Are these insecurities I have with my psych normal?
i’m needing some advice about my psychologist/what to do (i’m so, so sorry this is long).
i’ve had depression my whole life and more recently social anxiety. I'm 24, have seen a few psychs, one quite long term but never really felt any progress and wasn't fully comfortable talking to her so stopped seeing her. then i stopped seeing anyone and was fine until i became really low. i started seeing a new psych who is totally different (i felt really guilty about switching because i'm so self conscious about cutting people out-I’ve had some fairly bad friendships and a lot of insecurities w friends). at first w the new psych it was abit unnatural because we're so different (i’m introverted, really struggle with low self esteem, she’s quite extroverted) but i think I was feeling better than I'd felt before (mostly day after the appt). i’ve been seeing her a few months and it’s been good, i’ve opened up about alot which i generally find really difficult and she gives me things to read/do btw appts which i like and hadn't had.
i don’t know how how much she understands how i’m going. she often reacts like she is confused by what im saying happens in my mind and i dont know if that is purposeful to make me realise how silly they are or if she just doesnt realise how confused/slightly judgemental (?) her reactions seem to me. once i was abit open about a time her reaction made me feel uncomfortable/judged, which she seemed to appreciate.
so i’m basically trying to figure out how much of this discomfort is a bit normal, from sharing my biggest insecurity esp considering my huge issues w trust, and how much (if any) is that she didn’t react in a very supprtive/helpful way?
I don’t know when I should be concerned about how often i am going away from appts feeling judged/slightly worse than when i went into the appt? I get really scared that I just have way too much insecurity to talk to a psychologist without hating myself in or after appointments, so who on earth am I ever going to trust/how am I ever going to improve my messed up mind?
(That name is stupidly fun to say, just by the way!)
Thank you for finding the courage to talk about such an important topic!
In the counselling fraternity, we call the relationship between the therapist and the client the 'Therapeutic Alliance' - and it is REALLY important! A lot of the work in therapy is done in that sense of connection, and it really cannot be faked, nor can it be undervalued.
It can be helpful sometimes to have a bit of a journal session by yourself to feel out what you would like to feel and experience in therapy, and in that alliance connection with your therapist - kind of like in many other relationships in life, we sometimes feel like we will just 'know it when we find it'; but that can be a bit hit and miss, and leave us feeling very disillusioned with the idea of connection at all. You are allowed to have goals and aims for therapy, and you are allowed to be clear with yourself on what would make therapy feel safe and worthwhile!
Beyond that, Javalava - it is kind of a self-trust exercise. No matter how good the therapist, they can only help with what you are comfortable letting out into the space. The things you can find the courage to tell the story of - especially the story of how they impact you, whether that impact be hurt, fear, confusion, hope, love, or wonder. Like every connection - it takes both people in the room. So, you really do have to find that therapist you feel like you hope with.
It is a long journey, we don't blame you at all for feeling a bit unhappy or lost in parts. We do wish to cheer you on and make sure you never give up on yourself lightly! So please keep chatting here - reaching out to our community, and if you ever need something more direct, please call out to us - 1300 22 4636. You can also click here to start up a webchat!
Don't give up yet, Java - and thank you so much for being here with us!
Hello javalava13, when we visit a new psych, it's not by kisses and hugging, we're suffering from a MI and want this person to help us through this awful period, so we have to accept them as they are, sometimes it works out and sometimes we feel as though we won't be able to connect with them and when this does happen, there is no point in containing the counselling, we need to find another person.
We have to appreciate that our mind is racing at a hundred miles an hour, so much to say but in so little time,, so yes it may be confusing for the psych but it's their job to unravel it all and piece it all together, that's their job.
It's not possible that after each session we come out feeling better, there may be points that they have suddenly discovered that we were unaware of, so we need to mellow over, and even if we can out feeling much better, we still have to face the world ourselves,with or without any protection.
MI confuses us with so many different aspects in life which can easily change from day to day, it's like we're on a merry go round and hop on it when we see our psych, not knowing what's going to happen, but that's treatment and if you see your psych when you are feeling awful, sometimes that's much better than when you are feeling good, because there are issues that need to be talked about.
Thank you for sharing your experience.
You shouldn't be leaving appointments feeling judged or so insecure during sessions that you don't feel comfortable opening up. This is not an issue with you, it may just be that you and your current psychologist are not a good fit. Finding the right psychologist can be a long process, I saw 3 different people before I found the right one. You shouldn't feel guilty about seeing someone new, your psychologist will understand that it's not personal.
However, it could be helpful to mention to your therapist what aspects of her therapy style you don't enjoy. Perhaps discuss that you have felt uncomfortable by some of her reactions and ways in which she could help you feel more supported in sharing rather than judged. Maybe she hasn't even realised how her reactions have been affecting you. With one of my previous therapists, we were focusing on CBT and I was finding it to not be very helpful so I mentioned this to her and she was open to trying a different type of treatment. Therapy should be a collaborative process and if even after this discussion, your differences can't be reconciled, it may be time to search for someone new.
Wishing the best,