Have you had a bad counselling experience? Watch

plimsolls
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#61
Report 7 years ago
#61
(Original post by hollysarah)
Might as well of just been speaking to a brick wall, she just sat there staring at me as I spilled my guts out to her.. no emotion at all, more worried about filling in the smiley face sheets :/ lol my guidance teacher was 100 times more useful
This is what happened when i went to the uni for counselling. I wonder what kind of person this helps? I mean, I can talk to myself at home by myself, it's not necessary to have another person in the room supervising. I felt like it was just an exercise in how much of this time can i fill with the sound of my own voice. Completely pointless.

I have had other run ins with mental health people. None of them have been positive. Tbh they just make me angry, so i've vowed never to deal with them again.
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~ Purple Rose ~
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#62
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#62
I have seen several counsellors in the past, two long-term. I'm not going to go into details but one was particularly bad, basically using emotional blackmail to get me to do what she wanted, telling she didn't want to hear about certain things etc.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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#63
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#63
(Original post by ~ Purple Rose ~)
I have seen several counsellors in the past, two long-term. I'm not going to go into details but one was particularly bad, basically using emotional blackmail to get me to do what she wanted, telling she didn't want to hear about certain things etc.
Hope you reported that *****. No one messes my wifey around :mob:
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~ Purple Rose ~
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#64
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#64
(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Hope you reported that *****. No one messes my wifey around :mob:
:love:

If I'd known then what I do now about BACP ethics, I would have reported her, but I didn't :no: If nothing else it has given me plenty to reflect on in my counselling essays :teehee:
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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#65
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#65
(Original post by ~ Purple Rose ~)
:love:

If I'd known then what I do now about BACP ethics, I would have reported her, but I didn't :no: If nothing else it has given me plenty to reflect on in my counselling essays :teehee:
I do like to think that such experiences have a way of being positively used :yep: :hugs: :yep:
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username418231
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#66
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#66
(Original post by ~ Purple Rose ~)
I have seen several counsellors in the past, two long-term. I'm not going to go into details but one was particularly bad, basically using emotional blackmail to get me to do what she wanted, telling she didn't want to hear about certain things etc.
Oh my goodness... :O
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squirrel_birdie
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#67
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#67
I had many counselling sessions in the past. From my reflections, they were not very useful:

The counsellors never really truly understood me and I don't think that they ever attempted to do so. So you can't have a meaningful in-depth conversation about you which is what some people most need in order to try and figure out themselves.

It seems that counsellors are hoping that through your interaction, you will reach 'the truth' Eureka! But this doesn't work, particularly when you feel that your issues are very complex and you need to unravel them with someone who has a lot of life experience, someone who has gone through similar problems such as you but none of my counsellors have gone through what I've gone through so needless to say, they were out of their depth.

A dangerous aspect of counselling is that counsellors can steer you in the wrong direction towards beliefs that are considered to be the norm. For example, when I talked about trying to find some in-depth answers, some common replies would be 'Perhaps there aren't any answers' and 'don't over-analyse' and 'keep it simple': these replies would make me profusely angry. If I stopped searching for answers then I would lose my individuality, my sense of self and life could become very depressing and bland. I think that thinking outside the box is very important; it can help so many people! With perseverance, I have recognised that I am better of searching for the answers myself through reading and interacting with like minded individuals rather than spill my beans to someone who doesn't understand and worse someone who tries to make you 'normal' and 'functional'.

Counsellors aren't supposed to share their point of view with the exception of some bite size replies like the one's I've mentioned above. Then what's the point?

Counsellors aren't your friend. They are 'professionals' following many protocols that are supposedly designed to ensure that patients are treated fairly and with respect. I think that the positive aspect is that counsellors are not allowed to over step and patronise you and lecture you etc. The negative is that if these people don't have some of those skills such as empathy and good communication skills in the first place, then you can't inject these values into them by way of training, because sometimes they will hold on to their prejudices anyway. What they really need is life experience, rather than go by the textbook. The end result is that sometimes when they lock their emotions in, they may become agitated or even lose their temper. Imagine what it would be like if you can't ever express yourself and you sit inside the same room every day 5 days a week and you are merely listening to other people talk all the time!

Also, the fact that counsellors aren't your friends mean that you can't ever build a meaningful friendship with them so in effect you are talking to someone who will forget all about you and your problems and they won't even say hello when you pass each other in the street. What is the benefit of that?
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~ Purple Rose ~
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#68
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#68
(Original post by squirrel_birdie)

Also, the fact that counsellors aren't your friends mean that you can't ever build a meaningful friendship with them so in effect you are talking to someone who will forget all about you and your problems and they won't even say hello when you pass each other in the street. What is the benefit of that?
Counsellors aren't supposed to give you answers, they are supposed to give you the time and space you need to find your own.

Regarding the bit above, as someone who had counselling for several years and someone who will qualify as a counsellor in the near future, this is not the case. Counsellors aren't supposed to be your friend, they are supposed to facilitate a therapeutic relationship and listen to you. Not every meaningful relationship is a friendship, and counselling wouldn't work if it was a friendship.

Also, counsellors do care about their clients or they wouldn't do it, you won't necessarily be forgotten, or ignored on the street. If you are, it is likely due to confidentiality i.e. if you are with someone who knows the counsellor, but doesn't know you see them, it would be a breach of confidentiality if they spoke to you/acknowledged you. Some counsellors put it in the contract at the start that they won't say hello unless you initiate it, for that reason.
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username418231
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#69
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#69
(Original post by squirrel_birdie)
The counsellors never really truly understood me and I don't think that they ever attempted to do so. So you can't have a meaningful in-depth conversation about you which is what some people most need in order to try and figure out themselves.

It seems that counsellors are hoping that through your interaction, you will reach 'the truth' Eureka! But this doesn't work, particularly when you feel that your issues are very complex and you need to unravel them with someone who has a lot of life experience, someone who has gone through similar problems such as you but none of my counsellors have gone through what I've gone through so needless to say, they were out of their depth.

Counsellors aren't your friend. They are 'professionals' following many protocols that are supposedly designed to ensure that patients are treated fairly.

Also, the fact that counsellors aren't your friends mean that you can't ever build a meaningful friendship with them so in effect you are talking to someone who will forget all about you and your problems and they won't even say hello when you pass each other in the street. What is the benefit of that?
Counsellors are not supposed to have some sort of personal relationship. I'd rather not have a personal relationship with a counsellor or a therapist because I'd want them to remain impartial and professional. One problem I had with my ex-mentor is that I felt as though she felt entitled to tell me what to do, treat me like a child just because she's lived much longer than me, and 'parent' or 'teach' me. I didn't want to get overly personal, I just wanted someone to talk to who could understand me.

Life experience is good as it means they can relate, but I've found in my case with my ex-mentor that is could lead to snobbery and a condescending complex, as my ex-mentor felt that because she lived longer than me she could act as though she knew better than me about my own situation and how to handle it.

Also it can be a breach of confidentiality if they acknowledge you elsewhere. It's not very likely, but if I saw either of my councellors, I doubt we would acknowledge each other in order to remain confidential (especially if I was with someone).
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Anonymous #7
#70
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#70
I've definitely had bad experiences with counselling.
In fact I don't even go any more because the past times I've been it made my mental health extremely worse.
I was hospitalised in 2009 for my suicide attempt and it wasn't until 6 months later I was given a session at CAMHS. I hated it, the woman was so patronizing and she made me feel worse, she made me feel hopeless and like I was a two year old.
I refused to see her after that and was then refered to a psychiatrist and she was even more patronizing, plus she didn't seem to have a clue what she was doing and barely spoke English.
It was STUPID.
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Noodlzzz
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#71
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#71
Reading this thread I guess I've been rather lucky! Apart from one of them asking the most random questions (how are your periods? Are you a virgin?) I've only ever had positive or neutral experiences.

But I just want to say to those who have had bad experiences, they are not all going to be like that, in fact, I would hazard a guess that the majority are positive. Please don't give up looking for help, when it's done properly, it really does help!
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username418231
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#72
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#72
*bump*
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Anonymous #8
#73
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#73
:yep: when I was 14/15 I saw a counsellor at camhs who didn't do nothing when I told her my dad physically abused me and that the reason I was sexually assaulted by girls in my school was because I was a lesbian :confused:

However the psychiatrist I am seeing now is so much better but it took me years to ask for help again.
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madders94
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#74
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#74
I was struggling with anxiety, couldn't be alone in a room with one or two people because I needed crowds to feel comfortable, I felt really uncomfortable during this one counselling session at school and went to the toilet and didn't go back, I ended up finding my friends and keeping them around me, when she finally came to find me and made me go back to the room I cried like mad and begged not to go, she then contacted CAMHS and told them I was fine and didn't need treatment.
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username418231
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#75
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#75
(Original post by Anonymous)
:yep: when I was 14/15 I saw a counsellor at camhs who didn't do nothing when I told her my dad physically abused me and that the reason I was sexually assaulted by girls in my school was because I was a lesbian :confused:

However the psychiatrist I am seeing now is so much better but it took me years to ask for help again.
:console:

Sometimes it's hard when you have plucked up the courage, only to be shut down again. Sometimes I would keep things to myself because I felt like a Debbie Downer because I was talking a lot about my problems.
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Zosie
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#76
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#76
My university can only offer counselling for a few weeks a term, so because they thought I could benefit from long term counselling they referred me to a private (but not expensive) service nearby.

I went for an initial appointment, that I had to pay for. After half the time, the counsellor said she didn't think I'd benefit from counselling, as there didn't seem to be a traumatic event in my life that had started my depression/anxiety (despite the fact the previous sessions I'd at at uni had been really helpful.)

I left feeling worse than ever, and it took seven months and a massive breakdown to make myself go back. Even now, it makes it very difficult for me to open up to my new counsellor because I worry they're thinking I don't need it too.
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d2bw
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#77
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#77
I had to go talk to some person at school - a guidance teacher or something? - because I refused to go on one of the trips in Year 7... at first, I only really went because I felt sorry of her but I eventually became desperate and actually tried to get her to help me...

It ended with me crying my eyes out in one of the leadership team's rooms and steadfastly refusing to ever talk to someone like her again
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King Kebab
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#78
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#78
No. All of my counseling experiences have been worthwhile. I can say with confidence that I would not be alive just now if it were not for the counseling I received. Many of them truly are a credit to their profession and they should be held in higher regard by society in general.
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Anonymous #9
#79
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#79
I had a counsellor who I felt was mocking me. They would always laugh when I got distressed and ended up in spiralling though patterns and it was not helpful at all. I spent every session crying and arguing furiously with them.
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Anonymous #10
#80
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#80
Hi there,

I've had a couple of bad counselling experiences, but the worst was this guy who used to be my psychologist. By that time I was having a severe depression, could go for about 5 days without sleep, panic attacks, etc. So, I told him I needed to see a psychiatrist to get medicated and he told me: "no, that's out of the question; what you're feeling is normal in healing processes like this, blah, blah, blah". So, I expected he to tell me something useful in change, but he didn't (not sure if it was because he was lacanian or what, but the guy didn't say anything useful, just obvious things)...

I don't know how I stood that "therapy" so long. Fortunately I went to another therapist and things are going much better now.
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