seeking individual therapy

This section is for questions relating to therapy, assessment, formulation and other aspects of working with people in mental health services.

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Such_a_lovely_girl
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seeking individual therapy

Post by Such_a_lovely_girl » Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:58 pm

......a question really, just that.

Has anyone here sought out individual therapy whilst working as a qualified practitioner/psychologist or similar. If yes, what was the impact of this on you, your practice? And what made you seek to initiate this process in the first place?

I work in camhs as a camhs practitioner and usually can totally separate what is in my own head with what people come along with. I'm 34.

Recently, a young lady (14) came alone to an appointment with me. She'd opted to go alone to the GP and come alone as she has quite significant rituals linked to ocd and anxiety. I've had to step her up to a psychiatrist for consideration of medication in the meantime. She'd said for a long time about how no one in her family believed her, would tell her to stop 'crying crocodile tears' and how she'd suffered for around 2 years in silence. So much of her story resonated with me as although I'm fine now, I had years of experiencing severe anxiety/rituals that really left its mark as a child. From 16 I went to the adult mental health service and was treated confidentially there for some time. So odd to think of such a double life as a teen, but I had a family where both parents had experienced neglect and had no space to think about caring for other than the most practical needs of a child.

For any of you, has work raised personal issues that you hadn't considered before. if yes what? Did you address them? And how?

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Opentoideas
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Re: seeking individual therapy

Post by Opentoideas » Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:28 am

When I was doing my training as a CP (in another country) we were really encouraged to attend therapy for a few different reasons. One it helped us to get a perspective of what it's like to be on the other side of things - the patient rather than the therapist, two the work we were doing was intense and it was important to have a space for oneself and three if you work with other people it really helps to always be developing your own self-awareness and therapy is a good way of doing that.

I went consistently for about 3 years and I stopped because I relocated. I would definitely recommend therapy as long as you find someone who is a good fit for you and works in a way you find helpful. Otherwise you could always bring thoughts to your supervisor if you feel that the person you are working with is evoking a particular response in you and that this is affecting the way in which you work with them.

I think this work will always raise personal issues in some form or another, sometimes it's really obvious and other times it's more subtle. Every day we come into contact with people that are struggling in on way or another and sometimes their struggles mirror our own or sometimes and we identify with what they are going through. This can be helpful but we have to be careful about our own counter-transference. If you can afford private therapy I say go for it!!

Good luck!

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workingmama
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Re: seeking individual therapy

Post by workingmama » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:14 am

I think the OP is potentially identifying of the client (if I were the client, I'd possible recognise myself in that), and would suggest that the OP consider changing some minor details (quotes, length of issues), or make it clear that this has already been anonymised - the mods may have a different view.

Separate to this, yes, I've accessed personal therapy on 3 separate occasions (6 sessions, x 3), and would recommend it. I went privately due to my innate paranoia and distrustfulness about impact on employment. HTH.
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lingua_franca
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Re: seeking individual therapy

Post by lingua_franca » Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:58 pm

I accessed therapy when the CAMHS ward I work on had a group of older teenage girls with emerging personality disorders (EUPD). I'd been in an abusive relationship with a man who had EUPD, and he had often manipulated me with threats, e.g. telling me over the phone that he was going to kill himself, interrupting me and hanging up when I tried to comfort him ("I forgot you're impossible to talk to"), and then going incommunicado for two days while I went frantic with worry and begged him to talk to me. That relationship really undermined my self-confidence and made me feel very inadequate and guilty. It also exacerbated my tendency to self-blame. He made me feel like everything bad was my fault (which only doubled my shame after I'd got out of the relationship, because I felt I should haven known better than to fall for this).

While I'd worked with other people with EUPD without any issues (it's a fairly common presentation in inpatient settings, and a boundaried therapeutic relationship is much easier to manage than a romantic one!), this group of girls had a particular set of difficulties and behaviours that triggered bad associations for me and made me re-experience that sense of inadequacy and worthlessness. So I sought out some private therapy to tackle this. (I went private because I needed to address it right now and couldn't afford to sit on an NHS list.) I also felt comfortable raising this with my supervisor, so I got support there too.
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Pink
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Re: seeking individual therapy

Post by Pink » Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:17 am

Hey Such a lovely girl,

Have you seen this thread?

viewtopic.php?f=42&t=12442&p=105343&hil ... al#p105150

It offers some reflections from a few of us about the pros and cons of personal therapy. There are other discussions on the site as well about how to find therapy, what to look for in a therapist etc. Personally I think all clinicians should have personal therapy, for many reasons. No-one gets through life completely unwounded, and I do believe as MH profs we have a duty of care to our clients to be as healthy and aware of our own stuff as we can be. Otherwise it gets enacted in all kinds of subtly messy ways. I sat with a colleague yesterday who was complaining about a client that he was 'just not trying, he's so ambivalent', and she rolled her eyes while talking about him. On one hand, it is difficult when you have to assess someone who does not have any hope for change, but this was a multiply traumatised and very vulnerable client, and she did not show any empathy or understanding of his position, she dismissed him instead of formulating what was happening for him. She's going through a tough time herself, but that lack of compassion could have had an impact in the session on how he presented at the assessment, and it will have an impact on the treatment she decides to offer him, or whether he gets any treatment at all. It's a very subtle example of how our own stuff can play out that happens all the time in MH services, and obviously systemic factors are an issue as well.

TL;DR: I think it's awesome you're thinking about personal therapy-go for it.

warm wishes

Pink
Kintsukuroi: 'to repair with gold'. the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.

@Sushipink22

Such_a_lovely_girl
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:49 pm

Re: seeking individual therapy

Post by Such_a_lovely_girl » Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:41 am

just to note it has been anonmised. i have altered the details, quotes age etc. so please be reassured. to identify the client or myself was the first concern and i really deliberated over posting it! But thank you for the reminder about this, and all your helpful posts - much appreciated

i've started some part time modules at uni and am eligible now to access their counselling service. hence me asking the question as i've not been in that position before

Such_a_lovely_girl
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:49 pm

Re: seeking individual therapy

Post by Such_a_lovely_girl » Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:46 am

ps pink - tl dr - i had to wiki it

too long didn't read?

pls give yourself some credit! I'd fully read and think upon anything anyone kindly offered to post!

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