If I had shared my persevering thoughts of annihilation more fully, or perhaps if she had asked different questions, I might have felt heard. In fact, I walked out of his office and never returned.
Augenthaler says, “You should feel comfortable and you should feel heard, and if you ever get the feeling, ‘You don’t understand me’, this is not the right therapist for you.”
Anne Nayor, a licensed clinical social worker in St. Thomas, put it best: “Therapists are not gods, they are just people and they make mistakes.”
I stayed away from therapy for 10 years, until my 24-year-old marriage was threatened by my husband’s betrayal. He promised the case was over, but then refused to discuss or acknowledge it, and I couldn’t move forward without talking about it. The licensed counselor I found through my brother advised me to make my home a more relaxing place for my husband, and when he was more comfortable he would be more open to talking about it. ‘case.
This advice seemed wrong to me, but I didn’t know how to contradict the person with education and training. Instead, I lit the suggested gas lamps and stayed in my marriage while my husband happily continued his affair.
Janice Seward, Doctor of Clinical Psychology, said: “Therapy has an inherent power differential, and we’re much more likely to let go of things like our gut when we’re in a relationship where someone perceives power. . It’s important to continue to trust your instincts even if someone has a doctorate after their name. If you have a feeling that something is wrong, something probably is wrong. “
After a year of putting my husband at ease, my marriage finally collapsed. This time I found the right analyst, thanks to the recommendation of a friend.
John Gyra, a clinical psychologist, helped me unravel the truth about my marriage and heal. I also found out why my previous therapists had been so unhelpful to me – I needed someone with the training and education to recognize emotional abuse in my marriage. With his help and guidance, I gained the strength I needed to stand firm during my three-year settlement negotiations. He made me feel the anger that I was suppressing under my feelings of victimization and learn to work with those powerful feelings. He helped me find the words to have conversations with my children about their father.
Finally, I felt seen and heard. Seward agrees with the other professionals I interviewed. “There has been research into what is truly therapeutic and healing, and that is the relationship between therapist and client.”
She advises you to seek help sooner than to wait for a crisis to strike. Be aware that what you are feeling may be normal, given the stressors of this time, but it may also be outside of the limits of what you can cope with on your own.
Seward also says, “Thirty years ago there were three flavors of therapy; now there are five hundred.” If you are working with someone who is licensed or registered, there will be a licensing board, the main purpose of which is to keep customers safe. It also sets a minimum standard that a therapist must meet.
There are also many “on demand” online providers such as BetterHelp, TalkSpace, and if you are in Canada, Online-Therapy.com. There has been a paradigm shift since I last saw Dr. Gyra, almost 15 years ago. This has made help much more accessible and affordable.
Ask your doctor, friends and family for recommendations. If you are an employee, contact your HR or employee assistance department. Don’t hesitate to talk to several therapists until you find one that you feel comfortable with. Most will offer a first 10 or 15 minute phone conversation free of charge. Browse therapist websites, read their bio, and look at their photos to see if any of them resonate with you or specialize in the issues you think you are having.