Have you had a bad counselling experience? Watch

sweetheartbreakin
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I've read on here that many people have said they have stopped going to counselling because it wasn't working for them. How were your experiences bad? How long had you been for? I've had 5/6 counselling session and have found them extremely helpful. I know they're not for everyone I am just wondering why...


Many thanks
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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I had a really awful experience at Oxford with their counselling service. (NB. I am not saying the fault is with the counselling service: just with the particular counsellor in question.) The guy I had was a complete idiot. He was highly unhelpful and used psychodynamic therapy techniques on me when the guidelines are explicit that you should NOT use such counselling on psychotic people. Then again, he didn't believe I was psychotic in the first place. He abused the fact that I was in a very vulnerable position and was relying on him to do the right thing by me.

Nearly died because of that ******* :mad:

Thankfully since then, I've had a number of more positive experiences
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malaikah
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It really helped me; and this is considering I'm a natural counsellor myself (i.e. feel easily patronised by people trying to psychoanalyse me hehe)
It really helped me to think about things from another perspective... since then it caused me to do more work on myself. And now, I'm thinking about getting more sessions to help with other issues which haven't quite healed
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username418231
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Before I had counselling, there was a lady at my school (a 'mentor') who I used to talk to about my problems, so not really a counsellor or a teacher as such. She used to be sympathetic towards me and very much condemning what I had been through as it was wrong, but then a few months later she started to justify all the problems I was going through, despite knowing how much of a detrimental effect it had on me. Also she tried to make out as though I 'deserved' to be going through what I was going through and that my problems weren't major (when really they were). She then tried to talk down my ambitions. She went from being nice, to being condescending, undermining, judgemental, rude and patronising, and she wouldn't listen to me. After a while I stopped seeing her.

Also I went to speak to the school nurse, and at times she wouldn't listen to me.

I had counselling in 2010 for a couple of months, and in 2011 for a couple of months. It was absolutely fantastic, and really helped me to put things into perspective and to speak out about everything. It's also great because the counsellors I had were not judgemental and they listened to me, they didn't talk to me like a child at all, but like a strong indiviaual, and were very understanding despite the way I went on about painful and traumatic experiences.

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PharmacyGirl26
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My bad experience with counselling has been with about 6 different people - they just seemed very unhelpful, unsympathetic and like the things I was talking about were making them feel out of their depth, even though they were things that they proclaimed to be able to help with. Others talked to me like I was a little girl of about 6 when I was in my mid 20's - just overall not very useful!!
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cl_steele
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i got ordered to counceling by my house master a few years back got there ... she asks whats bothering me i say nothing i was forced here and im perfectly happy... sat there for the next two hours in awkward silence with occasional small talk ... waste of time -_-
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daisydaffodil
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Yep.

Saw a lady at my surgery; she asked why I had been referred and then shrugged and said there was nothing she could do; had I tried Paul McKenna CDs?

Saw a trainee pyschotherapist who specialised in the treatment of anorexia, he was more interested in what I ate every day than why I was anxious. He said his goal was to get me upset, panicky and hysterical, and then sit and watch me try to calm myself down..

Saw a pyschiatrist who told me anxiety was ruining my life and that I needed to stop worrying and behave normally.

However - I used to see my school nurse once a fortnight for counselling and she was brilliant; she left midway through my sixth year and both us were in floods of tears. Still miss her
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sweetheartbreakin
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I can't believe what bad experiences people have had. My counsellor was very understanding, always listened to me and took everything at my pace. I think she's about 60 so that may have been a factor. I've spent the last 2 sessions crying for 50 minutes straight but I enjoyed the freedom she gave me to explore my own emotions.
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chicken15642
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I had a session with a lady, she seemed to busy watching the clock. She also assumed things about me, which really annoyed me. I mentioned something and she pounced on it and said that was the route of my problems. Never going back again.
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Anonymous #1
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i got on with my counsellor at school, until one day my mentor (who was the assistant head of the school) came up to me and had ago at me about something which id only told my counsellor, noone else, so we had a bit of a slanging match, and i refused to go see her again, i kept getting notes through the register giving me appointments and what not, and then my mentor came back up to me again in the middle of the corridor and had ago at me for not going, and that i needed to keep seeing the counsellor, so i threw the glove down and pretty much just shouted out that she only wanted me to go so she could find out gossip about me as i told her nothing...
anyway, i went to my deputy year head who i got on well with (who after this became my mentor then) and he took me to the counsellor and we sat down and she promised infront of me and my DYH that she wouldnt tell anyone anything unless she was concerned, so i started going back to her and had no issues after that, all together i saw her for about 5 years, but in the last 2 i only saw her a couple of times, it started off once a week, then gradually got less and less.

but id have never gone and seen the other counsellor in our school as she often told teachers alot of stuff about the kids that went and saw her, which i didnt want my stuff made public knowledge unless i wanted to tell that specific teacher!
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animalnitrate
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I just didn't really get on with my therapist. I always felt she was either judging me or telling me off.
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username418231
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(Original post by PharmacyGirl26)
My bad experience with counselling has been with about 6 different people - they just seemed very unhelpful, unsympathetic and like the things I was talking about were making them feel out of their depth, even though they were things that they proclaimed to be able to help with. Others talked to me like I was a little girl of about 6 when I was in my mid 20's - just overall not very useful!!
I had this problem as well, not with a counsellor, but with a mentor at my school. I even felt as though she was telling me off and blaming me for my problems, which were not my fault.
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username418231
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(Original post by daisydaffodil)
Saw a trainee pyschotherapist who specialised in the treatment of anorexia, he was more interested in what I ate every day than why I was anxious. He said his goal was to get me upset, panicky and hysterical, and then sit and watch me try to calm myself down..
WTF? :confused:
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username418231
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(Original post by sweetheartbreakin)
I can't believe what bad experiences people have had. My counsellor was very understanding, always listened to me and took everything at my pace. I think she's about 60 so that may have been a factor. I've spent the last 2 sessions crying for 50 minutes straight but I enjoyed the freedom she gave me to explore my own emotions.
Same here :five:

Just fantastic! It was just so good to let all my feelings out....she took everything at my own pace as well unlike the mentor lady at my school who seemed to want to rush things and got really frustrated.

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username418231
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(Original post by chicken15642)
I had a session with a lady, she seemed to busy watching the clock. She also assumed things about me, which really annoyed me. I mentioned something and she pounced on it and said that was the route of my problems. Never going back again.
I also had that problem with the mentor (see my previous posts) and the school nurse at my school. I really don't like it when people do that, it annoys me immensely. :mad: I also found that when they would do this they would cut me off and dismiss things I was saying. When I had counselling for the second time last year, my counsellor used to 'unpick' my emotions and feelings from what I had said and he was always right and never assuming. He was just so understanding and fully understood what I was saying and never pounced on anything I said.
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PharmacyGirl26
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Its amazing how when you speak to people about it, they have had the same sort of experiences as you - although it's horrible for them as well, there is a bit of relief knowing that you are not the only one. I have seen about 6 different people over the last few years and have still not found anyone that I can trust or that "gets me" so I am still looking. The major worry though is that people think that I am being awkward and it's all in my head, but hopefully there is someone out there that I can trust and might help me through.
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daisydaffodil
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(Original post by Dee Leigh)
WTF? :confused:
That was my reaction too.

It was apparently what he called exposure therapy, where they expose you to what upsets you the most and try to get you to bring yourself out of it. For example I commented in one session that I didn't like lying flat because that meant people had control over me - e.g. at the dentist, when getting eyebrows waxed etc. He pointed to the chair opposite me which was a recliner, got me to sit in it and then reclined it until I was lying flat on my back. Any attempt to move whilst in this position was seen as an obvious sign of anxiety, and he asked me to completely relax otherwise I'd never get better.

It never helped as I simply got more and more worked up each session, I'd walk in panicking and walk out in floods of tears. It was once a week and took up four hours each week, travelling and then appts that lasted up to two hours.

He'd never worked with anxiety before, he told me a lot of my issues were too deep set for him to deal with, he insisted he could only sort my anxiety on a Monday to Friday 9-5 basis. His interest was in me being able to function enough to get out of bed and go to uni but he couldn't care about anything else. If I tried to mention anything else, he'd cut me off.

It just seemed utterly pointless, and my mum was worrying so she phoned the hospital and said she didn't want me to go through the therapy if it was only going to make things worse. This coincided with me missing two or three weeks over Christmas I think, and my GP writing him a letter saying I wasn't coping; the therapist then wrote to me saying I obviously didn't have the commitment needed to change myself and that he was discharging me - which was a relief to be honest, a week after that I was put on medication which made a huge difference.

Has had a long term effect though, GP has recently refered me back to the same hospital for pyschology and to put it mildly, am terrified. Hopefully it'll go better though.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by daisydaffodil)
Has had a long term effect though, GP has recently refered me back to the same hospital for pyschology and to put it mildly, am terrified. Hopefully it'll go better though.
Hopefully this time round it will be different. When you get a good psychologist, it really is worth putting yourself out there :jumphug:
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username418231
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(Original post by daisydaffodil)
Has had a long term effect though, GP has recently refered me back to the same hospital for pyschology and to put it mildly, am terrified. Hopefully it'll go better though.
:console: Good luck
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username418231
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(Original post by PharmacyGirl26)
Its amazing how when you speak to people about it, they have had the same sort of experiences as you - although it's horrible for them as well, there is a bit of relief knowing that you are not the only one. I have seen about 6 different people over the last few years and have still not found anyone that I can trust or that "gets me" so I am still looking. The major worry though is that people think that I am being awkward and it's all in my head, but hopefully there is someone out there that I can trust and might help me through.
Where do you live?

How did you end up seeig the therapists? Was it through school or the GP?

And yes, it's good to know you are not the only one
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