific research.

    Most therapists will have training in more than just CBT and if CBT does not work for you then your therapist and you can try a different approach.

    A counselor is usually not so much about "change work" or making changes in your life. Many counselors work in many different ways and I am only going on my personal experiences here but counseling tends to be more about listening, understanding and helping you cope. Of course, a therapist does that too and there can be many areas where a therapist/counselor overlap in what they do.

    But on the whole: if you're fed up of how things are, have had enough and want to change some things, see a therapist.

    If you're really not sure what you want but would like to begin the healing process, see a counselor.

    Now, I am in no way disparaging the hugely important work counselors do. I admire counselors very much and many of them are more experienced than many therapists I know. I'm simply offering advice from my personal perspective. You are free to make up your own mind and you know best what's going on for you and what you need.

    I'm a qualified therapist who mainly works in private practice. If you encounter any problems finding a therapist or there's a long waiting list or whatever, drop me a PM on this forum and I'll be happy to help in any way I can. Members of this forum who decide to work with me as private clients get a discount on fees. Contacting me for advice does not mean you're under any obligation to become a private, paying client. Members of this forum are free to PM for advice on mental health matters.

  4. #4
    Otherside's Avatar
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    I'm in the system now. You're doctor probably will refer you to a therapist, probably Healthy Minds if this is the first time. Healthy Minds other CBT and Councilling, usually in a doctors surgery/some sort of clinic. I've never seen them because without going into it to much, my entry into the mental health system was kinda complex.

    Since you've had it for 20 years though, your doc may refer you to Psychology. That's the group I'm waiting to see, I've had the assement and they've recommended CBT (Which has a four month waiting list =/ ). From what I've learnt about Psychology though, you're there for a long time.

    There's another group you may get referred to, CMHT (Communtiy Mental Health Team). I'd be surprised if they refer you to them immeadiatley, but it's a possibilty, you're doctor may want you to be assesed for something or the other, I don't know really..

    If your doctor doesn't help you (and I doubt she wouldn't really) then there's these guys you can get help from. They cost, but they're gonna turn you down if you don't pay, and the cost is negotiable (Although I think it's about £15 or so?). I have a lot of respect for MIND, they got me through a pretty tough time last year and up until a week or so ago when I finsihed with them. The councillor I had actually listened, and I've seen nothing but phrase for them anywhere. They're a charity, and they'll provide an ear to anyone who needs to, and they'll listen. Here:

    http://www.mind.org.uk

    The website is kinda not so great finding the info you need, but it's up there somewhere. They do do it, you may have to contact you're "local MIND" as they call it (Name amuses me, they're a good service, but somehow "Local MIND" amuses me still) and see what they'll do, but they'll do, and they'll listen and help if it feels as if no-one else will.

  5. #5
    takethebiscuit's Avatar
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    Quote Otherside View Post
    I'm in the system now. You're doctor probably will refer you to a therapist, probably Healthy Minds if this is the first time. Healthy Minds other CBT and Councilling, usually in a doctors surgery/some sort of clinic. I've never seen them because without going into it to much, my entry into the mental health system was kinda complex.

    Since you've had it for 20 years though, your doc may refer you to Psychology. That's the group I'm waiting to see, I've had the assement and they've recommended CBT (Which has a four month waiting list =/ ). From what I've learnt about Psychology though, you're there for a long time.

    There's another group you may get referred to, CMHT (Communtiy Mental Health Team). I'd be surprised if they refer you to them immeadiatley, but it's a possibilty, you're doctor may want you to be assesed for something or the other, I don't know really..

    If your doctor doesn't help you (and I doubt she wouldn't really) then there's these guys you can get help from. They cost, but they're gonna turn you down if you don't pay, and the cost is negotiable (Although I think it's about £15 or so?). I have a lot of respect for MIND, they got me through a pretty tough time last year and up until a week or so ago when I finsihed with them. The councillor I had actually listened, and I've seen nothing but phrase for them anywhere. They're a charity, and they'll provide an ear to anyone who needs to, and they'll listen. Here:

    http://www.mind.org.uk

    The website is kinda not so great finding the info you need, but it's up there somewhere. They do do it, you may have to contact you're "local MIND" as they call it (Name amuses me, they're a good service, but somehow "Local MIND" amuses me still) and see what they'll do, but they'll do, and they'll listen and help if it feels as if no-one else will.
    Yep, second what's said here.

    Four month waiting list for the CBT? Blooming heck.

    Mind is indeed a good port of call. Thank you for providing this information for the benefit of other users here. It's good to hear from someone who is "in the system".

  6. #6
    Otherside's Avatar
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    Okay, I can't type. I meant to say MIND won't turn you down if you can't pay. As I said, they're a charity, and they're pretty good. I haven't heard of them turning anyone down, really.

    Oh, and I forgot to say, you can self refer. If you google healthy minds, it should come up with your local group. I can't give you a link since I don't know where your from and it's coming up local site when I google it (Which might not be of any use to you). But google it, you'll get the site. There should be some form on there that you can download, fill out and send of to them.

    And I'm sure that this is obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people aren't honest at the assements, so yeah, be honest. That way, it'll help them decide what kinda help you need. And if you're having a problem with a therapist/councillor for whatever reason, be honest about that. Again, you'd be surprised how many people aren't or discharge themselves because they have a problem with a therapist, and end up back in the system later.

    I may be giving you information overload here, but if you want anymore info, feel free to PM me . (Or if anyone does, for that matter)

    Quote takethebiscuit View Post
    Yep, second what's said here.

    Four month waiting list for the CBT? Blooming heck.

    Mind is indeed a good port of call. Thank you for providing this information for the benefit of other users here. It's good to hear from someone who is "in the system".
    Yeah, four months, but that just might be my area, I don't know. I think the waiting lists have all gotten longer lately with the increasing number of people suffering from depression due to current recession/unemployment situation.

  7. #7
    takethebiscuit's Avatar
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    Quote Otherside View Post
    Okay, I can't type. I meant to say MIND won't turn you down if you can't pay. As I said, they're a charity, and they're pretty good. I haven't heard of them turning anyone down, really.

    Oh, and I forgot to say, you can self refer. If you google healthy minds, it should come up with your local group. I can't give you a link since I don't know where your from and it's coming up local site when I google it (Which might not be of any use to you). But google it, you'll get the site. There should be some form on there that you can download, fill out and send of to them.

    And I'm sure that this is obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people aren't honest at the assements, so yeah, be honest. That way, it'll help them decide what kinda help you need. And if you're having a problem with a therapist/councillor for whatever reason, be honest about that. Again, you'd be surprised how many people aren't or discharge themselves because they have a problem with a therapist, and end up back in the system later.

    I may be giving you information overload here, but if you want anymore info, feel free to PM me . (Or if anyone does, for that matter)



    Yeah, four months, but that just might be my area, I don't know. I think the waiting lists have all gotten longer lately with the increasing number of people suffering from depression due to current recession/unemployment situation.
    It's certainly not in all areas but long waiting lists are becoming more of a problem. It's something therapists and other professionals are doing our best to sort out. But you're right, these uncertain times of ours are contributing to more people experiencing more mental health problems.

    I also second you comment about people being honest at their assessment. Please do be as honest with doctors/therapists/counselors etc as you can. We understand fully that even seeking help is a big step that took a huge amount of courage. We get that. We're human too. We're not there to judge you. We're there to help you and we need to know what's going on with you in order to get you the help you need. Trusting and being vulnerable is hard. We know that too. But we're there to believe in you and your strength until you can believe in it too. Until you can believe in yourself. Be honest with us.

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    thanks both for your replies and advice, I've decided to put in on hold for a couple of weeks then I'll ask my gp, got alot on at the moment and cant face it.

  9. #9
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    I live in America, I have been to about 10 counselors since I was in 5th grade...so over the duration of my life time. I find that most therapists don't really understand the patient's full problems. Therapy frustrates me. The last two therapists I have seen pretty much said to me that they don't know how to help me. Typically they are all drug pushers....only one therapist told me that she didn't want to push meds on me. OR actually there maybe have been 2. But most of them jump into the anti-depressant thing after 10-15 minutes. They are so readily and easily prescribed. It's really up to you. Seems to me like it's harder to get anxiety meds. As far as the CBT.....one strange therapist tried to do it to me and I got tired of her. Part of my personal frustration is that I don't have the ability to pay a good counselor for an extended amount of time. Often I leave a counselor's office and I feel confused...............for some people maybe it helps them.................for me, I have seen a lot of counselors and my life hasn't improved at all....my life has sort of followed a bad path that feels like I Am just a long for the ride....that my life is happening and I don't control it. Nope I have asked counselors for help and talking just isn't enough.

  10. #10
    takethebiscuit's Avatar
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    Quote Misssy View Post
    I live in America, I have been to about 10 counselors since I was in 5th grade...so over the duration of my life time. I find that most therapists don't really understand the patient's full problems. Therapy frustrates me. The last two therapists I have seen pretty much said to me that they don't know how to help me. Typically they are all drug pushers....only one therapist told me that she didn't want to push meds on me. OR actually there maybe have been 2. But most of them jump into the anti-depressant thing after 10-15 minutes. They are so readily and easily prescribed. It's really up to you. Seems to me like it's harder to get anxiety meds. As far as the CBT.....one strange therapist tried to do it to me and I got tired of her. Part of my personal frustration is that I don't have the ability to pay a good counselor for an extended amount of time. Often I leave a counselor's office and I feel confused...............for some people maybe it helps them.................for me, I have seen a lot of counselors and my life hasn't improved at all....my life has sort of followed a bad path that feels like I Am just a long for the ride....that my life is happening and I don't control it. Nope I have asked counselors for help and talking just isn't enough.
    Thank you for sharing that. It really helps therapists to hear feedback from people who have experienced therapy/counseling.

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